Feb 25, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly (37) and right wing Steve Downie (right) celebrate the goal of left wing Gabriel Landeskog (not pictured) during the second period against the Detroit Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-US PRESSWIRE
Just 1:35 into the fray, a pair of fresh 27s found themselves on the ice. Steve Downie took the puck in alone on Jimmy Howard and patiently passed up the shot as Howard had things covered. The Avs #27 took the puck behind the net where his pass out to the point deflected into the slot. Landeskog beat three Red Wings - one with a 27 on his back - finding the puck and immediately pounding it home. Steve Downie +1, 1 assist. Quincey -1.
The Wings found themselves on a powerplay just seconds after the early goal because of a Mark Olver goalie interference penalty. As Quincey brought the puck from behind his net on said man advantage, Kobasew lost an edge and fell to the ice, tripping Quincey. Momentum kept the puck moving forward right onto David Jones' hot stick and the good doctor burned a wicked wrister past Howard's glove for a short handed tally. 2-0 Avs. Side bar fun fact: a few seasons back, Kobasew (then a member of the Wild or Bruins, I don't recollect) inadvertently fell on Jones' leg, knocking him out for the season. Tonight, Kobasew lost his balance yet again, this time knocking down Quincey, resulting in David Jones goal. Moral of the story: Kobasew's fall.
The Avs had a brilliant opportunity about midway through the period as O'Reilly and Landeskog executed a great 2-on-1, but Landy got jammed and Howard was able to make a couple saves. The Avs enjoyed a couple powerplays to try to put Detroit down 3-0, but couldn't get 'er done. Period ends with the road warriors up 2-0.
For the second game in a row the Avs were called for a ghost penalty. Olver was whistled for high-sticking in the offensive zone. I watched the replay a few times but never saw a high stick. Can anybody shed some light, or am I right in assuming that was a horrible call? Karma came through though and the Avs killed the "penalty".
The Avs did make it 3-0 with just over 6 to play in the second on Landeskog's 2nd of the night. Landeskog is amazing. We've raved about being impressed with his play all season, but he is finding another level lately. HE'S ALWAYS IN THE RIGHT SPOT. It's uncanny. That spot in this instance was the slot. Landy took a shot from the blueline and all the guys in red got caught up watching Downie and O'Reilly work behind the net. Landeskog strolled in behind them and O'Reilly found the rookie for his 7th goal in 9 games.
The Red Wings opened the third with a powerplay goal to cut the Avs lead 3-1. For the first 45 minutes, the Avs did not look like a team that played the night before. They were tenacious and all over the Wings. And just when it looked like their legs were stating to get fatigued, Wilson connects with Downie on a simply perfect pass that pulled Jimmy Howard out to the edge of his blue paint and Downie slammed the puck home for his second goal in as many games. Wilson wasn't done there though as he beat the shit outta Abdelkader with about 8 minutes left in the game. Awesome.
The Wings tacked on two more goals in the final 6 minutes, but who cares. They lost. Avs win.
MHH Best Four Avs of the Night
- Landeskog - I penciled him as the first star in the second period. 2 G, 5 Hits, 6 Shots, +3
- Downie - 1 Goal (GW), 2 Assists, 3 points (5 points in 3 games with Avs)
- Ryan Wilson - 1 Assist, +3, a beat down, and set up Landy's 2nd goal even though the scoresheet doesn't reflect it
- Landeskog - O'Reilly - Downie
- Galiardi - Stastny - Duchene
- Winnik - Olver - Jones
- McLeod - McClement - Kobasew
- Johnson - O'Brien
- Hejda - Wilson
- Hunwick - Elliot
- Landeskog missed his first career hat trick by about 1 second as his empty net goal crossed the line after the buzzer.
- Galiardi showed some rust looking a bit lost, slow, and weak in his first game back. Where art thou Galiardicus?
- Stefan Elliot took a puck in the face, finished his shift, then left the game. He returned to the bench in the third wearing a full cage but did not play. Good soldier.
- Hejduk missed the game with an injury. The Wings were without Datsyuk who was out with a boo-boo on his knee.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
The Avalanche return home to take on the Ducks Monday the 27th at 7pm. The Avs have notched at least a point in 8 of their last 10 games, totaling 14 out of a possible 20 points. Anaheim is one of the hotter teams of late and are right on Colorado's heels, so a regulation win would be the suggested course of action. Go Avs.