DENVER - Pierre Turgeon could have done without the wait, but for the Colorado Avalanche, his 500th career goal came at the perfect time. After he notched the 499th goal of his career against Vancouver on Oct. 27, Turgeon stood on the precipice of the magic number for three straight scoreless games. But with 10 minutes, 44 seconds to play in Tuesday night’s 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in front of 18,007 at the Pepsi Center, the 20-year NHL veteran scored the goal that allowed him to exhale. “Finally,” Turgeon said. “The last couple games, I’ve been thinking about this. It’s an honor.” Turgeon’s goal also allowed the Avalanche a sigh of relief. Before he scored, Colorado led 3-2, but it was a tenuous advantage. San Jose had recovered from a disastrous start — allowing two goals in the first three minutes of the game — and had taken control of the flow of the game. Back-to-back penalties in the third period, however, gave the Avalanche a twoman advantage, and Colorado capitalized. Forward Marek Svatos fed Turgeon, who was camped out on the doorstep of the San Jose goal, and Turgeon beat Sharks goalie Vesa Toskala. “I thought it was a special goal knowing how important it was in the game,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. “It’s a great reflection on a tremendous career.” Three minutes, 26 seconds later, the Avalanche put the game away with another power-play goal. It came when defenseman John-Michael Liles (a goal and an assist) slid a long, two-line pass — the kind that would have been illegal in the pre-lockout NHL — to Alex Tanguay, who beat Toskala for his second goal of the night. Tuesday’s victory completed the Avalanche’s most successful homestand of at least five games since the franchise’s arrival in Denver in 1995. Colorado went 5-0-1 and picked up 11 of the 12 points that were available. The Avalanche likely would not have won Tuesday without another standout performance by David Aebischer. The goalie stopped 31 shots, helped kill off all six of the Sharks’ power plays and steadied the Avalanche through a tenuous stretch in the middle of the game. The result was his sixth straight victory. Three minutes into the game, after Liles and Tanguay had given the Avalanche a 2-0 lead, Colorado had a 4-0 advantage in shots on goal. From that point until midway through the second period, however, the Sharks outshot the Avalanche 25-4. But they only scored once, when former Colorado College captain Tom Preissing beat everyone to a loose puck and slammed home a shot to cut the Colorado lead to 2-1 early in the second period. Then, on just its ninth shot on goal of the game, the Avalanche scored again when Svatos batted a bouncing puck into the net. San Jose cut Colorado’s lead to one when Jonathan Cheechoo scored with 4:14 left in the period, and the Sharks seemed poised to take over the game before Turgeon scored his milestone goal. Healey recalled The Avalanche recalled left wing Paul Healey from Lowell of the American Hockey League on Tuesday. Healey has played two games for the Avalanche. NEXT Colorado at Calgary 8 p.m. Saturday, ALT 740/950 AM
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