Game 42: Islanders 4, Avalanche 3 OT

The Avs, obviously frustrated about last game, came out hard. Milan Hejduk opened the scoring, snapping home a rebound after T.J. Galiardi tipped Adam Foote's shot on net. A minute later, Ryan O'Byrne took a shot from the point that bounced in off of David Koci's knee. Two goals in less than two minutes to start the game on a goalie getting his first NHL start. Should be an easy win, right? Of course not. The Islanders started to put on some pressure and were helped out be a couple of whistle happy refs. On the Islander's first power play, Peter McNab mentioned that Avs penalty kill problems were over. Cue the Islanders scoring on the power play all damn night. Jeremy Colliton scored his first goal of the season, gathering up a loose puck and sliding it in. The Avs got the next power play but were only on it for four seconds before Jones took another penalty. The Avs managed to kill off the ensuing four second power play for the Isles but Hunwick quickly took another. Blake Comeau took a slap shot from the top of the circle that blew by Craig Anderson and into the far corner. Second power play goal for the Isles, tie game. The Avs, mostly Ryan O'Reilly's line, turned on the pressure to end the period but Kevin Poulin kept his cool and kept the puck out of the net. Fairly impressive for giving up two goals in the first two minutes of his first NHL start.

Hoo boy. The Avs come out looking a little down and O'Reilly takes kind of a bogus penalty and the Islanders capitalize again. Foote and Ryan Wilson got out of position, leaving Colliton alone in front of the net. He out waited Anderson and snapped in an easy one. Joe Sacco called a smart timeout after this. The Avs controlled the play through the rest of the period as the Islanders were content to sit back and clog the neutral zone. The Avs did have a few good scoring chances, mostly coming from the third and forth line. Koci had his best shift as an Av and came close to scoring his second of the game. For the most part though, the Isles tactic of slowing down the Avs worked well and Poulin was good when he had to be. Made for a boring period.

The third period picked up just where the the second left off. The Islanders sat back and played defensive hockey against the Avs who had problems getting anything going. The Avs did have a burst about five minutes into the period and managed to draw a power play which they looked pretty good on. Poulin was strong again though and the Avs didn't manage to score. As the period wound down, the Avs started to look pretty tired. Sacco had the top two lines as well as John-Michael Liles, Matt Hunwick and Kevin Shattenkirk out quite bit during the period. The Isles started to get some chances including a 2 on 1 in which John Tavares was stoned by Anderson. Sacco pulled Anderson with nearly two minutes to go but it looked like the Avs were gonna fall in regulation until Kevin Porter made one of the best plays of the game and successfully carried the puck end to end and around the back of the net. He slid it to Shattenkirk for a one-timer which bounced around in front of the net to Hejduk who backhanded it in with four seconds left. Lucky.

The Avs got one point out of this game but it wasn't hard to see that they were going to have problems in over time. Tavares schooled Shattenkirk and Anderson to score the game winner.

Game Notes:

  • Despite getting a point Shattenkirk had a rough game. I noticed that he played a lot better when he was out with JML instead of Hunwick.
  • ROB and Koci both played some of their best hockey for the Avs.
  • Why won't the Altiboobs shut the hell up about the Avs penalty kill?
  • Third line should have been out more in the third.

Lines

 

  • Galiardi, Stastny, Hejduk
  • Fleischmann, Duchene, Jones
  • Winnik, O'Reilly,Yip
  • Koci, Dupuis, Porter
  • Liles,O'Byrne
  • Shattenkirk, Hunwick
  • Wilson, Foote

Highlights

 


 

Next Up

Avs take on Detroit on Monday. Joy.

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