Game 72 Recap: The Kings Beat Avalanche In Barn Burner 4-3 In Overtime

This is going to be a little different than my previous recaps so bear with me. For people that have read John Buccigross' column at ESPN.com, you have seen him do this for big games, most recently the USA vs. Canada Gold Medal Game. This is a GIGANTOR game! Let me know what you think of it.

FIRST PERIOD

20:00 - Just settling into the couch, this game is going to go a long way in determining how far this team is going to go in the playoffs. They are playing a playoff type hockey. Every game, every point means so much at this point. We need everyone that we can get. No surprise that Andy is in net for the Avs. Jonathan Quick is in net for the Kings. GAME ON!!

19:10 - SoS gets great shot at the net but fires wide following a keep in by Q at the blue line. Found out that Liles is a healthy scratch tonight as Clark breaks back into the lineup.

17:28 - Hannan fails at D and gets caught chasing as Kings get great scoring chance by Brad Richardson, remember him?

16:30 - First big hit by the Avs landed by non other than the Highlander. Hoping he brings more of that energy tonight.

15:29 - Hannan walks down low and almost squeaks one between Quick's legs. Sean O'Donnell thought it was a good idea to get in Stewie's face. That may not be a great idea for him. Whether he hurts them on the scoreboard or on the bodies of the Kings' players is yet to be determined.

14:34 - Heard Ryan Smyth's name for the first time in the game.

13:27 - Kopitar is a beast. Makes really strong move to the front of the net and no one could stop him. I'm afraid he is going to have a big game tonight.

12:46 - SCOOOOOOORRRRREEEE!!! I believe that Stewie is going to get the goal as Modin tips it past Quick. Told you that you didn't wanna mess with Stewie!! 1 - 0 Avalanche. Yup, it's Stewie's goal. SoS picks up his 54th assist on the goal.

11:21 - Great shift by the 4th line of Durno, Highlander and Hendricks! Kept the play in the offensive zone, we need more shifts like that from them.

11:10 - OMG!!!!!! How do you miss that net Gali!?!?!?

11:05 - Minor penalty to ??? for interference. The PK has to be clutch tonight if this team wants to win.

10:09 - Damn it. Ryan Smyth has a tap in from the top of the crease as an incredible pass was made by Jarret Stoll. Avs were caught watching the puck and forgot about the man at the back door.Game tied 1-1.

7:46 - Kings are really flying right now and the Avs can't get out of their zone. Great scoring chance by Kopitar sent just over the net.

6:40 - Skating fail by Rusty as he trips over the red line.

6:04 - Duke JUST missed Mueller cutting to the net on a back door pass!

4:40 - SoS line has the Kings pinned deep in their zone and wouldn't you know it, Stastny draws a penalty. What a great shift by this line! Hopefully the PP gets back to it's scoring ways and not a passing drill. Chris Stewart is on an 8 game point scoring streak (13 points).

2:40 - Pretty uneventful PP, not even a good scoring chance.

1:41 - Very defensive game so far, only 7 shots on goal combined, 2 went in however.

0:49 - Nice hustle play by the Kings to beat out an icing call, good thing it didn't cost us right there.

0:10 - Great save by Quick!!! Flashed that left pad out there and kept the score tied.

First Intermission - So far both teams have played a good game. Both were able to get off to great starts like they both wanted. 4 shots on goal for each team. Each team controlled play at times, but I don't think that either team was more dominating than the other. Hope that missed net by Gali doesn't come back to bite us. Found out that with their win over the Penguins, the Red Wings are now just one point behind the Avs in the standings. This game just got that much bigger! Time for an intermission protein shake. Mmmmmm, french vanilla.

SECOND PERIOD

20:00 - Game on!!

19:15 - Brad Richardson heading to the box for trying to take Adam Foote's head off. Surprised that wasn't more than 2 minutes. Need a goal here...BAD!

18:28 - Clark = CRAP on the point. Avs had great pressure in the zone on the power play and he let it get by him killing just about all momentum they had going on the PP.

17:15 - Decent chances on the power play but no goals to show for.

16:20 - Bad angle shot absolutely hand cuffed Andy and almost went in!! Wow, that's some fancy foot work by Anderson to keep that one out of the net.

14:23 And makes and absolutely RIDICULOUS blocker save without his stick!! Why the hell one of his defenseman didn't give him one of their sticks or hand him his is beyond me!! If they Kings shoot low, Andy has a helluva time controlling his rebounds. Lucky that one didn't cost us.

13:12 - Avs draw another penatly. I think it was a hook on Jeff Halpern as he hooked ORLY as he is going hard to the net. We have to cash in on at least ONE power play...right?

12:34 - Peter Mueller hustles back and makes a great defensive play as Clark gets his stick knocked out of his hands.

12:26 - Offsetting minors. Brown for the Kings for cross checking SoS and Andy for the Avs for "roughing". That gives Andy 16 PIM on the season, pretty sure that's tops in the NHL for goalies.

11:12 - More fail by the Avalanche on the "power" play.

9:04 - Avs are working pretty hard tonight so far in all zones. They have only given up 8 shots on net, for those that have watched this team a lot this year, that is almost UNHEARD OF!

