Colorado Avalanche "Must Win" against the New York Islanders Was Won. Final score 4-3 (OT).

The Colorado Avalanche enter this game unbeaten by any Eastern team, before the game J.S. Giguere said that this was a "must win" for the team. Before the game started, however, the Avs honored veterans before the game and had a touching small tribute video.

The First Period

The game starts and for the first few minutes it's a give-and-go. Neither team is dominating the other, almost 6 minutes into the first period, the first infraction is called. O`Brien goes off for slashing, but then the referees start conversing and go to the phones, the cameras pan to the Avalanche bench and we are treated to a very bloody Cody McLeod. Just before the O`Brien penalty McLeod got high-sticked by MacDonald. As McLeod was being stitched up on the bench, the refs were trying to figure it all out. In the end, O`Brien was in the box for the Avs, MacDonald and Parenteau were both in the box for the Islanders. Instead of going 4 on 4, it's a regular power play for the Avalanche. After all that, the Avs were only able to get two shots on net, neither of which beat Montoya.

A couple minutes later O`Brien gets tripped and so ex-Avs Brian Rolston heads to the sin bin for two minutes. On this power play chance, the Avs get one in, but it's a no-goal because the refs whistled the play dead, even though Montoya never had full control of the puck. After three shots on net, and one close call, the Avs are unable to convert on this man-advantage either. The game is still tied at zero.

Galiardi gets the puck, and a 4 on 2, but on the play he crashes into the goalie and has to go to the penalty box for goalie interference. During this penalty kill the Avalanche had a great chance with Kobasew and Winnik taking the puck hard to the net, Winnik fed the puck to Kobasew who misses, but Winnik grabbed it and shot it but his shot hit the pole. After the puck goes back into play, Josh Bailey wins the face off, then plants himself in front of the net. No one in burgundy challenged him for the space and he was able to tip-in in a Streit's shot and put the Islanders up 1-0 with 4:18 left in the first.

Ryan Wilson was throwing his body around this game, and he got a huge hit on Tavares. Matt Martin did not like that and went to wrestle with Wilson. No punches were really thrown, but it was enough to get fighting penalties. WIlson also got a cross-checking penalty and Martin got an instigator penalty and a instigator misconduct. So all the penalties matched, but Martin would serve extra, un-penalized, time in the box.

After the first, the Avalanche are leading the shots, hits and face/offs, but the Islanders have the lead where it counts, on the scoreboard.

The Second Period

Almost immediately after the second period starts the Islanders score again, in fact the Curse of the Ex-Av strikes again. Brian Rolston puts the puck behind Guiguere to put the Islanders up 2-0. 

In what was one of the odder moments of the night, David Jones took exception to a hit by Steve Staios and decided to drop the gloves with him. It ends with Jones on top of Staios. This was Jones' first NHL fight. Staios also got a cross-cheching penalty on the play, which was served, again, by Parenteau.

After yet another unsuccessful power play, Sacco starts playing around with the lines. The Avalanche are letting the Islanders dominate the play and get a lot of chances because of breakdowns in their plays. Sacco uses his timeout with 14:38 left in the second period, trying to get something going for this team. But he didn't appear to say much.

A couple of minutes later, and another breakdown, the Islanders have a 2 on 1 developing, O`Byrne catches up to the breakaway, but misses blocking the shot which was able to beat Giguere. The Isles are now up 3-0 on the Colorado Avalanche.

With a little under five minutes left in the second the Avalanche appeared to have finally scored, but the puck never crossed the line because Montoya threw his stick, which isn't allowed, but the Islanders get away with it. The Avalanche are trying, they just aren't able to get anything past the goalie, and the refs are blowing the puck dead fairly quickly.

Landeskog gets a penalty for retaliating to Montoya mounting his leg, which is quickly followed by a penalty to Matt Moulson for high-sticking. Then, Duchene draws a penalty and Pandolfo joins Moulson in the box. On the 4 on 3 Paul Stastny was able to finally beat Montoya and get the Avs on the board. This was a great play by Quincey, who was doing all the little things right this game, and the first power play goal for Quincey this year. With time remaining on the power play, the Avs head to the lockerroom down 3-1.

The Third Period

It's a different Avalanche team that takes to the ice in the third, and Landeskog is getting feisty. Taking a page out of Wilson's book he lands a massive hit. The Avalanche are sustaining pressure and are able to once again score. Milan Hejduk was the one to be able to beat Montoya.

With 10:37 left in the game, there was a scary moment when Giguere received a puck to the throat, he received some medical attention on the ice, but being the tough man that he is, stays in the game. And, boy, is it ever a good thing he did. He made some very key saves in the following ten minutes.

Shortly after Giggy got medical attention, Jan Hejda was able to get onto the score sheet to tie up the game at three. He made his first goal in an Avalanche uniform count. The Avs look revitalized.

Eight minutes later, with a just under a minute and a half left in the third, the Avs appeared to have scored the go-ahead goal, but Winnik got nudged into the goalie, who was out of the blue paint, and it was not only ruled a no-goal, it was deemed to be a penalty and Winnik was off to the box.

With the game on the line, Giguere stepped up to the challenge, making fantastic saves, including one right at the buzzer to bring the game into overtime.

 

Overtime

The overtime starts with the Avalanche short handed 4 on 3 for 16 seconds. The Avalanche were able to kill it, and then get a 2 on 1 going, but it was from a hand pass so it was a no-go. Duchene gets a breakaway, Montoya stops it and loses his stick, so he grabbed Hejduk's stick as a replacement, this wasn't called as a penalty. However, the Avs got a penalty moments later for high-sticking. The Avalanche were able to convert on this power play with a goal by Quincey.  The Avalanche losing streak is over, even if it was in overtime.

 

MHH Avalanche 3 Stars of the Night

 

Lines

 

Quick Hits

 

  • 1 David Jones almost got a Gordie Howe hat trick, but the goal was given to Quincey.
  • 2 Erik Johnson was sporting the rotating "A".
  • 3 The Avalanche are still unbeaten against Eastern teams.

NHL.com Recap & Highlights

 

NHL.com recap

Game Summary

Event Summary

 

 


Next Up

 

Calgary, again. This time Saturday night. It'll be on Hockey Night in Canada for the Canadian folks and some Avs will be featured on After Hours if you want to get your questions in for them. Giggy is one of the players.

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