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Game 57: Ducks 2, Avalanche 1

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His name is Samuel Pahlsson.  His name is Samuel Pahlsson.  His name is Samuel Pahlsson.

Leave it to the Avalanche to get beat by a forward known more for his defensive prowess than his offensive skills.  Pahlsson scored a late third period goal to lead the Anaheim Ducks to their fifth win in a row, 2-1 over the Avs.

The Avs also gave up a goal to a former member of the team, a recurring theme this season, when Teemu Selanne scored with a wicked wrister over the glove hand of Jose Theodore early in the second period.  Theodore left a huge gap between his right shoulder and the near post, and you just can't leave that much space to a guy like Selanne, one of the best goal-scorers in NHL history.  It was Selanne's first goal since returning to the NHL five games ago after taking a sabbatical during most of the season.  

Theodore didn't make many other mistakes, though, and had another strong game overall.  He stopped 27 of 29 shots and lost the game because the Avalanche offense fell apart, not because of a poor showing in net.

In a bizarre twist of fate, the Avs are now losing games at home and winning on the road.  It's a good thing, too, because the entire last week of February will be spent away from the Pepsi Center.

In injury news, things just get worse and worse.  Cody McCormick was out because of a bruised chest (according to the AP recap) which means he has a broken leg.  Scott Parker missed the game (and a sure fight with George Parros) due to the flu, which means he has a ruptured spleen.  Brett Clark went down during the game with what appears to be some kind of shoulder injury, but as of right this second, the severity is unknown.  Coach Q thinks it's bad:

The outlook for Clark, Quenneville said, is "probably not good. We'll know more (today)."

No doubt Clark has a brain tumor.  You can never be too sure with the Avalanche medical team.

The good news is that Ryan Smyth is expected to return to the lineup any second.  No doubt he won't actually play in a game until April, the way things have been going.

Man, I bet I seem cynical.

The next game is tomorrow against the Blues, who finally won a game by beating the lowly Kings last night.  Hopefully Manny Legace's strange Avalanche mind-control powers don't return.

Stars of the Game:

  1. Jean-Sebastian Giguere (32sv, .972)
  1. Samuel Pahlsson (1g, 0a)
  1. Jose Theodore (27sv, .931)