7:52 - HUGE pile up in front of the net! Avs really going hard to the front of the net. Puck went into the net, but the whistle had clearly blown. Jonathan Quick had his helmet knocked off and looked like he was cut by his mouth following the pile up.

7:00 - HUGE save by Quick on a 2 on 1 with Mueller and Dutchy! Wow, he is going to be good for a long time. Drew Doughty played that as well as he could.

5:26 - Andy answers Quick's big save with a pretty big one of his own!

4:47 - Kings had too many men on the ice but the zebras failed to catch it!

4:19 - WTF?!?!. What a horrible goal by Andy. Wayne Simmonds walks out in front and sends a weak back hand through his legs. Andy definitely wants that one back. Looked like that one deflated the Avs bench. How will this team respond??

3:06 - Q tripped behind the net, you guessed it, no call.

1:59 - I am really hoping that the Avs marketing team gives up on "The Avalanche Experience" next season, what a joke of a marketing slogan.

1:29 - Wayne Simmonds called for slashing as he cut Dutchy's stick in half and looked surprised as he was going to the box. Really dude?

Second Intermission -  Avs have another 31 seconds of "power play" time when the Second 2nd starts. Another hard fought period by both teams. I think that Joe Sacco is finally getting through this team's head that playing responsible defense just might work. After 2 periods the Avs have only given up 12 shots on net. Not sure the last time that happened, but I am sure that it wasn't this season.

SECOND SECOND PERIOD

20:00 - Kings are a perfect 27-0 when heading into the final frame with the lead.

19:29 - Avs are 0-4 on the "power" play tonight.

18:43 - McNab just said that there are almost twice as many hits in this game as there are shots! (45 hits, 26 shots)

17:19 - Not much flow to the second 2nd. Kings ice the puck. Have that feeling that the Kings are going to play an absolutely suffocating style and just grind out a win.

17:02 - Icing on the Avs....zzzzzzzzzz.

15:06 - MUEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLEEEEEER!!!!! What a great shot!! Game tied 2-2. Well, that woke me up really quickly, SoS picked up ANOTHER assist. Yeah, he is definitely overpaid.

13:35 - Great shift by the Avs. That goal put a shot of energy into this team! Maybe it was Sacco's wing tip shoe...

11:59 - Wow. Dutchy is having himself some kind of game!! He was working hard behind the net, knocking down Richardson, almost a "grinder" style shift for him.

10:38 - BIG save by Quick on Foote in front of the net!!

10:05 - @#@#$@$)()*(&)(&) ANOTHER WRAP AROUND ANDY!?!?!?!?!?!?! WTF?!?!?!?! Ryan Smyth's second of the game. I'm not surprised, he used to play for us. 3-2 Kings.

9:47 - Tucker dooches it up a little and takes a penalty. Hope the team can kill the penalty...

7:47 - Big kill by the Avs! Just a second before the penalty expired, Modin just missed burying one.

6:04 - The L.A. Lumberjacks take another slashing penalty. It was Wayne Simmonds AGAIN. Joe Sacco calls timeout as this is HUGE power play for the Avs. HAVE TO HAVE ONE HERE!!

4:04 - 0 for FAIL on the power play tonight for the Avs. They have only managed a whooping 5 shots on their power plays tonight. This HAS to change.

1:43 - Wow. That 2 on 1 was just about the dagger in the heart. GREAT play by Duchene to not allow Smyth to get a stick on the puck.

1:06 - Puck out of play in the Avs defensive zone.

0:59 - Andy to the bench...

0:08 - ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!? GALIARDI!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A MOVE BY STASTNY!!!!!! That may have just saved this team's season!! OH MY GOD!!!! Mueller with another assist. Game tied 3-3!!

0:00 - OVERTIME BABY!!!!! The fact that this team was able to get AT LEAST 1 point is HUGE!

OVERTIME

5:00 - 4 on 4 for a 3 point lead on the Red Wings and a 7 point lead over the Flames....

4:15 - Very slow calculated breakout by the Kings. Trying not to turn the puck over...

3:21 - Wow. That offsides just saved Andy's life! If Modin walks into that one from there...

2:33 - What a dive by Jack Johnson!! Glad that the refs didn't but the acting job and kept the whistle in their pocket. I know the game is in Hollywood, but come on!

2:08 - Ryan Smyth is making me reaaaaaalllllllly nervous...

1:39 - Son. Of. A. Bitch. Rusty heading to the box for cross checking the hell out of somebody in front of the net. 4 on 3 coming up. Timeout Kings.

1:20 - Andy had absolutely no chance as Smyth's ass was right in his face. Joe Sacco is absolutely FURIOUS!!!!!! He is laying into the referee!

Wow. Talk about a complete roller coaster of emotions. I was up and down so many times in this game. Unfortunately it ended on quite a low. The positive is that the Avs were at least able to salvage a point out of this game. They NEED, and I mean NEED, to win on Wednesday night at the Can, if there was ever a must win this season, Wednesday is it.

Derek's Three Stars of the Game

3rd Star - Peter Mueller (1G, 1A)
2nd Star -  T.J. Galiardi (Game Tying Goal)
1st Star - Drew Doughty (Game Winning Goal)

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