It wasn't a really good start. That's actually an understatement. Taking a penalty and allowing San Jose's best player, Joe Thornton, to be wide open in front of the net and put away the goal is a REALLY bad start. To make it somewhat worse, the Avs failed to score on a 90 second 5-on-3 and failed to score on the regular PP that followed. However, the game was still close, 1-0, going into the second period.
In the second, the Avs quickly saw their deficit increase to two on Joe Thornton's second PPG. Another powerplay by the Sharks a few minutes later looked to be on the brink of converting until Milan Hejduk picked up a loose puck and scored a rare shorthanded goal. Assisted by Scott Hannan and Paul Stastny, the goal put some life into the Avs. That life was short lived, when two mintues later, Mike Grier, who played a very physical game, got the goal back to make it 3-1. The Avs refused to quit, however, as Andrew Brunette scored the fourth goal of the period, assisted by Stastny and Sakic. It was 3-2 at intermission.
Despite several chances in the third, that is how the game ended. A 3-2 loss for Peter Budaj.
Key Event: The Sharks were physical all game long, but when you piss off Joe Sakic, you know you did something wrong. In the third period, Sakic got very upset at Vlastic, who proceeded to stick his fist into Sakic's face. Had it not been for the refs, Sakic might have tried to instigate his second career fight. A scruffle ensued, but it was all under control. (No Lappy or Parker)
Debut: TJ Hensick made his NHL debut and was rewarded with over 16 minutes of ice time.
Despite the loss, the Avs managed to show a bit of energy in the game and hopefully, they can carry that energy over into tonight's game.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Peter Budaj (He was BIG at times in this game. Despite allowing one soft goal, he couldn't have done anything about the other two and the score probably should have been higher)
2. Paul Stastny (Two primary assists and he finally scored on the road!)
3. Kyle Cumiskey (Becoming extremely reliable and cool under pressure)
The Avs have no time off as they make a pit stop in LA tonight. The Kings are dead last in the Pacific Division with just 21 points on the season. The Avs are one of the worst teams on the road this season with a 3-8-1 season. Something has to give.
I'm almost 99% sure that Jose Theodore will be in net tonight. Lets hope that we can enjoy the game!