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Game 45: Avalanche 4, Panthers 3 (SO)

photo courtesy of Luis Alvarez/AP

Despite blowing a one-goal lead three times, once in each period, the Colorado Avalanche still managed to win 4-3 against the Florida Panthers, but it took a heroic shootout goal by Milan Hejduk to seal the deal.

Back-to-back road wins have never felt this good.  With just one more game to play in a five-game road trip, the Avs are now 2-2.  

The offense is once again showing some life, with Andrew Brunette finally taking control in the absence of Joe Sakic as a leader of the team.  He scored two goals.  Marek Svatos added another highlight to his phenomenal road trip performance by scoring in the second period on the power play.  No kidding.  Svatos now has 20 goals on the season and seven in his last six games.

The defense is also finally starting to contribute to the offense, with Jordan Leopold, John-Michael Liles and Jeff Finger all adding assists.

Despite allowing tying goals three times in the game, Jose Theodore still didn't suck at all, making 30 total saves and proving once again that he's one of the very best goalies in the league when it comes to shootouts.  He's nearly impossible to beat.  And his solid performance suggests that we'll be seeing him in goal for at least a few more games---until his eventual meltdown, of course.

Noteworthy from the game last night was the scrappy first period.  Cody McLeod and Nathan Horton went at it after just 49 seconds had elapsed, resulting in double minors for roughing for both.  At 10:47, Ian Laperriere tangled with Steve Montador.  By tangled I mean actually tangled, because the two pretty much just bear-hugged each other and then fell to the ice.  Yawn.  Then, two minutes later, Brett Clark put his stick in the face of Olli Jokinen but the refs failed to call a penalty.  Understandably angry, Jokinen went after Clark and the two tussled but pretty much just fell down like the earlier Lappy/Montador scrap.  Not too much to write home (or on a blog) about, but it's good to see the Avs showing some fight (literally).

Strangely, Scott Parker got called for roughing in the third period but didn't really fight anybody.  More than five minutes of ice time and only two minutes in the box.  What a disappointing outing for him!

The next game is tomorrow night against Tampa Bay, and they suck even worse than the Panthers.  Man the Southeast is a lousy conference.  

Stars of the Game:

  1. Milan Hejduk (0g, 1a)
  1. Andrew Brunette (2g, 0a)
  1. David Booth (1g, 0a)