Welp, that didn't go the way the Avalanche wanted to go. The good news: they have a few days to recoup, get their lines together and get the loss behind them.
The First Period
If the first five minutes are any indication Matt Duchene's knee is just fine. The Winnipeg Jets came out fast and hard, and the Colorado Avalanche responded in kind. The period went by very quickly, with very little whistles, the flow was great.
Winnipeg is a loud arena, and Duchene gets booed every time he touches the puck. What did Duchene do to warrant this treatment? Nothing. Unless you count being a great player. The city, somehow, chooses one player as a villain every game. That player then gets booed every time they touch the puck. Tonight, they chose Matt. Perhaps he should consider this a compliment. Another player to have a good first period is Erik Johnson. He gets in the Jets faces, and gets in their way.
With 5:32 seconds left in the first period, Paul Sastny is sent to the Sin Bin for four minutes with a high sticking penalty. During the penalty kill Winnik loses his stick near the Avs bench. When the puck goes a bit deeper in the zone he disappears to get a new twig, and damage is avoided. The Avalanche kill only the double minor easily, only allowing one shot on a four minute penalty kill. With the dying minute and a half of the first, the Avs try to get something going, but run out of time. The game is tied heading into the second.
The Second Period
With a 1:45 expired in the first Evander Kane scores with a quickly released backhander. The Avs are down, 1-0. Just over a minute later the Jets score again. The Avs are down 2-0, and so Sacco uses his timeout. With 13:49 left in the second the Avalanche get to go on a power play when Duchene is hooked. The Avalanche weren't able to convert on this chance. After that power play expires, Daniel Winnik gets hooked and draws a penalty. The Avalanche get some decent chances on this power player, followed by a great chance by Stastny. Unfortunately, he can't find the back of the net. While on the power play, Gabe Landeskog goes short side and and scores to bring the Avalanche within one. This is his second game in a row to notch a power play goal.
Unfortunately, being behind by one only last 45 seconds or so. Kyle Wellwood comes back hard and scores on Semyon Varlamov. The Avs are now down 3-1. Six minutes later, Antropov crashes into the net. Quincey seemed in discomfort due to that action, but didn't miss his next shift. Antropov gets called for interference. They were unable to convert this power play into any damage on the scoreboard. With ten seconds left in the second, Landeskog tries to get something going but was unable to score. Avs go into the third down by two.
The Third Period
The third period doesn't start well for the burgundy and blue, within thirty seconds Duchene puts the Avalanche on a penalty kill. The Avs managed to kill it off. Afterwards, Hejduk gets a great chance - batting a puck mid-air, but Pavelec shows great hand-eye co-ordination and makes the save. Seemingly right after this play Cody McLeod head to the box for holding. The Avalanche aren't able to kill this ones off, Andrew Ladd scores to make the game 4-1.
Almost eight minutes into the third, Shane O'Brien makes a nice, hard, clean hit on Kane. Kane wasn't so happy with the hit. He chased O'Brien down, knocked him over and proceed to hit him, repeatedly, while Shane was down. Kane goes to the box for four minutes. Unfortunately, Quincey gets called for a penalty on the ensuing power play and so the game is played 4-on-4.
Cody McLeod decided that the game is getting chippy, and drops the gloves with Thorburn. Thornburn had received a high stick earlier in the game and so he was bleeding on the bench. McLeod got a seven minute penalty for the fight. Little was able to score during the Avalanche's penalty kill. The Avs go down 5-1 with 4:19 left in the third. They are unable to change the score.
- 1 O'Brien
- 2 Landeskog
- 3 McClement
- 1 Mark Olver - Ryan O`Reilly - Gabriel Landeskog
- 2 Matt Duchene - Paul Stastny - Milan Hejduk
- 3 Daniel Winnik - Jay McClement - David Jones
- 4 Cody McLeod - Kevin Porter - Chuck Kobasew
- 1 Jan Hejda - Ryan O`Byrne
- 2 Kyle Quincey - Erik Johnson
- 3 Shane O`Brien - Ryan Wilson
- 1 This game marked the first time since March 24h, 1996 that the Avalanche played a game in the Peg. The Avalanche won that game 5-2.
- 2 This was the return of Matt Duchene, Matt missed 20 games due to a knee injury.
- 3 The Avalanche have both the fewest time spent and the fewest opportunities on the power play in the NHL. They have only had 2:01 of 5-on-3 this season.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
Next game isn't until Wednesday night. The Avalanche will play host to the L.A. Kings.