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Joe Sakic May Return for Game 5

May 4, 2001

DENVER (AP) _ Although the Colorado Avalanche are doing just fine without Joe Sakic, they may have him back for Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals.

Sakic, who injured his right shoulder in Game 3 on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Kings, received treatment Thursday and could return when Colorado tries to clinch the series Friday night.

``We’re going to skate him tomorrow morning,″ coach Bob Hartley said Thursday. ``After this, we’re going to be in good shape to make a decision at game time.″

Despite being without their leading scorer, the Avalanche won both games in Los Angeles and can earn their third straight trip to the conference finals with one more victory.

``Everyone feels the excitement,″ Hartley said. ``The fans feel the excitement. We feel the excitement because you’re one step away from moving on. It’s like a marathon. When you see the finish line, you have better legs.″

Other than Sakic, the Avalanche have no serious injuries. Defenseman Rob Blake limped off the ice in the third period Wednesday night, but Hartley said he should be fine for Game 5.

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