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Game 12 Recap: Everberg gets his first, Ducks outplay the Avs

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Avalanche stuck with the best team in the league, but it just wasn't enough.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

First Period:

Avalanche came on strong, spending much of the first couple of minutes in the Ducks zone. Denis Everberg continued his ridiculously "why the fuck was he sent down to the AHL" play, and it finally paid off. He sent a snipe from the bottom of the left circle, beating Jason LaBarbera low blocker side. It was the first of Everberg's career, and a well-deserved one.

Puppy status: As many of you know, I adopted a puppy on Friday. This game will be disrupted regularly by him. Shortly before the goal, he grabbed the slipper, which I quickly confiscated. He's now quietly chewing on his new purple dog-dragon-squeaky toy thing.

Rather than giving the Avs the energy, the goal gave the Ducks jump, forcing Max Talbot to take a delay of game penalty for covering the puck with his hand.

Semyon Varlamov stood tall on the penalty kill, making some awesome saves and getting some help from the post. Mark another successful kill to the streak.

Puppy Status: Diving under the couch for .... something. Now he's .... somewhere. At least I can hear him squeaking his duck. How appropriate.

Puppy Status: Oh shit. No more squeaking. Must find out what the heck he's getting into.

Puppy Status: awwww, cutie. Sometimes he's so good. Makes you forget the chewing on the couch thing.

Puppy Status 1

Crap, what happened?? Corey Perry beat Erik Johnson on the breakaway. Varly made the initial save but the puck bounced up into Perry's chest and over Varly's shoulder. Tied at one.

Unlike the Avs' goal, the Ducks got some momentum from their point on the board. Holden ended up Holdin on, pulling down the Ducks dude.

Puppy Status: too quiet. Where is he?

Shortly thereafter, Ryan Getzlaf got a penalty of his on, putting the teams four-on-four. Neither team were overly dangerous during the man advantages or 4x4.

Puppy Status: Little guy is sleeping. I'll take it but we're gonna have to engage in some serious play time after the game so he's tired for bedtime.

With just over three minutes left, the fourth line provided some strong pressure in the offensive zone, giving the other lines some rest while wearing out the Ducks d-men. Play came back to the Avs' zone, though, and resulted in some beautiful saves by Varly.

Everberg was a monster tonight, getting a sweet shot on net that the Anaheim goalie barely swatted aside. Nathan MacKinnon took up where Everberg left off and deked through some Duck coverage, sneaking in a shot on the far side of the net. Avs up by one to end the period.

Puppy Status: still sleeping. Going to soak up this quiet time.

First Intermission

Puppy Status: well, damn. That didn't last long. Potty accident inside while I was giving my other dog some much-needed love. Must pay better attention.

Second Period

Puppy Status: Took something out of his mouth. No clue what it was.

Oh yeah, there's a game on. Holy Duchene Batman. That guy just does not give up on a play. He doesn't get rewarded enough by goals for how hard he works.

Avs got a full-blown power play as Francois Beauchemin clipped Marc-Andre Cliche with a high Stick.

Puppy Status: No, Howler. The area rug is not a chew toy.

Andrew Cogliano got a short-handed breakaway, giving the Ducks their first shot on net in 14 minutes. Fortunately, Varly said, "I got dis." Unfortunately, the Ducks' PKers said the same thing, preventing the Avs from getting a single shot on net.

The kill pumped up the Ducks, and after much hustle, Hampus Lindholm sent a wrister past Varly to give his team the tie. Colorado struggled to clear the zone for too long after that, and it was inevitable that their opponent would score again. Sure enough, Cam Fowler pulled Varly too far to the right and buried the puck into a wide open net. 3-2 Ducks.

Puppy Status: Well, that sleep session didn't last long. That second crate I ordered better hurry up and get here. Between the kid and my older girl being incredibly needy ever since he arrived, I'm going nuts. I need Uncle AJ to give me a few minutes break.

Puppy Status: And pulled another something out of Howler's mouth.

Colorado dropped into that early season team with fatigue and disjointed play allowing Anaheim to take over the game. However, the fourth line again drove some play in the offensive zone, bringing energy galore and getting under the other team's skin.

