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Game 46: Avalanche 3, Lightning 0

And just like that, the Colorado Avalanche have won three games in a row, all on the road.  Sure, those three wins came against lackluster Southeast Division teams, but three wins is six points, and the Avs will take every one of them.

Getting a shutout last night probably couldn't have come at a better time for a number of reasons.  Let me name them:

  1.  If it's true that the Avs are indeed shopping Jose Theodore around by playing him in every single game on the road, his three consecutive wins and shutout last night were perfectly timed.  Nobody needs a goalie as bad as the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Theo made a great case why he could be both a source of solidity in net as well as a bit of salary cap relief if traded for.  What better place to send him than Tampa if it meant somebody like Vincent Lecavalier came the other way?  Just a thought...
  1.  No other Northwest Division team won last night.  Vancouver lost to Columbus.  Calgary lost to Nashville.  Edmonton lost to Los Angeles.  Minnesota didn't play.  Just like that, the Avs are now right back into contention in the division, in third place just one point behind the co-leading Canucks and Wild.
  1.  Theodore's shutout (his first in four seasons and the team's first of the year) is further testament that playing just one goalie---any goalie---on a consistent basis is better than constantly rotating them.  

Despite getting off to a slow start with a boring first period (minus the first two minutes that saw both Lappy and Cody McLeod get in fights), the Avs turned up the heat in the second by scoring two power play goals.  Holy shit!  That's right, TWO power play goals.  First Jeff Finger scored from the point, then Paul Stastny added his own tally a while later.  

No other goals were scored until late in the third period when Milan Hejduk found the back of the empty Lightning net and sealed the deal.  No that the Lightning didn't try, though.  They made 22 shots on goal in the final frame, far more than the three they took the period before.  Jose Theodore stopped all of them with relative ease.

All-in-all, the Avs' defense was strong, the offense was strong and the goaltending was strong.  Sure, they were playing one of the worst teams in the league, but Colorado has lost to Los Angeles this year already, so it's not like last night's win was a sure-thing.

Now the Avs head home for a much-deserved rest before facing Chicago on Friday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Stars of the Game:

  1. Jose Theodore (32sv, 1.000)
  1. Paul Stastny (1g, 1a)
  1. Jeff Finger (1g, 0a)