Well Mr. Anderson, there wasn't much more that you could have done. You stood on your head, sprawled on your back, but it still wasn't enough on this night. A bad bounce. A rebound your team couldn't clear ended up in the net for the game winner. All this equals you being on the losing end.
Neither team wasted anytime getting on the scoreboard tonight. I honestly saw this type of game coming. After one of the most boring games I have ever watched, and most of the Avs have played in, I knew that the Avs were going to come out and get the offensive game going.
This also didn't look like the Dallas team that played the other night in Denver. This team came out with lots of energy and dictating the play. Just under 4 minutes into the 1st period, Jaime Benn tipped a hard shot by Steve Ott just over the outstretched pad of Craig Anderson. That was Benn's 10th goal of the season.
Then, just 36 seconds later, Das Wunder-Kind, Matt Duchene used his explosive speed to knife through 3 Dallas defensemen and fire an absolutely perfect wrist shot past Alex Auld for his 17th goal of the year, tying him with Chris Stewart for the team lead in goals. Again, this is the kind of play that is going to continue to make him a huge part of this franchise for a very long time. Pierre Lacroix willing of course.
Less than five minutes later the all-time leading U.S. born scorer cashed in on a MIRACLE centering pass. The Avs got a little unlucky on the play as it was deflected in off the leg of Kyle Cumiskey. It was Mike Modano's 11th of the season. In probably one of the few mistakes Andy has made in the last several games, his indecision directly lead to this one going in.
As the second period started I knew that it wasn't going to be as nearly wide open as the first. There is just no way that the players would make it the end of the game after playing in back to back games plus a 5 hour flight into Dallas. So the Avs came out playing a more calculated game and picking their spots for the defenseman to jump up. As a matter of fact, Coach Sacco agreed as he had Liles take a few shifts as a left winger in the second.
That calculated effort paid off for the Avs. At 10:56 of the 2nd period, T.J. Galiardi floated a puck over the outstretched out Alex Auld for his 8th goal of the season. Leading up to the goal, the Avs were really pushing the play and forcing the Stars to try and chip pucks out. There were a couple stretches were the Avs had solid pressure and were really cycling the puck and held Dallas in their zone for several minutes.
Going into the 3rd period, I was really looking forward to seeing how the players were going to come out.
The Avs came into 3rd needing to get off to a good start and come out and get the early lead. That didn't happen. Instead the Stars were the ones that came out with a flurry on their home ice. They didn't really have a whole lot of long term, sustained pressure. Instead it was a lot of quick strikes, throwing pucks at the net and then swarming for rebounds. It worked.
Mike Modano scored his 2nd goal of the game and 12th of the season off a point shot. Andy stopped the first shot, the second one was blocked, then the third shot was slammed home by Modano. I don't care what team is facing the Avs, if you give them 3 shots in close, they are going to bury them.
Overall, I would say that this one stings a lot more than loss against the Wild. They had a couple bad bounces go against them and couldn't recover.
Derek's Three Stars:
3rd Star: Craig Anderson - 28 saves
2nd Star: Matt Duchene - 1G, 1A
1st Star: Mike Modano - 2G