Ok, ladies and gentlemen, I guess I'm stepping in for one more game wrap up. Apologies beforehand. It was a big night for the Boys in Burgundy, with the Avs finally managing to muster up a solid performance, and they beat their rivals from Calgary with an all-around hellacious effort from everyone on the bench. Arnason included. Here's what went down.
The first period of the sixth and final clash between these two bitter divisional rivals played out like most of the games between the Lames and the Boys in Burgundy do: lots of shots, lots of hits, and a nice little scrap. Ian Laperriere squared off with Mark Giordano, with Lappy rassling him to the ice to get the big W. The Flame-outs got started off the scoring with Rene Bourque putting in a rebound, with the primary assist going to to tod f. bertuzi. That's right, I don't even spell that punk's name right anymore. Hell, I don't even capitalize it. Anyway, the Avs responded in a timely fashion with Marek Svatos speeding into the slot and scoring on the white-hot Miikka Kiprusoff to bring the contest even at one. Everybody's favorite whipping boy and least favorite third-line center picked up the lone assist.The period ended with some back and forth action, but no scoring, leaving the two teams locked at one all.
With Adrian Aucoin sitting in the box from a penalty called late in the first period, The Duke tapped a loose puck in from the side of the crease. The Flames seemed to lose sight of the puck, perhaps because Ryan Smyth was raising complete hell directly in front of the Calgary crease. Aucoin redeemed himself less then two minutes later, scoring a goal to bring the game even once again. But the Avs managed to take the lead about a minute later, when Ruslan Salei scored his third of the season, with Smyth getting another assist. It's nice to know that as long as he can walk, he'll bring it against Calgary. But later in the period, Smyth's old nemesis from many Battles of Alberta of seasons past, Jarome Iginla beat Boods with that trademark hard wrister for the 394th of his career, and 19th of the season. After that, business picked up, and so did the hitting. However, a few scrums and chippy moments aside, each team kept rushing the puck up the ice, and the Avs capitalized on a two-on-two rush, with Marek Svatos inching his way past Dion Phadouche and tipping in a beautiful cross-crease pass from Cody McLeod. Phadouche was straight beat up the ice, apparently lost in his thoughts about his choice of sloppy seconds, now of Sean Avery infamy. Svatos, meanwhile, is beginning to resemble that 30-goal from of several years ago, as he has played exceptionally well in the past few games. Towards the end of the period, Cody McCormick was called for hooking, but the Avalanche managed to kill the penalty, and went into the locker room with a 4-3 lead, twenty minutes away from stopping that nasty losing streak.
The teams entered the third with 26 shots on goal apiece, and that trend continued. The Avs brought some heavy pressure early in the period, barely giving the Flame-outs time to breathe. However, the boys from Calgary soon began to match the intensity, leading to a an exciting period. (Sidenote from third: Jesus, Kerry Fraser is officiating his 1,800th NHL game. His first game was the opening night for the 1980 edition of Colorado Rockies. That's 29 years! How much hair spray has he used in his career? Goodness gracious, you could envelop the planet with massive fireball with all that hair spray and a zippo. Anyway, congratulations, Kerry) Anyway, Smyth drew a Flame-outs penalty in the middle of the period, as Giordano was called for hooking as Smyth wrapped around the net. Giordano actually made a nice play breaking up a cross-crease pass to The Duke just seconds earlier. During the powerplay, Boods made a few nice stops during a Lames rush, and the Avs never managed to get anything going with the man-advantage. Almost immediately after the end of that penalty, Brett Clark high-sticked Jarome Iginla, giving the Red Sweaters a powerplay. During the kill, Ian Laperriere freight-trained Phadouche, and let him know about it for quite some time afterward. Lappy finished with 9 hits. The Avs killed the penaly, and Budaj made a pair of slick looking saves on some heavy point shots. The two goalies traded saves for a bit, with Kiprusoff stoning The Mullet on a breakaway and stopping McLeod on a point blank opportunity with two minutes and change left in the game. Kiprusoff got caught in pickle, trying to leave the ice for an extra attacker. The Avs didn't score, but the Flames were called for too many men on the ice- Der Fuhrer Keenan's face was redder than the Flames' home sweaters. This led to an unsportsmanlike penalty, giving the Avs a 5 on 3 advantage with less than a minute to go. Despite this, the Flames managed some serious pressure with four attackers, but Budaj shut them down, and the Avs finished with the W.
Budaj was a stud tonight, with 36 saves, several of them jaw-droppers. Svatos walked away with the first star. The Avs played a great game, out-hitting a physical Calgary team significantly. Also, lost in the list of terrific performances of Boods, Smyth, and Svatos was the incredible game by Baron von Wolski, who played textbook defense in the third, taking the fight to Iginla and getting physical, Also, Ty...Tyl......um, uh......Tyler Arnason play.....played.......*whimpers* well. Whoa, almost got domed by a flying pig there. Satan may well be ordering ice skates right about now. Anyway, the Avs put together a great, sixty minute effort to beat one of the hottest teams in the NHL, in entertaining fashion as well. Well, that's all for tonight folks. I am relatively certain you will no longer be subjected to random thoughts from the mind of a teenage maniac, so I bid you adieu. It was fun while it lasted. Many thanks for reading and putting up with me, and go Avs.