It was a game of redemption.
Marek Svatos took two momentum killing penalties (one leading to the first Edmonton goal), prompting the Joel Quenneville WTF face from Tony Granato. But his amazing one-on-four deke with 25 seconds remaining drew a critical penalty to put the Avs on a 5-on-3.
Darcy Tucker also took a boneheaded penalty (3 of the 4 penalties on the Avs tonight were offensive zone penalties), but made up for it when he deflected Jordan Leopold's point shot past an enraged Dwayne Roloson for the game tying goal. A little later, he was the improbable hero after scoring the winner in the shootout.
Ryan Smyth has struggled against his former team, but was one of the best players on the ice tonight. In the first period he scored what I believe is his first goal against Edmonton (too lazy to look that up, so sorry if I have that wrong). And he completely unraveled Roloson late in the game. Roloson was so focused on trying to punish Smyth and Tucker in the crease that he botched Tucker's tying goal. It was a good deflection, but Roloson was out of position and that's because of Smyth. If I'm not mistaken, Smyth has caused Roloson to melt down in previous games; perhaps Edmonton should go with one of their other goalies against the Avs.
Peter Budaj was, once again, sensational. For the 3rd straight game, he got better as the game progressed (this will be the subject of my next MHH article). As of this morning, the official scoresheet has him as the 2nd star behind Roloson, which, of course, is complete crap. But during the broadcast, I believe the listed Budaj as the first star, so I'm hoping that's just an error.
And Brett Clark and Jordan Leopold both had some cringe-worthy giveaways at critical junctures in the 3rd period. Clark saved his own bacon on one of his, when he literally passed the puck to Shawn Horcoff in front of an empty net. Luckily, he was able to block Horcoff's shot with the skate, keeping the Avs in the game and giving them a chance to tie it a few seconds later...on Leopold's point shot.
Two guys that didn't find redemption:
David Jones, playing on the 4th line, had a big defensive miscue early in the game leading to a scoring chance and then got caught out of position and couldn't stop Tom Gilbert's pass to Robert Nilsson on the first Edmonto goal. Jones didn't play well, and didn't play much. He rode the pine throughout the 3rd period and in OT.
TJ Hensick also had a poor game, after 3 very good ones. Like Svatos, his penalty in the 2nd period killed some major momentum the Avs were building at the time. He was missing passes all over the place and for the 3rd straight game he got killed in the faceoff circle. It's telling that he was not used in the shootout but Tucker and Smyth were...