Budaj looks sharp in Avs’ 2-1 victory
CHICAGO (AP) ” Peter Budaj made 26 saves, and Pierre Turgeon and Antti Laaksonen scored to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday.
Budaj, temporarily Colorado’s top goalie following the trade of David Aebischer to Montreal on Wednesday, was especially sharp late in the second period and early in the third. He stopped several Blackhawks, including Kyle Calder and Patrick Sharp, on close-in chances.
Colorado dealt Aebischer, who appeared in 43 games with the Avalanche this season, to the Canadiens for Jose Theodore. Theodore, however, is out until late March with a broken bone in his heel.
Curtis Brown scored for Chicago, which has lost six of eight.
Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 22 shots in his return after missing 12 games with a sprained left knee. Khabibulin, injured Jan. 20 in Minnesota, had missed 10 games earlier this season with a pulled groin.
The Avalanche announced earlier on Thursday that rookie forward Marek Svatos, the team’s leading goal scorer with 32, would miss the remainder of the season with a fractured right shoulder.
“It’s a bad break,” Avalanche general manager Pierre Lacroix said. “The kid had a great year.
“Everybody is going to have to pull together a little bit more. It’s sad to see and a tough thing, but we can’t use it as an excuse.”
Svatos is second among NHL rookies in goal and third in points with 50.
Turgeon opened the scoring just 1:35 in from the right side of the crease, converting a rebound of Brad Richardson’s shot from left wing.
Brown tied it with 4:28 left in the first, scoring just his second goal and first since the opening night of the season.
During a Colorado shift change, Brown moved off left wing and fired a rising shot from the circle that sailed over Budaj’s glove into the top right corner of the net.
Laaksonen gave Colorado a 2-1 lead ” and netted the eventual winning goal ” at 8:24 of the second. After circling behind the Chicago net, his shot from the goal line bounded in off Khabibulin’s skate.
Budaj made a point-blank pad save on Chicago’s Duncan Keith with 1:05 left.
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