Hockey is a funny sport. On Friday, the Avalanche outshot the Edmonton Oilers 41-19 and lost. Tonight, the Avalanche were outshot 32-16 by the LA Kings. Well, Corsi be damned, the Avalanche made the most of those 16 shots and ended up winning 3-2, winning their first home game of the season and sending the Kings to their first regulation road loss of the season.
This game was mostly about special teams, as there was only one even strength goal on the evening. With Jan Hejda in the box early in the 1st period, Gabriel Landeskog sprung Chuck Kobasew up the right wing boards. Kobasew drew Jonathan Quick out of his net and then zipped in for an NHL '93 wraparound into an empty net. Unfortunately, the Kings - still on the powerplay - tied it up 27 seconds later when Scott Parse batted a puck out of the air past Semyon Varlamov.
The second period had a decided Kings tilt, but the Avalanche scored a fluky one with Parse in the box. David Jones dumped the puck in along the left wing boards and Quick skated behind to play it. Fortunately for the Avs, the puck took one of those funny Pepsi Center bounces and ended up on Milan Hejduk's stick in front of a wide open net. Quick and a defensemen scrambled in front, but Hejduk couldn't be denied.
The Avs held the lead until late in the 2nd period. With Shane O'Brien already in the box, Jan Hejda took an ill-advised holding penalty to put the Avalanche down two men. The Kings capitalized. Varlamov stopped Drew Doughty's point shot and Dustin Brown's rebound, but rebound #2 went right to Anze Kopitar's stick and Varlamov had no chance.
The game was tied at 2, but didn't stay that way for long. Early in the 3rd period, the somewhat-maligned Matt Duchene jumped on a loose puck in the neutral zone and FLEW into the Kings zone before rifling a bullet through Doughty's legs and over Quick's glove into the far top corner. It was a beautiful play to watch and a gorgeous shot. And, it moves Duchene him to 6 points on the year; can we stop with the ridiculous trade talk for a while now, please?
That goal seemed to kill the King's drive on the night; they never really got a ton going after that - even on a late 6-on-4 PP (thanks to a really dumb tripping penalty by Dan Winnik). I personally didn't think the game was as one-sided as the shot totals reflected, but I have a feeling my opinion won't be shared by everyone. At any rate, the Avalanche were due to get some good bounces and got them tonight. It's a big win for the Avs and probably an even bigger goal for Matt Duchene.
MHH Avalanche 3 Stars of the Night
T.J. Galiardi returned to the lineup and was promoted to the Stastny line. I thought he looked pretty good out there overall. David Jones dropped down to right wing on the Duchene line and Chuck Kobasew was shuffled to the 4th line. I think this is the best lineup we've seen all year and hope we see a repeat against Phoenix
|Galiardi - Stastny - Hejduk||1||0||1||E||0||7||2||0||69|
|Lindstrom - Duchene - Jones||1||0||1||+ 2||0||3||2||2||58|
|Landeskog - O'Reilly - Winnik||0||1||1||+ 1||2||3||1||0||70|
|McLeod - McClement - Kobasew||1||0||1||+ 1||0||2||2||1||43|
- Hejda, Johnson
- Quincey, O'Brien
- Wilson, O'Byrne
Healthy scratches for Porter, Hunwick and Mueller
- Although he got the big winning goal, Duchene was limited to 10:52 of EV ice time. Joakim Lindstrom had just 9:33
- Attendance tonight: 12,355, or 62,622 less than the number of people who witnessed today's Tim Tebow debacle in person. Think smarter, people.
Kyle Quincey now has 8 points and is tied with O'Reilly for the Avs' scoring lead
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
O'Reilly vs O'Reilly, Wednesday night