Saturday, March 6, 2010

Stewart leads Avs over Blues

The Avs offense was out in full force tonight as they matched and then raised by 1 a season high with 7 goals. While the whole team put up a great offensive effort, the biggest individual performance came from Chris Stewart. Stewart finished the game with 4 points including his 1st career hat trick. The game also marked the return of Milan Hejduk after his long

The Blues came in winners of 5 straight and the last time they lost was against the Avalanche back on February 8th. St. Louis got on the board first as a point shot was tipped by David Perron in the slot past Anderson. It didn't take long for the Avs to answer as Milan Hejduk put home his own rebound as Peter Mueller sent a nice pass from the point to the net where Hejduk got to. Shortly after that, great hustle by Galiardi and Stastny lead to Stewarts first goal of the game. Blues defenesman Erik Johnson went behind the net and TJ Galiardi laid a hit on the boards. Stastny picked it up behind the net and centered out to Stewart in front of the net who then tapped it home.

The Avs took that 2-1 lead to the intermission and came out flying in the 2nd. Less than a minute into the period, Stewart got a pass up the right side. He took it along the boards into the zone and fired a laser of a slapshot to the far post for his 2nd of the game. Not even 30 seconds later, Hejduk came up the right side and centered a pass to Adam Foote who was going to the net but the puck deflected off the Blues defensman's skate past Mason. Mason was then pulled and replaced by Ty Conklin. Different goalie, same result as Chris Stewart picks up his 3rd point on an assist to TJ Galiardi in the slot on a backhand past Conklin. Later in the period, Anderson misplayed the puck behind the net and Alex Steen picked it up in front and banged it in the open net. The scoring in the 2nd period didn't stop as Stewart was tripped on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot. He didn't waste the opportunity and roofed a shot over Conklin's left shoulder finishing off the hat trick.

The 3rd period was the Avs worst period as the puck was in their zone the whole time it seemed. Instead of keeping the foot on the gas, the Avs went into that shell they do when they have a lead. It only lead to 1 goal this time as Steen tipped another shot past Anderson. Matt Hendricks put the icing on the cake poking the puck into the empty net to make it 7-3 Avs.

This was a nice bounce back game for the Avs after that dagger to the heart by Wolski and the Coyotes two nights before. Getting Milan Hejduk back was a huge boost to the Avs offense and it it appeared he didn't lose a step as he added 2 goals. TJ Galiardi also had a strong game. This is a guy who has moved up in the depth chart taking the number 1 left wing spot even when Wolski was still here. He is leading all rookies in ice time per game as well. He made the play of the game as he put pressure on the Blues D and laid a hit on Erik Johnson behind the net that started the play that resulted in Stewart's 1st goal. Speaking of Stewart, he was the star of this game. Three goals and one assist. His hat trick was the 1st for an Avs player since Hejduk against these Blues back in 2007. He now has 15 points in his last 8 games.

The newcomers also both got on the score card. Peter Mueller finished with 2 assists, one on Hejduk's 1st goal and another on Hejduk's 2nd. He has at least a point in every game in an Avs sweater. Stephane Yelle recorded an assist on Hendricks' empty net goal.

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