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All-Time Colorado Avalanche: Top Five Goals in Franchise History

James CriderCorrespondent INovember 28, 2009

11 Jun 1996: Goaltender John Vanbiesbrouck of the Florida Panthers is beaten by a shot from Uwe Krupp of the Colorado Avalanche during triple overtime of game four of the Stanley Cup Finals at Miami Arena in Miami, Florida. The goal, the only of the game,
Glenn Cratty/Getty Images

Even though the Colorado Avalanche franchise is only 14 years old, choosing the top five goals ever scored is a challenge. There have been so many great moments since the team moved to Denver, so let's hope I do a good job with my selections.

5. Joe Sakic against Dwayne Roloson (Mar. 28, '08)

Game 79 of the season, with the team's playoff hopes hanging in the balance, the Avalanche were down 4-3 to Edmonton with six seconds left on the clock.

But old habits die hard.

Peter Forsberg fed Joe Sakic the puck from behind the net, and Mr. Clutch buried it. Colorado went on to win the game in a shootout and clinch a playoff spot.

Many people probably don't remember this goal, but I'll never forget it. It was the last time Peter Forsberg and Joe Sakic were able to combine their talents to get the Avalanche into the playoffs, even though Sakic was coming off hernia surgery and Forsberg was playing with a machine on his leg that pumped blood to his foot.

This play was the closing chapter of two brilliant NHL careers.

4. Peter Forsberg against Chris Osgood (May 18, '99)

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What kind of list would this be if there wasn't a goal against the Red Wings on it?

It wasn't the most important goal ever scored, but Peter Forsberg's undressing of the Red Wings defense sums up his career and the Avalanche's dominance all in one play.

Late in the third period at Joe Louis Arena, the Avalanche held a 4-0 lead and looked to be advancing to the Western Conference finals against Dallas.

But Detroit started to turn the game around, and quick goals by Nick Lidstrom and Todd Gill put the Wings back in the game.

That is, until Peter Forsberg got the puck again.

Forsberg intercepted an Igor Larionov dump in from the blue line, and with the hall of fame forward hooking him (for a delayed penalty), Forsberg deked out Osgood and ended the defending Stanley Cup champions' season as he and the puck went crashing into Detroit's net.

3. Joe Sakic against Ed Belfour (May 8, '96)

There may not have been any 1996 Colorado Avalanche Cup if it weren't for Joe Sakic's triple overtime goal against Chicago in the second round.

The Avalanche were down 2-1 in the series, playing in Chicago, and would have to win three straight if they were to lose.

But the Avalanche managed to get a power play in the third overtime, and Sakic redirected a nifty Alexei Gusarov pass from the blue line past Ed Belfour, who to that point was playing lights-out with 54 saves.

After that goal, the Avalanche didn't look back and went 12-2 the rest of the playoffs en route to their first Stanley Cup.

2. Joe Sakic against Roman Turek (May 12, '01)

Things were going great for Colorado until Peter Forsberg's spleen unexpectedly ruptured, making him unavailable for the remainder of the 2001 playoffs.

Forsberg was the Avalanche's leading playoff scorer at the time, and his loss had many people believing that the St. Louis Blues (fresh off sweeping the Dallas Stars, who had been the Stanley Cup finals in both of the previous years) would end Colorado's season.

That's when Joe Sakic became Super Joe, and showed the Avalanche weren't just going to roll over and die. Sakic had two goals and two assists, including scoring an iconic penalty shot goal against Roman Turek, and the Avalanche won game one 4-1.

The eventually won the series four games to one, and went on to win the Stanley Cup for the second time in franchise history.

1. Uwe Krupp against John Vanbiesbrouck (June 10, '96)

After three games of domination by Colorado, Florida made one last stand.

In one of the longest games in NHL history, Patrick Roy and John Vanbiesbrouck both had the performances of their careers; Roy turned away 63 shots while Vanbiesbrouck stopped 55.

Eventually, as it had been for the rest of the series, Colorado prevailed over Florida. Four minutes and 31 seconds in to the third overtime, Uwe Krupp (who had zero goals in the regular season) blasted a shot by Vanbiesbrouck, and the Avalanche were showered by plastic rats from the angry Florida crowd.

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