Oh yeah, there was a game today.
Well tonight was a historic game for the Avalanche in the respect that it saw the debut of one Peter Mueller, who was traded to the Avalanche earlier today along with prospect Kevin Porter, for Wojtek Wolski. Fare thee well Baron von Double Dub - who will wear #86 (his birth year) for the Yotes when they play the AVS Thursday night. Looking forward to THAT game!
Back to tonight's game:
The Avalanche came out and and took an early penalty as Stastny got called for holding the stick. The Ducks didn't do much with their power play but the AVS didn't do much all period. Anaheim had some good chances for Perry and Getzlaf, but as usual, Anderson was there to make the stops.
About 12 minutes in, after a whistle, Perry fell down, frightened by a official who snuck up in his blind spot. At least the wuss has a Gold Medal.
About 3 minutes later Mcleod gets called for the hook, and Blake scores on the ensuing power play by smacking the puck into, and then under, Craig Anderson. 1-0 Ducks. The AVS are lucky to get out the the period that close as they get torched 14-2 in shots. Anderson keeps his team in the game yet again.
The second period got underway with a broken Avalanche stick which sent Bobby Ryan on a breakaway, but Anderson was there again to make a nice stop.
But a minute later, on a horrible, obvious, blown offside call, which sent the Ducks flying into the zone and going hard to the net where Selanne gets rewarded with a goal. 2-0 Anaheim.
The Avalanche respond nicely though with a power play of their own off some nice down low passing: Duchene to Stastny, across the crease to Stewart who banged it home. PP goal. 2-1 Ducks.
Then ChipChura tried to start a fight with Wilson, who for some reason skated away. Hendricks, not one to miss a scuffle, jumped in for his teammate and they each threw some punches before Hendricks wrestled Chipchura to the ice.
Then Duchene's line again created some nice chances off of their speed, but Hiller shut them down.
Those chances led to Anaheim's Mike Brown getting called for charging, sending the AVS back on the power play. Liles made a nice diving play to keep the puck alive on the PP, and then Peter Mueller was then welcomed to the team as he took Liles' diving play and sent the puck on net. It bounced off of Wisniewski and past Hiller. Tie game.
The AVS started the 3rd period finishing a power play that carried over from the second, but did nothing with the opportunity. Shortly thereafter, Blake almost scores on a nice wrap-around attempt. Anderson made a superb recovery on the play, diving across the goal mouth to stuff the puck at the post, and keeping it a close game.
After the save, Chris Stewart was the beneficiary of a friendly call as he out hustled the Ducks Steve Eminger who got called for tripping on the play. The AVS took their timeout here to draw up a sweet play: a tripping penalty on Mueller that negated the power play and resulted in 4 on 4 hockey. Brilliant! Both teams had one good chance on the 4 on 4, but nothing too threatening.
After the 4 on 4, Duchene raced into the Ducks zone and his line created a great chance that ended with the Ducks clearing the puck out of play, resulting in another Avalanche power play. Duchene continued his hard work and on the ensuing power play was rewarded. Stewart took a good slap shot that Hiller again couldn't handle. Duchene poked the rebound on goal. Hiller made the first save but Duchene stayed with it and knocked in his own rebound for his 21st goal, and 9th PP goal, of the year. More importantly, 3-2 AVS.
The Avalanche carried the momentum over and stole the puck in their own zone. Stastny took a long shot that Hiller stopped, but couldn't control as he sent the rebound into the slot where a streaking Galiardi knocked it over Hiller and into the net. Another great hustle play (everything that was missing from Monday's game). 4-2 AVS.
But the AVS got into more 3rd period penalty trouble as Durno took a bad offensive zone holding the stick penalty on an angry Scott Neidermayer. The AVS did an admirable job keeping Anaheim to the outside, but as the penalty expires, Salei gets called for a 4 minute high sticking penalty on Blake.
The next 3 minutes were all Craig Anderson. He stopped Getzlaf alone in front of the net, then Perry on a nice curl and drag through the slot, then Getzlaf again streaking down the middle and firing one just off Andy's stick. But Andy is human and when Neidermayer sent a pass to the crease it bounced in off Scott Hannan's skate. 4-3 AVS.
The AVS made some fantastic hustle plays down the stretch to negate icing calls and force Anaheim into taking a time out. It was nice to see Stoa out there in the final two minutes of a one goal game. The AVS shut down the nuetral zone and kept Anaheim to the outside for the final few minutes and hold on for the victory.
The Avalanche went 3 for 5 on the power play. Maybe Liles has something to say about that?
They stay 2 points behind Vancouver (who destroyed Detroit tonight) for the Northwest division lead.
It was nice to see Mueller get a goal in his first game with his new team. It was a power play goal, meaning he has already scored half as many PP goals as Wolski. Trade is a success! All in all, I thought Mueller played an alright game, but I didn't notice him too much out there late in the game.
There was a sweet taste of redemption to this game as the AVS blew a 2 goal lead against the Ducks back in December in Denver. So it's nice to return the favor and come back from 2 goals down against Ducks in their own building. The win ends a 5 game losing streak against the Ducks and also snaps the Ducks 11 game home win streak. This team never says die.
Mueller vs Wolski tomorrow!