DENVER, CO - MARCH 06: Goalie Matt Hackett #31 of the Minnesota Wild looks on as the Colorado Avalanche celebrate a second period goal by Mark Olver #40 of the Avalanche to give the Avalanche a 4-0 lead at the Pepsi Center on March 6, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Hackett was pulled from the game after the goal. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
A little over three minutes in, Jay McClement got the scoring going from a rebound off a shot by Cody McLeod which came from Shane O`Brien. The next five minutes were good for a nice nap, but then things got a little crazy. Jamie McGinn slamed Marco Scandella into the boards on a clean hit. Kyle Brodziak got all pissy about it, so he and McGinn threw down. Quick fight, but the resulting penalties included five for fighting to both players with an additional two minute minor and ten minute misconduct on Brodziak for instigating. That whole situation seemed to set the tone for the period as the game devolved into a bunch of goonery. Warren Peters, whether intentional or not, got away with a knee-on-knee hit on Gabriel Landeskog. Erik Johnson took exception and dropped the mitts with Peters. Landy and Jed Ortmeyer also came out of the scrum with two minutes each for roughing. After another scrum, McLeod was the lone guy sent to the box. Both teams were very chippy with lots of smack-talking and shoving to be had all around. All in all, there were nearly twice as many penalty minutes (40) as shots on goal (21) in the first.
The teams headed into the second and resumed the snorefest until McGinn opened up the flood gates with a power play goal halfway through the period. Peter Mueller did what he does and sent a shot towards McG who redirected the puck in sick fashion. Steve Downie was credited with the secondary assist. Four minutes later, Jan Hejda sent a bomb from the point past Matt Hackett to make it 3-0 with assists from Downie and Landy. Less than a minute later, Paul Stastny and Mark Olver came screaming into the offensive zone. Stastny sent the puck to Olver who was able to bat the puck into the net without ever gaining complete control. In an effort to stop his forward momentum, he went flying over Hackett, but the puck had already crossed the goal line. No interference. Good goal. Hackett pulled. 4-0.
Just a minute after that goal, Ryan O`Reilly decided to get in on the action after a bad Wild turnover generated by Downie (yes, this would be his third assist on the night) was sent to Landeskog. He slid a beauty of a pass to O'Reilly who did a little stick handling to deke replacement goalie Josh Harding out of his pants and then hit the open net. 5-0.
Four minutes and change into the third, Matt Hunwick was the victim of a super duper ticky tacky hooking call as he was coming back to stop a Devin Setoguchi breakaway. Seto was awarded the penalty shot, which he netted to end the shut out bid. Lots of folks up in arms about that one until reality hit everyone hard. Matt Duchene went down awkwardly as an opposing player got his stick caught up in Dutchene's skates. He was clearly in a lot of pain, and no one was sure at the time if it was his ankle or his knee that was injured. He was helped off the ice, unable to put any weight on his right foot. News came in about a half-hour after the game that it was, in fact, his ankle. More will be known tomorrow about how serious it is, but my bet is he's out for at least the rest of the regular season.
MHH Best 19 Avs of the Night
- 1 Steve Downie: 3 assists
- 2 Jan Hejda, Jamie McGinn, David Jones, Cody McLeod: 1 goal, 1 assist (yes, each)
- 3 Gabriel Landeskog, Shane O'Brien: 2 assists each
- 4 Everyone else
- 1 Landeskog - O'Reilly - Downie
- 2 McGinn - Stastny - Jones
- 3 Mueller - Duchene - Olver
- 4 McLeod - McClement - Hejduk
- 1 O'Brien - Johnson
- 2 Hejda - Wilson
- 3 Hunwick - Elliott
- 1 Jamie McGinn recorded a Gordie Howe hat trick.
- 2 Gabriel Landeskog tied Adam Henrique for the rookie scoring lead at 43 points.
- 3 7 different players scored goals and 13 players each recorded at least a point; in the second, the Avs scored 4 goals in 5 minutes and 41 seconds.
- 4 The Wild have been outscored 24-5 in the past 5 games
- 5 With all the non-help the Avs got tonight,
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
The Avalanche travel to Nashville to face the 5th place Predators.