Dallas Gets Five-Starred by the Avalanche


Supernova at Pepsi Center tonight, as the Avalanche blew out the Stars. The Avalanche got 3 assits from Tyson Barrie, a goal and 2 assists from Alex Tanguay, and a goal and assist from Matt Duchene en route to the 5-2 victory. The Avalanche also ended an 0-for-15 slump, and 1-for-35 dry spell overall on their power-play with two goals on the man-advantage tonight.

The Avs PP finished 2-for-7 overall, and while Duchene sniped home a nice goal for the first PP goal, and Landy cashed in a juicy rebound on a 5-on-3 for the second PP goal, that wasn’t even the juiciest story. Patrick Roy was so frustrated with the PP, that early in the 2nd he threw a line consisting of Marc-Andre Cliche, Max Talbot, and Daniel Briere out there for a shift. Quite a message to send to the studs on the power-play. Seems as if they got the message.

119. Final. 5. 103. 2

The Avalanche were in control of the entire game tonight. In the first period, they really came out and took it to the Stars for the first ten minutes. Unfortuantely, Dallas got on the board first, on a goal by Cody Eakin. The play got its legs off a horrendous Nick Holden turnover at the blue-line, and the goal wasn’t flush… it bounced in off Jan Hejda‘s skate. Rough break, but you can’t complain when a turnover ends up in your net.

The Avalanche kept the pace going, and didn’t let the initial deficit rattle them. Daniel Briere equalized less than three minutes later, on a turnaround shot from near the end-line that fooled Dallas goaltender Anders Lindback. I use goaltender loosely in this case. Puckfetcher might be more a more appropriate description of Lindback’s night.

Jarome Iginla put the Avalanche ahead minutes later, with a snipers goal from the slot to finish off a nice passing play by Tyson Barrie and Gabriel Landeskog.

Dallas got another goal just before the end of the first period on a 2-on-1 situation. Jan Hejda had the puck bounce over his stick at the offensive blueline, which led to the rush. The Avalanche were victimized by another bad bounce, as Erik Johnson was able to defend the cross-ice pass attempt by Patrick Eaves. The puck ended up right back on the stick of Eaves, and he punched it past Pickard who had already pushed off anticipating a successful pass.

Was a bittersweet feeling heading to that first intermission, with the Avalanche playing very solid hockey, but not having a lead to show for their efforts.

The second period was more of the same, with the Avalanche accumulating a 17-5 shot advantage during the 20 minutes. They weren’t able to solve Lindback until the waning moments, on an Alex Tanguay goal. Matt Duchene made a sweet little feed from behind the net to set up the play. It really seemed like Dutchy had a lot more jump, after his unit got spurned on the power-play in favor of the Cliche/Talbot/Briere experiment.

The Avalanche entered the third period with nearly a full two minutes of carry over time on a Dallas penalty late in second. Matt Duchene sniped home a goal over the left shoulder of Lindback, to extend the lead to 4-2. Had to feel good for the boys to bust out of their PP slump.

The Avalanche were quickly back on the PP, a 5-on-3 advantage in fact, and Gabriel Landeskog delivered the newspaper for his 3rd goal in 3 games.

The Avalanche have now jumped into a tie with Dallas for second to last place in the Central Division (which still makes it last place by default). It’s a really nice win for the Avs, who dominated the shot total 47-24. Calvin Pickard was again solid in net for the Avs, despite a much easier workload than he faced against Chicago the other night.

More from Avalanche News

The cynic in me will say, that the Avs did exactly what they should have done tonight. They beat a tired Dallas team on the 2nd game of a back-to-back, in their home building, while facing an extremely below average backup goaltender. This is the type of performance I would expect. Anything less is a disappointment in my book. So, I give the Avs props for taking care of business, but am not overly excited by the blowout nature of the win.

The Avs now have won 5 out of their last 7 games, and finish off this homestand with a Monday night showdown against the Montreal Canadiens. Semyon Varlamov is expected to be ready to play, which leaves Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic with a difficult decision to make. Reto Berra or Calvin Pickard to Cleveland?