It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but the sun shines brighter in Denver.
FIRST PERIOD: The Flyers lived up to their name to start the game as wave after wave of orange and white crashed into the Avs zone creating havoc. That pressure led to an early test for the Avalanche Penalty Kill (Stastny, hooking) as they killed off a threatening Philly powerplay that generated some pretty passing (Jagr) and decent scoring opportunities, but no goals.
The Avs had a few chances in the first, mainly a scoreless powerplay and a rush spurred by Elliot's speed which created a 2-on-1, but Coburn made a great play from his belly to break up Elliot's pass to Winnik. Porter and Brophey also took off on an odd-man rush of their own, but again, the Avs couldn't get the pass through the Flyers D to the open man.
With just over 2 minutes left in the period, an errant stick by Landeskog caught the face of Kimmo Timonen and gave the Flyers a 4 minute powerplay - apparently Finnish blood is clear because I couldn't see where that extra 2 minutes came from. The Avs couldn't keep the high scoring Flyers at bay and Jagr and Voracek made some slick passes to set up Hartnell with a wide open net. 1-0 Philadelphia.
SECOND PERIOD: The Avalanche changed up lines in the second resulting in several strong shifts in the attacking zone and earning the home team their 2nd powerplay of the night. Philly blocked all 3,642 shots the Avs threw toward the net on the PP to keep the Avs scoreless. The goose egg wouldn't last the whole night though as Johnson made a nice play to get the puck deep in the Flyers' zone and follow it in. The Avs then displayed some skill with Johnson finding O'Brien back at the point with a sweet pass from the boards, O'Brien smartly sending the puck back down to Landeskog streaking across the front of the net, culminating with Landeskog burying a backhander past Bryzgalov. The rookie's first tally at Pepsi Center ties the game at 1.
With just 43 seconds left in the middle frame, the Avs caught a lucky bounce when Brad Malone's pass back to the point redirected off at least two skates and into the net. Galiardi was credited with the ugly tally, and the Avs took a one goal lead into the third period, leading 2-1.
THIRD PERIOD: About midway through the third, while on the penalty kill, the Avs registered their third 2-on-1 of the game without a shot. Credit (and blame) the Philly defense for not giving the Avs many options (but also for giving up multiple odd man rushes). The penalty kill seemed to give the Avs a spark and they began to be more aggressive and not just sit back with the narrow lead. The Flyers never got remotely close to generating anything dangerous until the final 20 seconds, with Bryzgalov pulled, when everyone lost track of the puck down low with the exception of the opportunistic Danny Briere who found the puck amidst the chaos and tucked it home from behind the net. Game tied 2-2 and the Avs allow another late game-tying goal. So we're headed to overtime.
OVERTIME: Matching minors at the end of the third carried over to the extra frame resulting in some roomy 3-on-3 hockey. O'Brien probably had the Avs best chance in OT as he rushed up ice on and got a surprising shot off that Bryzgalov blockered away. Neither team could find a hero in OT so we go to the shootout.
SHOOTOUT: Hejduk: GOAL! Briere: GOAL. Duchene: GOAL! Van Reimsdyk: GOAL. O'Reilly: GOAL! Read: OFF THE CROSSBAR. Avs win 3-2 to improve to 6-0 in the shootout.
MHH Avalanche 3 Stars of the Night
- JS Giguere - 31 saves (he just earned another start)
- Landeskog - 1 goal, 4 shots, 3 hits
T.J. Galiardi - 1 goal
- LANDESKOG - O'REILLY - HEJDUK
- DUCHENE - STASTNY - WINNIK
- MCLEOD - BROPHEY - PORTER
- MALONE - MCCLEMENT - GALIARDI
- JOHNSON - O'BRIEN
- HEJDA - O'BYRNE
- ELLIOT - HUNWICK
- The Avs have quietly turned their early season home woes around to compile a current 6-0 run at home.
- Landeskog's goal was his first in 19 games.
- I know Matt Duchene scored a fantastic goal 5-hole in the shootout, but otherwise he was fairly invisible tonight.
- Mike Haynes on Jaromir Jagr, "he just bends over a little bit and you can't reach around him!" ......There's probably a better (and less excited) way to say that.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights