Despite having nothing to play for, and no chance of finishing anywhere but 28th overall in the NHL, the Avalanche gave a Vancouver Canucks team playing for the division title an all-they-could-handle effort Saturday for the second time in six days.

Game No. 81 of the Avs' season was a dreadfully dull affair much of the contest, and so quiet at times inside the Pepsi Center that players' chatter on the ice could be heard clear up to the press box. When it was over, after Henrik Sedin's centering pass hit the skate of Colorado defenseman Scott Hannan and redirected into the net, the Canucks had a 1-0 overtime win and the Northwest Division title.

When Ian Laperriere lined up for the opening faceoff during Saturday’s contest against the Vancouver Canucks, it marked an important milestone for the Montreal native.

Colorado’s 1-0 overtime loss to Vancouver was the 1,000th career NHL game for the gritty forward and fan favorite, making him the second Avalanche player to reach the milestone this season. Defenseman Adam Foote previously hit the 1,000-game plateau on Oct. 12 at Edmonton.

“It’s special. One thousand games, I don’t know what to say,” stated a humbled Laperriere. “My dream was to play one game and I hit a thousand tonight.”

The man of the hour blocked two shots in 18:20 of ice time against the Canucks.

Laperriere ranks first on the team with 163 penalty minutes this season, the second-highest total of his NHL career. He also leads all Avalanche forwards with 69 blocked shots.

In his 1,000 career games, he has posted 118 goals, 198 assists and 1,794 penalty minutes.

Known throughout Colorado for his charitable contributions, Laperriere is the club’s nominee for the 2009 Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.”