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Avalanche 4, Panthers 2

January 21, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ Valeri Kamensky scored twice in the final eight minutes and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 Monday night, extending their unbeaten streak to a franchise-record 12 games.

The Avalanche won in their first visit to Miami since a triple-overtime victory to clinch a four-game sweep of the Panthers in the Stanley Cup Finals last year.

A goal by Kamensky in the second period was disallowed because teammate Stephane Yelle was in the crease. The ruling came following a review of the video replay.

As it turned out, that cost Kamensky a hat trick. He broke a 2-2 tie by skating past defenseman Terry Carkner and flicking the puck over goalie John Vanbiesbrouck’s shoulder.

Kamensky added his 16th goal of the season with two minutes left on a twisting, off-balance, behind-the-back shot. The performance came in just his second game after missing six games with a shoulder separation.

The Avalanche were without their top two scorers, Joe Sakic (calf injury,) and Peter Forsberg (thigh), but they still improved to 9-0-3 since Dec. 23.

Colorado goalie Craig Billington, making his eighth start of the year, stopped 33 shots, including two against Ray Sheppard on breakaways in the first period. Billington made a backhanded save the first time, then made a diving stop against Sheppard as the horn sounded to end the period.

Colorado’s Claude Lemieux assisted on two goals.

Colorado scored the tying goal in the second period when a shot by Rene Corbet deflected off the skate of Florida’s Gord Murphy and into the net.

Florida scored a shorthanded goal for a 2-1 lead, with Tom Fitzgerald taking a pass from Bill Lindsay on a breakaway and flicking the puck into the corner of the net.

Mike Ricci scored his third goal of the season on a power play to put Colorado ahead 1-0. Florida rookie Dave Nemirovsky earned his first career assist on a goal by Dave Lowry, tying the score.

The Panthers failed to score a power-play goal for the fifth game in a row.

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