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Just how was that goal scored?

Wednesday, 04.21.2010 / 4:26 PM / NHL Network

By Dan Pollard - NHL Network

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Just how was that goal scored?
Colorado winger Chris Stewart figures the Avs should have been up 2-1 in series regardless of Boyle's OT mistake.
It's the mystery of the playoffs so far. How did the puck make its way to the back of the San Jose net in overtime in Game 3?

Did Dan Boyle fire it in himself? Did Ryan O'Reilly tip it? Did O'Reilly knock Boyle's stick? We may never know. There is no "Hockey CSI." Replays were inconclusive. All we know for sure is that the puck was fished out from behind the goal line and the Av's won a 1-0 game where they were outshot 51 to 17.

That's two seeing-eye goals for Colorado in this series. Chris Stewart's bank shot off Rob Blake's skate was the winner in Game 1. It just happens Stewart was also on the ice when the mystery goal was scored Sunday. Trouble is he can't shed any light on how the puck went in either. "I jumped on the ice and was about to go on the forecheck when I looked up and saw Ryan O'Reilly celebrating in the corner and I just jumped in the pile and kept screaming, 'What happened?' "

Stewart is fully aware Colorado received the ultimate break, but he contends the Avs should have been leading the series 2-1 anyway. "We thought we should have come out of San Jose 2-0, but we had a letdown of 40 seconds or so and they scored to tie the game and won in OT so anyway you look at it we should be up two games to one."

The glass slipper hasn't shattered on what has become a Cinderella season in the Rockies. A youthful core inexperienced enough not to know they should be nervous continues to ride the hot goaltending of a keeper who has never played this many games in his career, Craig Anderson.

"That's been the story all year," Stewart said. "Whenever we needed that timely save Andy has always stood on his head for us and we expect no different. Hopefully next game we can do a little more offensively and tighten up a little more defensively so we have a good game."
 
They did tighten up defensively, but the offense was almost bone dry with only one goal in regulation in Game 4.

Over the last two years Anderson has excelled on busy nights. He's 11-3-4 when he's faced over 40 shots playing for Colorado and Florida. This year he's 3-1 when he's faced more than 45.

* There's a reason they call 42-year-old Mark Recchi the "Wrecking Ball." He still packs a punch. His strong forecheck knocked the Sabres' 23-year-old Tim Kennedy off the puck in Game 3 in Boston, leading to the Bruins' winning goal by Patrice Bergeron.

The Avs' Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly were only a few months old when Recchi was parading around the Stanley Cup as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sabres' Tyler Myers was a year old while teammate Tyler Ennis was 2.
 
* There's never been more parity to open up the playoffs. Heading into action Tuesday there were 14 1-goal games, six 2-goal games, two 3-goal games and one 4-goal game.
 
All eight series opened 1-1 for the first time since the best-of-seven format was introduced for all rounds in 1987.

According to the raw numbers, hitting is up this year in the postseason. Teams have combined for 60 or more hits in 17 of the 23 games played through Monday. Ottawa's Andy Sutton's hit on Jordan Leopold of Pittsburgh and the Bruins' Johnny Boychuk's freight train collision with Matt Ellis of Buffalo are two of the heaviest delivered so far.


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