Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Hits: Vancouver Canucks vs. Colorado Avalanche

Final Score: Vancouver Canucks – 2 Colorado Avalanche – 3 (OT)

*Mr. Overtime Tyson Barries did it again. He went to the front of the net and found himself open after Matt Duchene drew two defenders. Duchene made a beautiful pass that Barrie redirected past Eddie Lack and into the back of the net.

*Matt Duchene was outstanding in this game. He had a goal and an assist and just played great hockey. He was double shifted at times as well as the Avs went with 11 forwards.

*The goal he scored came at the end of a long shift where his linemates were off the ice and Cody McLeod and Max Talbot had jumped on the ice. Duchene did a lot of hard work behind the net and around the boards, threw the puck into the slot, and then picked up a rebound for the goal. After a relatively quiet game against Nashville, Duchene responded by being the best player on the ice.

*Gabriel Landeskog was really good as well. He scored the second goal for the Avs on a beautiful pass from behind the net by Paul Stastny, had a number of other chances, and hit everything that moved. People wanted the Avs captain to step up after a tough three game winless stretch and he’s done so.

*Jamie McGinn started the game with Landeskog and Stastny while Nathan MacKinnon started with Ryan O’Reilly and Duchene. By the end of the game though, McGinn and MacKinnon swapped places. This was the second time in two games that they’ve swapped lines in the middle of the game. Patrick Roy needs to calm down with the line switching of those two.

*I honestly didn’t like it last game when they swapped positions because MacKinnon contributed to the first goal against Nashville with Stastny and Landeskog and McGinn has played well all season with Duchene and O’Reilly. And I didn’t like it tonight because The 9 Line was flying and causing all kinds of havoc in the Vancouver end.

*Roy needs to a stick to a decision on the right winger on both lines. Part of me thinks that it doesn’t matter because MacKinnon and McGinn are both good players (although they bring a different element as players) and the real chemistry on the lines are between Duchene/O’Reilly and Stastny/Landeskog. But I know that having all three guys on the same page is better than having two guys on the same page while the other guy is a page behind.

*I do have to give Roy credit for what he did with the penalty kill, which went 4/5 in this game. He finally started using Duchene, Landeskog, and Stastny along with O’Reilly, Cody McLeod, and Max Talbot. It’s nice that he’s starting to use his best players instead of his designated penalty killers.

*Daniel Sedin had an assist, but otherwise he was pretty invisible by Daniel Sedin standards. Not sure if it was the Avs defense or him missing his other half. Probably a combination of both.

*After a bad couple of games, Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda played really well in this one. In fact, I thought the defense as a whole was good.

*Cory Sarich’s game is underappreciated. He got the second assist on the Landeskog goal and just makes smart plays in his own end. He’s going to be very valuable come playoff time for the Avs. He has 57 career playoff games under his belt including a Stanley Cup. The rest of the Avs defense? 8 combined games (5 by Andre Benoit, 3 by Hejda).

*Semyon Varlamov was as good as he needed to be. He made 29 saves on 31 shots and didn’t really stand a chance on either goal. The Canucks didn’t have too many prime scoring chances though, which can be attributed to a strong team defensive effort.

*I was disappointed that Roy scratched Paul Carey after he, Patrick Bordeleau, and Brad Malone had such a good game on Tuesday, but Erik Johnson was battling flu-like symptoms so Roy went with 7 defenseman so it was an understandable decision.

*Bordeleau mentioned before the game that he and Tom Sestito were going drop the gloves. And they did early in the second period. Bordeleau put it on him as well, knocking him down with a couple of straight right hands before Sestito dragged Bordy down with him.

*The Avs had a chance to clinch a playoff spot tonight with a win and a Phoenix Coyotes loss. They did their part, but Phoenix managed to beat the New Jersey Devils in a shootout. The Avs can clinch tomorrow if the Dallas Stars lose.

*The Chicago Blackhawks lost 3-0 to the Boston Bruins, meaning the Avs pulled within one point of the Blackhawks for second place in the division. The Avs have a game in hand and own all the tiebreakers.

Next Game: vs. San Jose Sharks on Saturday

Tags: Colorado Avalanche

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