The Sens scored a little over two minutes in on a bad Avs defensive breakdown. Erik Karlsson waltzed down the slot and sent a laser shot past Anderson, top corner. But then motherf*cking Galiardicus decided to let the Pepsi Center know he was back. T.J. Galiradi first drove the net, roughed up Brian Elliott a bit and pulled defenders out of position. Kevin Shattenkirk got it along the blueline and immediately sent a perfect shot towards the net which Galiardi tipped in. However, the Sens came right back when Matt Hunwick gave it away to Ryan Shannon. Shannon drew Hunwick, Craig Anderson, and Adam Foote's attention before passing it to Milan Michalek for the easy tap in. The Avs got one great chance to tie it up when Shattenkirk backhanded the puck to the net, Elliott knocked out a juicy rebound for Ryan O'Reilly but managed to recover in time to make a nice save. Both teams got power plays late but wasted them. Overall, it was a pretty slow-going even period with the goals coming off defensive mistakes. Shots at the end of one 7 to 5 in favor of the Sens.
The first ten minutes of this period were kind of blah. The Avs had a couple of good chances, Greg Mauldin's breakaway being the best and the Sens had a couple of good chances including a power play. The Avs didn't really get anything going until after Joe Sacco called a timeout. He soon sent out Matt Duchene to skate with Phillippe Dupuis and Cody McLeod. They generated some good pressure and thanks to a little help from a nice John-Michael Liles wrister, McLeod knocked in his forth of the season. The Sens quickly took the lead again when goon defenseman Matt Clarkner scored his first of the season, a slapper that beat Anderson shortside. John-Michael Liles drew two penalties in a goddamn row to give the Avs a minute and a half 5 on 3. JML put it on net and Duchene collected th puck at the side of the net and roofed it. The Sens almost took another lead shorthanded but Jason Spezza lost the puck after dekeing the hell out of Andy. Shots at the end of two, 21-18 in favor of the Sens.
The Avs took their first lead of the game a couple minutes into the third period when Dupuis threw the puck to the front of the net and both Kevin Porter and Brandon Yip took swings at it until it went in with
Yip Porter eventually getting credit for the goal. Then the Sens got a 5 on 3 of their own and tied it up on a scramble in front of the net, Alex Kovalev Spezza getting credit for it. The teams settled down after that, both waiting for the other team to make a mistake. It was the Avs who made one first. Nick Foligno picked off a pass and rushed the zone with Daniel Alfredsson, only poor ineffectual back to defend. Foligno passed it easily to Alfie who scored easily despite Anderson stacking the pads old school. The Avs came back again though with O'Reilly continuing to regain his offensive touch. He rushed the zone with Daniel Winnik and picked the far corner with a very nice shot. Regulation ended in a tie. Both teams were flying in OT trying to get the winning goal but it was eventually Duchene who got the winner. He flew in from center ice, blasted by the Sens defenders and ripped it into the net. God damn that was an entertaining game.
- I mentioned that Liles should be wearing an A while Foote was out a while ago and now with both Stastny and Hejduk out he got the chance. In response, he had one of his best games in one of his best seasons.
- Duchene is a monster. With Stewart, Stastny and Hejduk out, the spotlight was squarely on his shoulders and he delivered. His linemates were less than stellar though. David Jones has been invisible the last few games.
- Spezza proved Mark Rycroft's statement calling him a 'wimp' absolutely true. Besides the almost shortie, the only time I noticed him all night was when he laid a sneaky elbow on Dupuis during a scrum after the whistle.
- I am not a fan of Hunwick. He's not atrocious but he doesn't seem to add anything.
- Another showcase of the Avs scoring talent but Brian Engblom is right when he says the Avs have to work on their defense or it'll come back to haunt them.
- Do the Avs have the best scouts or what? Hundreds of man games lost to injury this season and still the most goals per game of any team in the league.
- Fleischmann, Duchene, Jones
- Porter, Galiardi, Yip
- Mauldin, O'Reilly, Winnik
- McLeod, Dupuis, Koci
- O'Byrne, Liles
- Shattenkirk, Wilson
- Hunwick, Foote
The Avs face Montreal on Sunday. The Habs are pretty damn good this year thanks in large part to Carey Price. Should be a good one.