Avalanche Brush Past Rangers 4-3 in OT - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Friday, December 21, 2007

Avalanche Brush Past Rangers 4-3 in OT

Cody Mcleod scraps with Brandon Dubinsky
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Now that was an exciting hockey game! There were chances in both directions, great saves from both goaltenders, great passing and hitting from both teams and a couple scraps. I was so into the game that I hardly had any notes written down but I'll give it the ol' college try.

The game started off on a scary note as Paul Stastny took a stick to the eye region which resulted in a bump but no stitches. Watching the replay made me wince as Roszival's stick hit with pretty good snap behind it. Stastny missed most of the resulting 4-minute minor but was back on the bench with a smile on his face towards the end of it.

The Avalanche didn't cash in on the 4-minute chance but kept up the pressure and generated some excellent scoring chances. King Henrik matched the excellent chances with even more excellent saves. The Avs fired off 16 shots, including at least 4 on a long 5-on-3, in the first period but walked away with a goose egg on the scoreboard thanks to Lundqvist.

The Avalanche tied it up early on the PP as Brunette, Hejduk and Stastny worked some down low magic on the PP. Brunette fed Hejduk in front who put it past Lundqvist with about 3 Rangers defending against him.

Hejduk then got goal #2 of the night as Stastny fed him a perfect saucer pass and Hejudk roofed it past a pad stack by Lundqvist. The goal was started by a great keep-in play by Wolski. Really, it was more luck than anything as Roszival's clear hit Wolski's stick. But hey, you gotta be good to be lucky, right?

Unfortunately, Mr. Roszival got mad and decided to tie the game under 30 seconds later. He stepped hard into a shot that got past a screened Peter Budaj to suck the wind out of the building.

And while people were still catching their breath, Marc Staal had a Gomez shot deflect off him past Budaj for a 3-2 Ranger lead. Talk about a goal explosion!

The Rangers took the 3-2 lead into the third but I was still feeling good about the game. The Avalanche were outchancing the Rangers and sooner or later, one of those chances had to go in.

And the ever opportunistic Marek Svatos was the one to make it happen. He pounced on a Jaroslav Hlinka rebound and potted it past Lundqvist on the second try. That was Svatos' 11th of the season and he could be heading towards a 30-goal season now.

The game ended up going to OT but only thanks to Peter Budaj's heroics late in the game. He made 3 huge saves with under 5 minutes to play to maintain the tie. Lundqvist started out the game as the star but Budaj one-upped him with some amazing clutch play.

Wojtek Wolski then scored a gift-wrapped, couriered, all-postage paid goal to end the game in OT. Jeff Finger trailed in off the bench and got the puck after a 2-on-1 rush by the Avalanche. He delayed until the hash marks and fired a wrist shot that just snuck by Lundqvist. As it trickled towards the post, Wojtek Wolski gave it a little help to make sure it went home. That's right, that's your home Mr. Puck. And Wolski just needed to give it a little tap-tap-taperoo.

So with 6 regulars out, the Avalanche were still able to get past a solid Rangers team and put in a full-game effort. Injuries are never a reason to start losing and I'm glad the Avalanche pulled up their socks and turned in a great performance.

I have to give this game the vote as game of the year and who would have thought it would be against an Eastern Conference team? I thought all those divisional games were supposed to lead to this sort of action but it appears when you spread things around and teams play teams they haven't seen 80 billion times, it makes for some exciting games.

With an Edmonton loss in regulation and a Calgary loss in OT, the Avalanche gained a bit of space in the NW as they sit in a 3-way tie with Minnesota and Vancouver for first. And on Sunday, Vancouver's next.

- Davey Jones got some early PP time to calm his jitters and it seemed to work
- Cody McCormick continues to improve by leaps and bounds
- Davey Jones is a big beast and he uses his frame effectively
- Cody Mcleod had his first NHL fight and held his own against Dubinsky
- Lappy taught Hollweg a lesson the clean way (are you watching Mr. Simon?)
- the crowd was really into this game and for good reason!
- the D played solid tonight and limited the Rangers chances barring the late third period flurry

Hannan led with 26:18 followed very closely by Wojtek Wolski as he put in 24:59 tonight. Wolski was up on the first line in place of Smyth and also played point on the #1 PP unit to gather the massive numbers. Liles also benefited from the PP time as he was out for 23:27 in total, 5:41 being on the PP.

The call-ups Davey Jones and Cody Mcleod had the least amount of ice-time. Shocking! Kyle Cumiskey wasn't too far behind with just 10:37, 9 of those being at even strength. He's got wheels but I guess Q isn't liking his overall game at the moment.

Jeff Finger dished out 6 hits in another solid hitting game. He went into the boards awkwardly in the third but was up right away and back into the play dishing out some punishment.

Related Links
NHL.com Event Summary
TSN Recap
In the Cheap Seats Recap


Draft Dodger said...

I enjoyed that game a lot. A lot of guys put in solid efforts. You mentioned several of them. Hensick also looked really strong (for a change). Liles was good in both ends. Even Skrastins had some good shifts in there.

A very encouraging win.

Shane Giroux said...

It hasn't been often where I'm not a bit nervous going into the third down by one. But everyone was so solid tonight it just felt like a matter of time before they tied it up.

It's interesting how teams decimated by injuries often pick up their play and become a better team because of them.

Draft Dodger said...

that's weird, because I was the same way. I felt really confident about this one pretty much throughout the game...even when Lundqvist was making crazy saves.

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