Trailing 1-0 going into the third period against the second best team in the West, Colorado fans finally saw that this wasn't the mediocre team we have been watching all year. No, this was a team with confidence. With desire. With talent.
And that talent is what shined through as the Avs beat the Stars 3-1.
Starting with a beautiful tic-tac-toe play seven minutes in, Andrew Brunette and Peter Forsberg picked up assists on a goal by Scott Hannan, who had been pinching down low. The goal was finally an answer to Turco's stellar play.
Then, on the power play, the 30th ranked power play, Peter Forsberg showed exactly what he can bring when he fluttered a puck to Andrew Brunette who proceeded to tip it by Turco for the goal.
The rest was gravy as Theodore, who made 25 saves on 26 shots, made big stops and Paul Stastny clinched it with an empty net goal.
It's a win that indicates how much confidence this team has. They would not have won this game a month ago. Not a chance. To play a team with an elite goaltender who is just as confident as you are, and score three third period goals? Incredible.
It's also worthy to note that Brunette is now on a 5-game point streak.
With that, props to John-Michael Liles, who was pinching down low all night but continued to hustle back and negated various odd-man rushes. The same goes for Scott Hannan. This might have been his greatest game as an Av. He made so many key plays, including breaking up a pass late in the third which probably would have lead to a Dallas goal.
Credit to Cody McLeod, who seemed to be on the ice for every penalty drawn by the Avs. Work hard and hit and you'll be in the NHL one day, kids.
Adam Foote was out of the game with a hip injury. Denver newspapers say it is nothing serious and it's more likely Foote wsa just sore after blocking all of those shots in the last game. He did leave early from that game but was on the bench at the end of it.
Jordan Leopold was playing in his place.
In the Lineup...
Cody McCormick found himself back in the lineup as Scott Parker was a healthy scratch. McCormick was playing with his usual linemates - Laperriere and Guite.
Andrew Brunette has been nominated for the Bill Masterston Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, perservance, and dedication to hockey. Good luck Bruno!
Three Stars of the Game
1. Andrew Brunette (The Avs best offensive player the last two games, scored the game winner and had an assist)
2. Peter Forsberg (Two assists, looks as dominant on the power play as ever)
3. Scott Hannan (Edging out Theodore, Hannan has been improving all season)
The Avs finish their home-and-home series with the Stars TONIGHT in Dallas at 8 PM EST. Theodore will be in net, riding a six-game winning streak as the Avs try to make it seven in a row.
On the Bubble
If all goes according to plan, the Avs won't be on the bubble in a few weeks. But they have made some tremendous strides during this streak. Check it out:
6. Minnesota - 80 Points (13 Games Remaining)
7. COLORADO - 80 POINTS (13 Games Remaining)
8. Vancouver - 78 Points (14 Games Remaining)
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9. Nashville - 78 Points (14 Games Remaining)
Northwest Division Leader: Calgary Flames - 80 Points - 13 Games Remaining
Colorado is currently in a three-way tie for first place in the division. Minnesota, Colorado, and Calgary all have 80 points and all have 13 games remaining. But because Calgary has played less games, and Minnesota, who has played the same amount of games and has the same amount of wins as the Avs, have taken more points in the season series against the Avs, they take the sixth spot. Complicated? Yeah.
But if Vancouver wins their next game and makes it a four-way tie, the standings will stay the same.
Tonight's Key Games
San Jose vs Minnesota
A Wild loss and Avalanche win means the Avs would take over first in the division (though they will have played two more games than Calgary) and Minnesota will continue their horrid collapse. San Jose is 8-2-0 in their last 10 so things look pretty good for Colorado.
Enjoy a parody of one of the most unpopular NHL commercials this year!