Colorado Avalanche left winger Andrew Brunette, right, works the puck inside for a shot against Phoenix Coyotes goalie Curtis Joseph in the first period. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
"That's not really important to me," Stastny said after scoring two goals - including the game-winner - in Colorado's 4-3 victory over Phoenix 4-3 Wednesday night, ending the Coyotes' six-game road winning streak. "I don't really care about that." And then the truth - albeit slightly - came out. "It maybe motivates you a little," Stastny said.
Stastny is currently third in the league among rookies with 37 points. He and Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin are the only rookies to rank among the top five in goals, assists and points.
Yet, Avalanche teammates Wojtek Wolski and Peter Budaj were selected for the game, and Stastny wasn't.
"I'll enjoy the four days off," he said. "This was a good win."
The Coyotes were 0-for-6 on the power play against an Avalanche team that gave up three power-play goals to San Jose two nights earlier.
"We were unimpressive," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We gave away the puck on three of their four goals. You just aren't going to win at this level with that kind of play."
Milan Hejduk had a goal and two assists and Joe Sakic added two assists for Colorado, winner of seven straight over Phoenix and 10-0-2-1 in the last 13 meetings.
Tyler Arnason, playing on the wing for the first time, tied a career high with three assists.
"He looked like he was comfortable there, he was patient and had the puck a lot," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "I liked a lot of things we did."
Phoenix made things interesting after falling behind 4-1 midway through the third period. Michael Zigomanis and Shane Doan scored 1:16 apart, but the Coyotes couldn't tie the score even when they pulled goalie Curtis Joseph with 39 seconds remaining.
"Today was a big game for us and we let ourselves down," said Georges Laraque, who had his first goal since Nov. 19 against Anaheim.
Budaj, making his 10th straight start, stopped 26 shots - including a flurry at the end - as he improved to 4-0 in his career against Phoenix.
"He's been our backbone, he's just carrying us," Stastny said. "He's giving us a chance to win every night."
After Laraque tied the score 1-1 on a wraparound shot early in the second period, the Avalanche answered with two goals, both on assists from Sakic, his 31st and 32nd assists of the season. Hejduk scored his 15th goal of the season and Andrew Brunette his 16th.
"I wouldn't have had a goal without Joe's pass," Hejduk said. "He put the puck right on my stick."
Joseph finished with 28 saves as the Coyotes have now dropped three of four after a seven-game win streak.
"They are one of the hottest teams in the league so to stay competitive with those guys, we really had to battle," Stastny said. "We played better as a team."
Notes: Colorado recalled F Ben Guite from Albany of the AHL on Wednesday morning. . . . Yanic Perreault had two assists, giving him six goals and eight assists in his last 12 games. . . . Phoenix D Derek Morris played in his 600th career game. . . . Jeremy Roenick celebrated his 37th birthday Wednesday night, but only had one shot. . . . Sakic remains one goal shy of reaching the 20-goal mark for the 17th time in 18 seasons.