Avs Defend Home Ice; Beat Penguins

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DENVER -- The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the season aiming for a Stanley Cup title. Now they're searching for answers.

David Jones had two goals and an assist, Andrew Raycroft made 21 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 on Saturday, handing the Penguins their seventh loss in eight games.

The Penguins reached the Stanley Cup finals last year before losing to Detroit in six games. They started this season strong, going 15-6-4, but they are 5-13 over the past five weeks.

Ryan Smyth and Wojtek Wolski each had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who have won three straight.

Wolski broke a 2-all tie when he skated into the Pittsburgh zone, took a pass from Smyth and beat goalie Dany Sabourin over the left shoulder for his 11th goal of the season midway through the second period.

Four minutes later, Jordan Leopold scored on a slap shot from the blue line to give Colorado a 4-2 lead.

Staal made it interesting with his 13th goal with 12:23 left, but Jones gave the Avalanche some breathing room with his eighth goal 51 seconds later.

"The whole team has been pitching in," said Wolski, who has a three-game goal streak. "David Jones had three points tonight, two goals, just going hard to the net and getting his stick on the ice."

Sabourin had 21 saves on 25 shots before being pulled in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury to start the third. Fleury stopped six shots.

The Avalanche went in front when Smyth redirected Wolski's shot from the high slot for his 14th goal of the season midway through the first period.

Malkin, who had a goal and an assist, tied it with a power-play goal at 15:41 of the first. Crosby sent a pass across the zone and Malkin one-timed it from the right circle past Raycroft for his 16th of the season.

Jones scored to get the lead back for Colorado just 2:06 into the second, but Malkin and Crosby teamed up again to tie it. This time, Crosby took a pass from Malkin and slid a shot between Raycroft's legs with 11:16 left in the period, his 17th of the year.




 
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