Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Avs remain atop Northwest

Avs 3
Flames 2

After a recent slide which saw the Avs lost 5 of their last 7 including Saturday's embarrassing performance against Vancouver, the Avs came out with a much better effort in the C of Red in Calgary as they earned a 3-2 win over the Flames. The Flames came into the game just 1 point back of the Avs in the Northwest division and made this game a battle for 1st in the division.

The Avs struck 1st blood in the 1st period as Ryan Wilson put home his 1st NHL goal after he snuck in from the point to bang home a loose puck. The Avs would take the 1-0 lead to the 2nd period. Jerome Iginla was his normal self as he sent a lazer over Anderson's glove from the high slot. Shortly after that, Rene Bourque took advantage of a stickless Avs defenseman and put one over Anderson's glove for a shorthanded goal. Immediately after that Paul Stastny took a pass over the blueline and gave a nice centering pass to Cody McLeod who fired a one timer past Kipper. Only 66 seconds later Milan Hejduk put a puck on net that looked like it went off Darcy Tucker's skate but was later ruled to go off Jay Bouwmeester's skate for his 8th of the season. That would be all the scoring the Avs would need as they went into a defensive shell in the 3rd and Anderson made the saves he had to.

This was a very important win for the Avs who were having a very bad November after their strong October. Not only did they beat a division opponent, but they did it in regulation and gave Calgary 0 points. The penalty kill was perfect and the power play even got a goal. The most notable improvement in this game was in the faceoff circle. For once, the Avs dominated faceoffs winning 32 of 51 faceoffs. All around, it was a great game by the whole team.

Performer of the night goes to Ryan Wilson who got his 1st career NHL goal in the 1st period. He came to the Avs from the Flames in the deal that sent Jordan Leopold back to Calgary. The 2nd round pick used to get D Stefan Elliot was a big enough of a win from that deal. Wilson playing this well is an added bonus.

3 Stars
3. S. Hannan
2. R. Bourque
1. R. Wilson

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