Yeah, baby, yeah! My hometown Flyers were defeated and I couldn't be happier. The Avs played a fantastic game and their 60-minute effort paid off tremendously.
A high energy, scorless first period saw some great chances for both teams. The Avs were without Joe Sakic for the fourth straight game and Ian Laperierre had been placed on IR earlier in the day. This being said, the lines of Stastny-Hejduk-Smyth and Arnason-Hlinka-Brunette were the two big ones of the night.
In the second period, the Avs went on the power play pretty early when a bad cross ice pass was made. Mike Richards, who has been Philly's MVP this season flew in on a breakaway and was STONED by Jose Theodore, who played remarkably well. Four minutes later, the Avs carried the momentum from that save and Jaroslav Hlinka remained hot, scoring his second goal this season. However, a bit of a defensive breakdown lead to a Daniel Briere goal a few mintues later.
Then, with under a minute left in the period, the Avs received a second power play. And with that power play, Milan Hejduk continued his hot streak with a big time goal with just over 2 seconds to play.
That goal held up to be the last, as the Avs continued to play a great defensive game all the way into the 3rd as they held on for the win, 2-1.
Big Time Players
Scott Hannan has been torn apart in this blog, but he played extremely well. He was physical all game long and helped control the front of the net. He made ZERO turnovers at the blueline and looks like the man from San Jose who Colorado thought/knew they were getting.
John-Michael Liles played a great game as well. Using his stick effectively, Liles broke up numerous plays. He also helped create countless scoring chances by jumping up into the play and starting odd man rushes.
Paul Stastny not only continues to show up on the score chart, but also is playing well in his own zone. He played two way hockey tonight and showed us why he is the future of this franchise.
Jose Theodore earned this win and should be rewarded with another shot. His save on Richards's breakaway was one of his biggest this season.
Ben Guite's line played with high energy and helped get the Avs moving. Props to Cody McCormick as well.
The penalty kill pressured the Flyer's fowards each and every time and were rewarded with a very solid game.
The power play also looked good, getting a lot of shots and chances each time.
Colorado did a much better job of finishing their hits in this game. I could barely believe it when I heard that beautiful sound of bodies hitting boards. Great job all around.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Jose Theodore (28 saves, including a few big ones - he won us this game)
2. Scott Hannan (Played his physical style and was a force down low)
3. Paul Stastny (It was his playmaking and energy that helped make the Avs go)
The Avs will play the St. Louis Blues and Manny Legace TONIGHT. Their record against Legace is less than extraordinary, so lets hope they can make it TWO IN A ROW!