Raycroft stays hot as Avalanche bury Penguins

By Dave Reed
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) — Andrew Raycroft is on a hot streak.

Raycroft made 21 saves in his third straight start and David
Jones scored a pair of goals and set up another to lead the
Colorado Avalanche to a 5-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins
on Saturday.

Raycroft extended his personal winning streak to seven games
while improving to 9-1-0 overall this season.

“We played great,” Raycroft said. “We stayed out of the
(penalty) box, which was huge, and we really didn’t give them

Wojtek Wolski, Cody McLeod and Ryan Smyth each added a goal and
an assist for the Avalanche. Wolski has netted four tallies in
his last three contests.

“Milan (Hejduk) and Ryan create so many chances” Wolski said.
“They pull so many guys toward them. If you move your feet and
go to the net, you’re going to get chances and you’re going to
score goals.”

Despite receiving a goal and an assist apiece from All-Stars
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh lost for the seventh
time in eight games.

Jones set up what proved to be the game-winning goal by McLeod
with 5:21 remaining in the second period. Just 51 seconds after
Jordan Staal’s shorthander 7 1/2 minutes into the third drew
Pittsburgh within 4-3, Jones capped his first career two-goal
effort during a power play to provide the final margin.

“Some nights, you just get those bounces, and tonight was one of
those nights,” Jones said. “I had a few shots, and I was
fortunate to get two that were right in front of the net and I
just buried them.”

Wolski put the Avalanche ahead for good, 3-2, midway through the
middle session, when he beat goaltender Dany Sabourin with a
wrist shot from the right faceoff circle at 10:33 after
receiving a pass from Smyth.

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Colorado struck first when Wolski’s shot from the top of the
slot went off Smyth’s skate, Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks
Orpik’s toe and past Sabourin low to the glove side with 9:16
left in the first period.

“We’re not getting any breaks, that’s for sure,” Crosby said.
“The mistakes we make are in our nets.”

The Penguins tied the game five minutes later, when Malkin took
a cross-ice pass from Crosby and beat Raycroft with a one-timer
from the right circle that sailed just inside the near goalpost.

Jones gave Colorado a 2-1 lead 2:06 into the second period when
he chipped the rebound of blue-liner John-Michael Liles’ shot
past Sabourin. But Crosby tied it at 8:44, when his one-timer
off a cross-ice pass from Malkin went under Raycroft’s pad.

“We want to make sure we are doing our part when we’re put
together,” Crosby said. “It’s a message to us that we have to
produce, as far as our line goes. We want to try to make things

Sabourin allowed four goals on 25 shots before being replaced
after two periods by Marc-Andre Fleury, who made six saves in
the third.

Orpik helped set up both goals for Pittsburgh, which has lost 13
of 18.

“We’ve got to play better defensively,” Pittsburgh coach Michel
Therrien said. “We can’t allow four or five goals against. It
is tough. Eventually, if we’ve got the right approach, we’ll
get out of this.”