Anaheim vs Colorado tonight. It's such a big game that I've brought back the live blog shtick for the evening. I've got the Ducks' feed, John Ahlers and Brian Hayward.
Jose Theodore against Jonas Hiller
20:00 Sakic, Forsberg and Hejduk start, with Sauer and Foote on the blueline.
19:42 Bertuzzi is booed by the Pepsi Center crowd.
18:54 Next over the boards is Arnason, McLeod and David Jones (who hits Schneider hard behind the Anaheim net). Liles and Hannan are together on D.
18:02 Finger is in the game, with Ruslan Salei. Unless Q is going with 7 D, Jordan Leopold is the healthy scratch. Stastny is playing with Brunette and Wolski – no changes for the first 3 lines.
17:15 The 4th line is unchanged as well – Guite, Parker and Laperriere. Parros and Parker are both out there.
16:51 Lappy runs at old friend Kent Huskins, but misses him.
16:28 Arnason steals the puck from Brad May. Accidentally, I assume.
15:54 Pronger makes a great headman pass to Corey Perry. Perry breaks in all alone on Theodore, and Theo makes a great pad save.
15:07 Perry trips Sakic against the boards
14:51 And then Moen gets rough with Hannan in the same spot. Can't let them start taking liberties like this…
14:44 Chris Kunitz hooks Brunette on the faceoff. Avs get a powerplay.
14:39 It's Sakic, Salei, Stastny, Forsberg and Hejduk.
13:51 Stastny fires from point blank – Hiller makes a good save.
12:55 Other than that shot, this has been a lousy PP.
12:36 Finger is still wearing the shield he added the last time he played. I wonder if this is going to be a permanent change.
11:19 Parker and Parros are on the ice at the same time again.
10:06 Selanne hooks Sakic to the ice and the Kunitz flies in and knees Sakic in the helmet. Kunitz seems to get the worst of it, as he skates a bit gingerly to the bench.
9:30 Another Anaheim penalty, Perry slashes Forsberg on the hand, resulting in a hooking call.
9:03 Pahlsson rockets a missle off the crossbar. We've had no PP pressure tonight.
8:36 Oh, big wrist shot by Sakic from inside the point. Great glove save by Hiller.
4:48 One more PP for Colorado. Pronger goes off for hooking. It was a bit of a borderline call. I communicate that opinion with words, Pronger does so by kicking the puck, landing an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct.
4:14 Hejduk is blatantly tripped by Beauchemin, but, incredulously, there is no call. This should be a 5 on 3.
3:24 Foote and Salei are on the point.
2:07 Jones is getting some PP time. This PP has been the best of the night so far.
0-0 after 1. The Avalanche had 8 minutes of PP time, but have nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
19:03 Hiller makes another great save on Stastny.
18:50 The 1st Avalanche penalty. Holding on Hannan. This will be good – the Avs will get a chance to see how to work a PP…
18:40 Getzlaf trips Guite – this is the 3rd uncalled trip of the night. Is it no longer a penalty?
17:19 Dough Weight is CRUSHED by Jeff Finger.
16:30 To spite my PP comment, the Avs look terrific killing off that penalty.
15:11 Hooking on Salei. Extremely borderline call, but it's almost identical to the Pronger penalty in the first (it's even at the same place on the ice).
13:53 The Avs get a 2 on 1 break, but Hejduk is offsides. I don't know that there's another player in the NHL who goes offsides more than Hejduk. The good news is that Kunitz hooked Hejduk moments before, negating the penalty to Salei.
11:25 Big save by Theodore on Kunitz.
9:46 After a whistle for a frozen puck, Sean O'Donnell sends McLeod flying head first into the net.
8:01 Wolski scores! Stastny carries in, drops to Brunette on the right wing, who crosses a pass to Wolski in the slot. Wolski slides it 5-hole for the 1-0 lead. He looks extremely relieved to have finally scored.
7:09 Arnason breaks in alone on Hiller. Big save by Hiller – he's been terrific tonight.
5:34 Getzlaf makes a great check on…Rob Niedermeyer.
5:01 Great save by Theo on Getzlaf. He's also been terrific tonight.
4:19 Suddenly, the pace of this game has ramped up considerably.
3:54 Huskins is so hit-worthy, even Sakic gets a check on him
3:43 Moen returns the favor by decking Sakic. That can't go ignored, can it?
1:40 Sauer crushes Brad May. I enjoyed that. Immensely.
0:00 A very entertaining period. Colorado has a 1-0 lead.
19:47 "Finger rims it around". *sigh*
19:20 3rd straight penalty against the Avs – hooking on Salei.
16:04 The Pepsi Center folks are playing Black Betty. You can’t do that. It belongs to the Bruins. Sorry. Find something else.
13:09 Perhaps it's a subconscious thing, but Forsberg seems to be much more tentative with his skating tonight than he did on Tuesday. It's like he's stopping short of taking a full stride.
11:07 Theodore is keeping the Avs in the lead. He's been brilliant. The Ducks are definitely starting to take control against the prevent defense. Predictable.
10:13 McLeod makes a huge hit on – who else – Huskins. Jones gets a shot off and McLeod tries to bank the rebound in off of Hiller. Smart play by McLeod.
9:49 Perry is in the Anaheim locker room – he got hurt in a scrum in front of the net.
8:26 "Finger rims it around" for the 2nd time this period. I know it's my birthday and all, but seriously, John Ahlers, you don't need to keep doing that.
3:09 This may be a good place to point out that the Avalanche won exactly one year ago on my birthday, 2-0 (when Budaj shut out the Bruins).
:55 Hiller is out.
:15 The Ducks get called for holding the stick of Laperriere. Kunitz. He gets a misconduct penalty as well, and he gets an extra 15 seconds of shower time.
That's it. Theodore has his 2nd shutout of the season and the Avalanche finally beat the annoying Ducks.