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Avalanche/Blackhawks Notebook

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Goals weren’t exactly at a premium during the first period of Monday’s game between the Colorado Avalanche and Chicago Blackhawks, as each team lit the lamp twice. Regardless, the starts that Brandon Yip and Paul Stastny experienced were pretty impressive.

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Yip recorded points on two of his first three shifts of the evening, first opening the game’s scoring at the 48-second mark and then adding the lone helper on Stastny’s goal at 6:25.

The Vancouver native’s tally in the opening minute was set up by Kevin Porter, who threw a pass to his linemate from behind the net. Stationed to the right of Chicago goalie Marty Turco, Yip dropped to one knee and chipped a puck over Turco’s left shoulder for his seventh goal of the season.

Stastny was just as impressive, gaining the secondary assist on Yip’s goal before scoring his own on a broken play where the Blackhawks failed to clear the puck out of their defensive zone. Stastny’s two points came on his first and fourth shifts of the night.

Any way you cut it, the Avalanche assistant captain’s play has been notable lately. With his three points tonight (he also assisted on Ryan O’Reilly’s empty-net goal), Stastny extended his point streak to five games (4g/5a). It was the second consecutive three-point game for the Quebec City native, who also scored a goal and added two assists during Saturday’s 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.

Duchene Stays Hot
While Stastny and Yip got off to hot starts, one of the biggest stories of the night was Matt Duchene continuing his hot streak.

The Avalanche’s lone goal of the second period – which ended up being credited to Duchene – was originally announced as belonging to Daniel Winnik. Chicago netminder Marty Turco got a piece of Duchene’s attempt, but the puck ended up sitting in the crease behind him. From there it appeared that Winnik banged it home. However, upon further review, it became clear that Patrick Sharp actually knocked the puck into his own net, giving the Avalanche sophomore center the tally.

Duchene then earned an assist on Tomas Fleischmann’s game-tying goal at 17:36 of the third period before giving the Avalanche the lead for good with his second tally of the night exactly one minute later.

Duchene has totaled 16 points (9g/7a) in his last 12 games and has scored eight times in his last 10 outings.

Fleischmann was no slouch himself. The Czech Republic native factored in on each of the Avalanche’s last three goals (1g/2a).

Van Der Gulik Available, Galiardi Close To A Return
Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco confirmed this morning that David Van Der Gulik has been cleared to return to game action. Van Der Gulik, who began skating at the end of November, has been sidelined since suffering a knee injury during a Nov. 9 contest against Calgary.

Van Der Gulik took the pre-game warm-up tonight with the rest of his teammates, but was a healthy scratch for the game. The Abbotsford, B.C. native has totaled two points (1g/1a) in five games with the Avalanche this season.

In other encouraging injury news, T.J. Galiardi was on the ice for today’s morning skate. The forward is making his way back from a wrist injury, which was also sustained on Nov. 9 versus Calgary.

“There’s no timetable yet for his return,” Sacco said of Galiardi following the morning skate. “He’s skating today with the coaches, getting some extra work in. He’ll be available to practice with us tomorrow, but we don’t have a date yet.”

Hejduk, Quincey Out
After leaving Friday’s contest in Atlanta with a groin injury, veteran forward Milan Hejduk missed his second consecutive game on Monday night. He will be reevaluated on Tuesday morning before practice.

Meanwhile, Kyle Quincey has been placed on injured reserve due to the shoulder injury he suffered Saturday against the Washington Capitals.

“Kyle Quincey will be out indefinitely right now and we’ll know more later in the week on his status,” said Sacco.

To fill the roster spot vacated by Quincey, the Avalanche recalled defenseman Kevin Montgomery from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League. Montgomery, who was a healthy scratch tonight, was leading all Lake Erie defensemen in assists (11) and points (tie-12) at the time of his recall.
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