Shots on goal
Individual stats

Colorado 7, Florida 5

Reported as of 12:13 a.m., Thu., Mar. 4
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Pavel Bure sat out the third period, and so did the Florida Panthers.

Bure recorded a hat trick before resting his sore right knee and the Panthers collapsed without him, surrendering six unanswered goals in the third period and losing to the Colorado Avalanche, 7-5.

"No, I haven't seen anything like this before," Florida coach Terry Murray said. "This is the biggest meltdown I've ever seen. Absolute, total embarrassment."

Peter Forsberg matched Bure with his first hat trick in nearly two years, adding three assists to more than make up for the absence of newcomer Theo Fleury. Acquired Sunday from Calgary, Fleury sat out with a sprained right knee that could keep him sidelined for a week or two.

Colorado appeared lethargic without Fleury, falling behind 5-0 as Bure had a shorthanded goal and a pair of power-play tallies for his second hat trick of the season.

But the Avalanche stretched their road unbeaten streak to a franchise-record 10 games (8-0-2).

Scott Mellanby's goal with 4:48 left in the second period extended Florida's lead to 5-0, but Forsberg started the Avalanche's comeback just under three minutes later.

"I thought we started to show a few signs of stopping skating on their first goal," Murray said. "They beat us in all situations -- going to get the loose pucks, in all three zones. They were stronger, they were faster. Forsberg basically took it in his own hands to go out and get the job done. He was a force out there."

Forsberg picked up an assist on Claude Lemieux's goal 17 seconds into the third and, after an apparent tally by Panthers center Viktor Kozlov was disallowed, scored again at 7:15 to cut the margin to 5-3.

Forsberg collected another assist on Adam Deadmarsh's power-play marker with five minutes to play and rookie Chris Drury tied it 41 seconds later when he got to a rebound of Shjon Podein's bad-angle shot and poked it past a beleaguered Sean Burke.

Milan Hejduk, another rookie, put Colorado in front with 2:20 remaining. Joe Sakic threw a pass in front to Hejduk, who fought off Kozlov's check and put the puck between Burke's pads. The goaltender may have swept it across the goal line with his glove.

Forsberg completed his fourth career hat trick 49 seconds later, stealing the puck at the blue line from Radek Dvorak, fighting off Oleg Kvasha's check and putting a backhander under Burke. It was Forsberg's first hat trick since April 2, 1997.

"Which coach would you like to speak to, the first and second period coach or the guy who coached the third?" joked Colorado's Bob Hartley. "This game has got to be a lesson for us. We must start the game with the kind of intensity that we finished with tonight."

The six points were a career high for Forsberg, who had five assists against Los Angeles on February 23, 1996.

Early on, however, it looked like Bure's night. After Kvasha opened the scoring on the power play midway through the second period, Bure recorded a natural hat trick, the 11th of his career.

He beat Patrick Roy on a shorthanded breakaway with 5:24 left in the first period before notching consecutive power-play goals in a 6:06 span of the second. Mellanby finished off a 2-on-1 with Dvorak with 4:48 left to stretch Florida's lead to 5-0.

"After our sixth goal was disallowed with a man in the crease, that was the crack in the door I think they talked about on their bench," Murray said. "That was a disappointing goal."

As for the loss of Bure, he said, "It hurts, there's no doubt. I think after the second or third shift, I'm sure they saw he wasn't coming out, there's something wrong. And they get excited about that, also. But it's 5-1 going into the third period."

Roy surrendered five goals on 20 shots and was replaced by Craig Billington to start the third period.

"You don't see what happened tonight happen often," Hartley said. "A coach likes to talk about character and determination, and that is what this team displayed in the third period."

The loss prevented Florida from moving into a tie with Boston for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. The Panthers are just one point ahead of 10th-place Montreal.


123 Final

PeriodGoalTeamPlayerAssistsTimeGoal type
First1FloridaKvasha 11Mellanby, Parrish11:42power play
 2FloridaP Bure 11Hedican14:36shorthanded
Second3FloridaP Bure 12Whitney, R Svehla4:41power play
 4FloridaP Bure 13Kozlov, Niedermayer 10:47power play
 5FloridaMellanby 15Dvorak, Hedican15:12 
 6Colorado Forsberg 19Sakic18:11 
Third7ColoradoLemieux 22Deadmarsh, Forsberg0:17power play
 8ColoradoForsberg 20Drury, Ozolinsh 7:15 
 9ColoradoDeadmarsh 19Forsberg, Sakic15:00power play
 10 ColoradoDrury 14Podein, Donovan15:41 
 11ColoradoHejduk 9 Sakic, Forsberg17:40 
 12ColoradoForsberg 21unassisted18:29 

FirstColorado benchColoradotoo many men on the ice 9:48
 R SvehlaFloridainterference14:20
SecondP BureFloridaObstr hooking1:22
  DruryColoradoObstr holding2:46
 LausFloridafighting major5:17
  OdgersColoradofighting major5:17
 SakicColoradoObstr holding9:08
 NiedermayerFloridaObstr holding 13:17

123 Total
Colorado18 --34 
Florida11 --28 

Colorado -- 2 of 5
Florida -- 3 of 5

Colorado Roy8712015 ), Billington (start of 3rd, 8, 8
FloridaS Burke1715133427


Referee Roberts.
Linesmen Amell, Morin

Deadmarsh 1 1 even 3
Donovan 0 1 +2 0
Drury 1 1 +1 2
Foote 0 0 +2 1
Forsberg 3 3 +3 9
Gusarov 0 0 +1 0
Hejduk 1 0 +1 5
Kamensky 0 0 -1 0
Klemm 0 0 even 0
Lefebvre 0 0 +1 0
Lemieux 1 0 -1 3
Messier 0 0 +1 1
Miller 0 0 +2 1
Odgers 0 0 even 0
Ozolinsh 0 1 even 3
Podein 0 1 +1 0
Sakic 0 3 +2 5
Yelle 0 0 even 1
B Lindsay 0 0 -1 1
Boyle 0 0 -1 0
Butsayev 0 0 -1 0
Dvorak 0 1 -2 3
Hedican 0 2 -2 1
Kozlov 0 1 -1 6
Kvasha 1 0 -2 2
Laus 0 0 -1 0
Mellanby 1 1 even 3
Muller 0 0 -1 0
Niedermayer 0 1 even 1
P Bure 3 0 +1 3
Parrish 0 1 -2 2
R Svehla 0 1 -2 1
R Warrener 0 0 even 1
Spacek 0 0 even 2
Whitney 0 1 -1 1
Worrell 0 0 even 1


De Vries : Healthy
Carkner : Healthy
Fleury : Knee Injury
Ciccarelli : Back Injury
Russell : Shoulder Injury
Garpenlov : Healthy
Rychel : Hand Injury
Hicks : Healthy
Wells : Healthy