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Avs Dance With the Devils, and Win 2-1

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It wasn't the prettiest victory, but a win is a win, as the Avs won in the Garden State for the third straight year.

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The professional hockey team that once played in Colorado fell to the professional hockey team that currently plays in Colorado, 2-1. Also, in case you've forgotten, the last time the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, they beat the New Jersey Devils. Just a friendly reminder! This season has needed a few happy pick-you-ups, and there's one of the very few that you've probably had since this season started. You're welcome! Onto the recap of this hockey game.

1st Period: Nothing to report on the score sheet here. Shots were even at 10, and as per usual the Avs out-hit the opposition and blocked more shots. Both teams had their chances, but both goaltenders said no to all incoming pucks.

2nd Period: The NHL's recently crowned third star of November, Matt Duchene, scored the first goal tonight. A puck flipped into the neutral zone was played rather poorly by the Devils defense, who thought the puck would roll to them and made little effort to go get it. That was the wrong decision, as Duchene flew in, scooped up the biscuit, and sniped it past Cory Schneider.

A couple minutes later, Jack Skille made a beautiful pass to Tyson Barrie that allowed Tyson to roof top-left corner. A gorgeous pass and an equally gorgeous shot. More of that please, Avalanche.

3rd Period: Two minutes and nine seconds into the period, while Altitude was busy showing the replay of something else, the Devils scored off a face-off to cut their deficit in half. Kyle Palmieri got the credit after Travis Zajac won the draw against Mikhail Grigorenko and dished it to Palmieri right on the tape. No chance for Berra, and not a whole lot any Avalanche could do. Just a good goal.

When that happened, you had the sinking feeling this was going to be another brutal third period for the Avs when they had the lead going in. That looked like the case even more when the Avalanche were playing some stout prevent defense midway through and Berra kept bailing the team out. But Colorado got it together defensively. After the Devils pulled Schneider with 1:30 to go, the Avs played arguably their best neutral zone defense of the season and gave New Jersey little to no hope of getting a late goal to force overtime. Again Avs, more of that for the rest of the season, PLEASE. We'll do nearly anything.

Mr. Fish's Three Stars:

#3: John Mitchell: Purely for being back in the lineup and looking quite solid, Malkin gets my third star tonight. Feeding off the neutral zone defense tangent, he was a big part in that and had one really nice pass breakup that stood out to me. This team is a lot better when he's in the lineup. The depth he provides for the third and fourth lines is huge and makes it much easier for the Avs to compete.

#2: Matt Duchene: As previously mentioned, Matt Duchene got the NHL's third star award for the month of November behind Patrick Kane and Braden Holtby. He got December off to a nice start with a goal and getting some other really good looks. Please go vote for him in the All-Star Game if you haven't already.

#1: Reto Berra: Once again, a solid performance in net for the Swiss net minder tonight. It's so nice to have two solid goaltenders again. Too bad we don't have a solid defense outside of like two guys. Also, Reto had an assist on Duchene's goal! Way to contribute to scoring, Yogi! Maybe some of the Avs' skaters can figure out how to do the same.

Mr. Fish's Three Flounders:

#3: Zach Redmond: He only played for 3:31 tonight and still managed to make this list. That is not good.

#2: Nick Holden: Nick Holden played a worse game than Zach Redmond did.

#1: Nate Guenin: Nate Guenin played an even worse game than Zach Redmond did, while also doing worse than Holden. That is REALLY not good!

P.S. Notice how all of tonight's flounders are defensemen. I don't think I have to say anything more about that. You all can draw your own conclusions from that.

Notes:

-As this article is being written, the Wild and Blackhawks, who are playing in Chicago are tied 1-1. Hopefully that won't end in a tie, and maybe both teams lose! If one team is to win, for Colorado's sake, it'll be better if the Blackhawks win, as that means the Wild will be only five points in front of the Avalanche as they near a home and home series within the next six days. Colorado is also only three points behind the Jets now. They are nearly out of the central division cellar! Will it actually happen? Because of the way this season has gone, probably not!

-I am annoyed that it is December 1st going on December 2nd and the Avalanche have only played one overtime game this season. I am even more annoyed that they lost the one OT game they did play. It is not fair we have not gotten to see three-on-three overtime more with our favorite team. The Maple Leafs are the only other team who haven't played in at least two overtime games this year, and when we are in the same club as Toronto at something, well, that just means it's not your year.