Before the Avalanche could get anything going, the Devils got on the board just over two minutes into the game. Once again, the Avs were forced to come from behind early. Martin Havlat got the honors for New Jersey, taking advantage of a juicy rebound to send the puck past Semyon Varlamov.
Colorado didn't let that get them down, though, and tied it up via a hard-working shift by the second line. Jarome Iginla chipped the puck behind the net where Gabe Landeskog was waiting to scoop and turn to send a nice little pass to a net-crashing John Mitchell. One-all.
The goal galvanized the Avs, and their hard work led to Cody McLeod drawing a penalty with 3:54 left in the period. Colorado generated a number of chances, but Cory Schneider stood tall for the Devils to keep the game knotted up at one.
The Devils put some pressure on Colorado as the clock wound down, but it was to no avail. A gaggle of players froze the puck along the boards as the final ten seconds of the first ticked away.
The second period was pretty uneventful until Eric Gelinas was sent to the box on a double minor for high sticking Marc-Andre Cliche and drawing blood. Unfortunately for New Jersey, Gelinas is one of their top penalty killers. Even more unfortunately, it was actually Jacob Josefson that clipped Cliche to begin with.
It would have been awesome if the Avalanche had done anything with those four minutes, but it didn't happen. This team has to figure out the power play or wins aren't going to happen.
Not too long after the Devils killed the double minor, they went on a power play of their own. Cliche got his stick caught up in Jaromir Jagr's legs, sending him to the ice. The Avs shut things down, though, and the period ended still tied at one.
With 11:39 left, the Devils took a 2-1 lead off the face off as Gelinas fired a shot from the point through a mass of humanity, beating Varly top shelf.
Erik Johnson continued his stellar play by working it coast-to-coast, unloading a shot down deep, and watching as the puck trickled five hole for the score. Game tied at two.
With just under three minutes left in the third, Colorado took the lead after the Devils got caught on a change, and Matt Duchene hit twine, once again going five hole.
Immediately after that, Jan Hejda spent a couple of minutes in the box for slashing. Schneider hit the bench to round out the Devils's time a man up six on four. The home team came on strong, forcing Varlamov to be at the top of his game. The penalty kill was just what the doctor ordered, giving the Avs a regulation win.
O'Reilly - Duchene - Tanguay
Landeskog - Mitchell - Iginla
McGinn - MacKinnon - Briere
Talbot - Cliche - McLeod
Johnson - Hejda
Guenin - Barrie
Holden - Redmond
MHH Three Stars
1. Skeletor - Dude rocks the commercials
2. Johnson - The Man at both ends of the ice,oh and played over 30 minutes
3. Varlamov - continuing his pimpin' ways
Honorable Mentions: Entire team - only 25 shots against, outshot NJ every period, won the face off race
Washington Capitals, Thursday, November 20 at 7:00 pm MT in Denver.