Fresh off of their gigantic win against the Buffalo Sabres last night, the Colorado Avalanche ventured down to Newark, NJ for their second meeting of the regular season with the New Jersey Devils. The Avs won the previous meeting between the two teams. 6-1, back on November 30th. Some guy named T.J. Galiardi had the game winning goal in that game.
During the first period tonight, both teams started off playing a somewhat tentative, with neither team really wanting to take any unnecessary risks. Both teams were whistled for hooking penalties about halfway thru the first period, Shane O'Brien for the Avs and Zach Parise for the Devils. Neither team was able to capitalize on the power play.
A couple of positive notes from the first period, the Avs ended up leading in shots on goal 8-5 and Matt Duchene looked like himself and didn't seem to show any ill effects from that ankle injury. He took 6 shifts for 4:34 of ice time in the first period.
After nearly a full half period of sheer boredom, the Avs generated a couple of high quality scoring chances with about 11 minutes to play in the period, but Martin Brodeur was able to make a big save. Also right after that Milan Hejduk had the puck literally stick on his blade and he wasn't able to bury the chance.
A few minutes after the Avs scoring chance, the Devils were able to generate a couple of their own. The first of which, luckily for the Avs, just seemed to roll off a couple Devils' forwards sticks. The second was part of a net mouth scramble that saw Giguere make a couple of tremendous saves. Neither was bigger than the save Mark Olver made as he went flying over top of a prone Jean-Sebastien Giguere to swat the puck away as it was laying in the crease.
Heading into the third period with the score tied at 0, the Avs lead the Devils in shots on goal 19-17.
Most of the third period was played as cautiously as the rest of the game, with neither team wanting to make that first costly mistake. That's not to say that there wasn't scoring chances for both teams, but when there was, both Brodeur and Giguere came up huge for their teams'.
With the game heading to overtime, both goalies had played up to their Hall of Fame resume's, Giguere stopped all 28 shots he faced thru regulation and Brodeur stopped all 25 he faced. In overtime both goalies stepped up even more and kept the score tied at 0, and both earned a shutout for their efforts tonight.
Unfortunately for the Avs, Jean-Sebastien Giguere just isn't the athlete Semyon Varlamov and was absolutely faked out of his jockstrap by Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise.
MHH Avalanche 3 Stars of the Night
- 1 Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Absolutely rock solid in his first start since March 3rd.
- 2 David Jones, A team high 6 shots on goal and was flying all over the ice tonight.
- 3 Matt Duchene, Came back from a high ankle sprain weeks earlier than expected.
- 1 Landeskog-O'Reilly-Downie
- 2 McGinn-Stastny-Jones
- 3 Olver-Duchene-Hejduk
- 4 McLeod-McClement-Hejduk
- 1 Johnson-O'Brien
- 2 Hunwick-Wilson
- 3 Hejda-O'Byrne
- 1 Even though the Avs lost 1-0 tonight, J.S. Giguere still earned his second shutout of the season
- 2 It cannot be understated how gassed the team looked tonight.
- 3 I really thought Matt Duchene's early return from injury would've provided more of a spark for the team.
NHL.com Recap & Highlights
The Avalanche will finish their 3 game road trip back east with a Saturday night tilt in "The World's Most Famous Arena", Madison Square Garden as they take on the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers.