Last year, the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 and looked impressive. Not only did their speed and Craig Anderson’s solid goaltending keep them in the game, but it didn’t really seem like an accident.That red-hot opener spurred the Avalanche to a quick start that helped the team qualify for the playoffs to the surprise of just about everyone.
Tonight’s game shares some similar traits with that opener. For one thing, it was (in my opinion) the most exciting game of the night. I also half-expected the Blackhawks to dominate the game, especially since they received the game’s first four powerplays.
Yet the Avalanche did more than keep up with Chicago: they beat them convincingly.
Paul Stastny scored two goals including the game-winner in overtime while Matt Duchene, Chris Stewart, Marian Hossa and Patrick Sharp all provided a goal and an assist. Both goalies provided moments of brilliance, as Marty Turco stopped 37 out of 41 shots while Anderson turned away 35 out of 38.
After Colorado knocked on the door multiple times during Chicago’s early power plays, Stewart finally beat Turco on an odd-man rush right after one of the Blackhawks’ man advantages expired. Here’s a video of that goal.
It’s almost as if Stewart said “enough is enough” on that goal, exploiting Turco’s poke check for a big goal.