Avalanche solve Flames on milestone night
Smyth, Hejduk score 300th goals in Colorado's 1st win over rivals this season
Ryan Smyth and Milan Hejduk teamed up to make a little history.
Within minutes of each other, the Colorado Avalanche forwards scored their 300th career goals in a 6-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. They became just the second set of players in NHL history to reach the milestone in the same game.
"It definitely was a special night," Hejduk said. "It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Ditto for Smyth, only too happy to split the spotlight with his teammate.
"It's an honour to share it with Milan," Smyth said. "It's obviously special to not only play in this game, but to score that many goals is a great feeling."
Danny Gare and Ivan Boldirev of the Detroit Red Wings are the only other duo to reach the milestone in the same game, each scoring No. 300 on Feb. 26, 1983, against the New York Islanders.
Hejduk also became just the fourth player in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to reach 300 career goals, joining Joe Sakic (625), Michel Goulet (456) and Peter Stastny (380). Hejduk has spent his entire career with Colorado.
Hejduk's first career goal came on Oct. 10, 1998, against Ottawa.
His 300th was equally as grand. "Same feeling," he said.
Smyth scored 30 of his goals with the Avalanche, five with the New York Islanders and 265 while a member of the Edmonton Oilers.
Coincidentally, Smyth's first career goal also came against Calgary, back on Nov. 24, 1995.
"I have to give it all to my teammates over the years who I've played with and obviously this team here," Smyth said.
On Sunday, Smyth had a short-handed goal in the second period, followed by Hejduk's power-play goal 4:44 later.
The boisterous crowd gave each player a rousing ovation for their feat.
Smyth also added two assists, and Hejduk had one.
Marek Svatos, Chris Stewart, Ruslan Salei and Cody McLeod also scored to help the Avalanche beat Northwest Division-leading Calgary for the first time in five games this season.
Mike Cammalleri and Rene Bourque also scored for the fatigued Flames, who were coming off a Saturday night home loss to Phoenix. It's the first time the team has dropped two straight in regulation since early November.
Colorado's Peter Budaj stopped 38 shots to snap a personal four-game skid.
Colorado bottled up Jarome Iginla, limiting the lethal scorer to just an assist, his 33rd of the season. He has gone eight games without a goal.
The Calgary captain has 61 points in 70 career games against Colorado, the most of any NHL player versus the Avalanche since they moved from Quebec.
"They were strong all night, they were ready to go right from the drop of the puck," said Iginla. "We made it 2-1 [in the second] and we had a power-play."
The Flames gave regular goalie Miikka Kiprusoff the night off, starting Curtis McElhinney in his place. The backup was kept busy, stopping 32 shots.
Colorado placed Ian Laperriere on the injured reserve Sunday with a balky back. The gritty forward joins Sakic (back and hand), Paul Stastny (broken forearm), Adam Foote (triceps), Philippe Dupuis (foot) and Cody McCormick (foot) on the sidelines.
Flames right-winger Todd Bertuzzi was held out for a fifth game with a hip flexor injury.