OTTAWA (AP) – Joe Sakic and Brad Richardson scored second-period goals and Jose Theodore made 26 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

Sakic scored his third goal of the season midway through the second to open the scoring. Richardson got his third with a short-handed effort with 3:16 left in the period to put the Avalanche up by two.

Theodore, who entered 1-2-1, had his best start of the season, losing a bid for his first Colorado shutout on Dany Heatley’s goal midway through the third.

The 2001-02 league MVP with Montreal, Theodore returns to the Bell Centre on Saturday night for his first game against the Canadiens since he was traded to the Avalanche for David Aebischer in a deadline deal on March 8.

Heatley, who had a team-record 50 goals last season, got his first of the season 9:45 into the third when he took a pass from Jason Spezza and fired a wrist shot that went in off Theodore’s glove.

Ottawa’s Martin Gerber stopped 34 shots in his first start since a 4-3 loss to Buffalo on Oct. 7.

The Senators went 0-for-3 on the power play and have not scored in their last 31 attempts with the man advantage. Ottawa’s power play is 1-for-33 overall in six games.

Colorado’s power play also came up short, going 0-for-6. The Avalanche are 0-for-17 with the man advantage on the road.

Sakic opened the scoring 10:48 into the second, redirecting Andrew Brunette’s pass from behind the net from the edge of the crease beyond Gerber despite being surrounded by Senators defensemen Andrej Meszaros and Wade Redden and center Mike Fisher.

Richardson made it 2-0 during Ottawa’s first power play opportunity when he beat Gerber with a shot into the top right corner.

Notes: Theodore, who has 23 career shutouts, has not blanked an opponent since Feb. 28, 2004, against Carolina with Montreal, a span of 60 games. … Senators D Joe Corvo made his season debut. Corvo, who signed as a free agent with Ottawa on July 1 after he had 14 goals and 26 assists with Los Angeles last season, missed Ottawa’s first five games because of a broken foot. … Rick Middleton and Gary Leeman are tied for the longest scoring drought from the start of a season by a player who scored at least 50 goals the previous season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Middleton didn’t score through his first seven games of 1982-83, and Leeman matched that in 1990-91.

AP-ES-10-19-06 2204EDT


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