Puppy Status: poo poo break

So the Avs went over 15 minutes without a shot on net. Not gonna get it done that way, boys.

Puppy Status: resting in his bed for a minute or two. Even the short breaks are welcome reliefs.

So how many of you are absolutely stoked about how Tyson Barrie is playing this season? Me too.

After a strong shift by MacK, Iginla and Landeskog, the youngin took an interference penalty, putting the Ducks back on the power play. The first shot on net came off of Talbot's stick on a short-handed breakaway, though. Unfortunately, Talbot used too much patience to get Labarbera to bite, giving Ryan Kesler time to get back and lift his stick. Why is it always the McLeods, Cliches and Talbots that get those breakaways?

Puppy's Mom's Status: fuck, I'm so tired.

The penalty kill continued to rock, extending the streak some more. The Avs took that energy and used it to create the most pressure they had all period. Sadly, it didn't turn into a goal, but it was a nice way to end a period that was dominated by the opponent. 3-2 Ducks.

Second Intermission

Puppy Status: asleep. Thank the hockey gods.

(Please let the third involve an Avalanche of burgundy goals and few whistles.)

Third Period

Avs came out on a mission in the third with some changes to the lines. MacKinnon replaced Ryan O'Reilly on the top line, and they generated some chances. One, off Duchene's stick, missed wide a wide open net. Can't really fault him as he was falling and trying to corral a bouncing puck at the same time.

O'Reilly joined Iginla and McGinn. Defensive pairs got some shake ups too with Barrie and Nick Holden partnering up, putting Stuart and Guenin together. Yikes, eh?

The 90-12-11 line were working hard in the offensive zone, putting some mustard on the Ducks, but O'Reilly was called for hooking. The PK started out with another breakaway for Talbot, but a quick stick by the Ducks' D killed the chance quickly.

Puppy Status: still asleep. Only problem with this is a wakeful night.

Another huge kill by the Avs, making it 24 in a row. Gotta love how aggressive they are when down a man.

Ducks didn't get anything going on the power play, but had a nice little play breaking up ice soon thereafter. Brad Stuart threw down a solid defensive play to stop it, using his body to separate the shooter from the puck. We talked about this in the podcast today. Stuart is a great defender. He just sucks at puck handling.

Puppy Status: still asleep. Potty break imminent, though.

Why can't the Avalanche play all periods like they do when they're desperate? They have the talent to be a contender. They just can't be consistent.

So you know how we wondered what it would be like to have MacKinnon and Duchene on the same line? Two words: time warp.

Roy pulled Varly with 3:20 left to go, and MacKinnon took a high stick to give the Avs a power play with a two-man advantage as Varly left the net again after the face off. Ducks were able to kill the penalty with Colorado not getting many good chances. The clock ran down with Landeskog going into the box for charging. The play was still five-on-five, though, because Varly stayed on the bench. A solid win by the Avs and a speeding MacKinnon actually got the puck into the Ducks' zone with some last minute offensive action for Colorado, but it was to no avail. Ducks took this one 3-2.

Takeaway thought: While the loss is disappointing, the team played a strong, physical game for most of the time, an accomplishment coming off a game the night before. Again that second period really killed them, though.

Puppy Status: still asleep. Tonight's going to suck.


Ryan O`Reilly - Matt Duchene - Gabriel Landeskog
Jamie McGinn - Nathan MacKinnon - Jarome Iginla
Alex Tanguay - John Mitchell - Dennis Everberg
Cody McLeod -  Marc-Andre Cliche - Maxime Talbot

Jan Hejda - Erik Johnson
Brad Stuart - Nick Holden
Nate Guenin - Tyson Barrie

Semyon Varlamov
Reto Berra

Scratched: Zach Redmond and Daniel Briere

Injured: Ryan Wilson, Jesse Winchester, Patrick Bordeleau

MHH Three Stars

1. Dennis Everberg - first NHL goal, first goal of the game, super hustle all game

2. Nathan MacKinnon - sick shot

3. Matt Duchene - guy just never quits


Next Up

Vancouver Canucks, Tuesday, Nov. 4th at 7 pm MT, Pepsi Center