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O'Reilly's OT goal lifts Avs to 4-3 win

Ryan O'Reilly scored on a slap shot with 1.2 seconds remaining in overtime and Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped a season-high 39 shots in the Colorado Avalanche's 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night.

Gabriel Landeskog, Milan Hejduk and Paul Stastny also scored for Colorado. The Avalanche have won two in a row since snapping a five-game skid.

The Hurricanes got goals from Tim Brent, Jiri Tlusty and Eric Staal in a city that keeps haunting them. The Carolina franchise hasn't won in Denver since Feb. 9, 1996, when the team was the Hartford Whalers.

On his winner, O'Reilly stole the puck from Justin Faulk at center ice, skated in on the left side and sent a slap shot through the legs of Cam Ward. O'Reilly raised his arms in the air as he cast a quick glance at the scoreboard to see if he got the shot off in time.

He did as the clock displayed 1.2 seconds remaining.

The Avs weathered a penalty late in the final period when David Jones was called for hooking. But Carolina couldn't muster many scoring chances.

With Colorado attempting to claw its way back into the playoff chase, Giguere has been seeing a lot of time in the net.

Giguere, who was brought in to serve as a mentor to the younger Semyon Varlamov, has played so well that it's been hard to get him out of the goal. He's among the NHL leaders in goals-against and save percentage.

The 34-year-old Giguere faced the franchise that drafted him with the 13th overall in 1995. He played eight games for the organization in 1996-97, going 1-4 with a 3.65 goals-against average.

Ward was just as splendid in net, robbing O'Reilly of a goal late in the game when Ward stuck out his pad as the Avalanche forward cruised in on a breakaway.

Hejduk tied the game at 2 early in the second period on a rush that he started up the ice. Hejduk passed the puck to Jones on the left wing, who quickly sent it all the way over to Stastny on the right side. Stastny patiently waited for Hejduk to slip past the defender and then hit the Colorado captain in stride for the tap-in goal.

The goal snapped a five-game drought for Hejduk. His new line with Stastny and Jones has each of them hitting on all cylinders. The trio has accounted for 11 points over the last two games.

After Staal gave the Hurricanes back the lead in the second period with his 14th goal of the season, Stastny answered right back in the final minute.

Carolina came out flying in the first period and scored when Anthony Stewart delivered a backhand pass to Brent, who drilled a shot past Giguere after working free in front of the net.

It looked as if the period might finish that way, but there was a late flurry of scoring.

First, Landeskog made the Hurricanes pay for a turnover in their end when he corralled the loose puck and slid a shot by Ward.

Just 31 seconds later, Carolina recaptured the lead after Tlusty sent a wrist shot through the skates of Avs defenseman Jan Hejda and beat Giguere, who appeared screened on the play.

The Avalanche play Saturday night in St. Louis. They're 2-4 this season in the second game of a back-to-back.

NOTES: The Avs wore camouflage jerseys in warmups as part of their "Military Appreciation Night." Army Staff Sgt.Salvatore Giunta, a Medal of Honor recipient, was honored before the game. He's from nearby Fort Collins, Colo. ... Hejduk is one game shy of tying former D Adam Foote (967) for second-most played in franchise history. Joe Sakic has the top mark, suiting up in 1,378 games before retiring and joining the squad in an executive role. ... Carolina concludes a three-game road swing on Monday in Montreal. ... Hurricanes F Tuomo Ruutu had two assists.