Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk made his NHL debut tonight against Vancouver after being recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.
Shattenkirk was Colorado’s first-round pick (14th overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. The blueliner spent three seasons (2007-10) playing collegiately at Boston University, where he helped the Terriers win the NCAA title in 2009 and served as the team’s lone captain during his junior campaign of 2009-10.
A native of Greenwich, Conn., Shattenkirk posted a +6 plus/minus rating over his last four games in the AHL before being recalled.
The rookie started the game alongside John-Michael Liles and spent most of the contest paired with him, but Shattenkirk also saw shifts with Scott Hannan and Kyle Quincey at various points.
“It was exciting, obviously, coming into the game," said Shattenkirk. "Just having your first NHL game is something that you dream of growing up and you never really think it’s going to come and here it was today and it was fun.”
Shattenkirk saw 20:57 of ice time during his first NHL game and recorded one shot on net, two hits and three takeaways. The blueliner also spent 1:33 at one of the points on the Avalanche’s second power-play unit.
He became the third Avalanche rookie to make his NHL debut during the 2010-11 season, joining fellow defenseman Jonas Holos
and forward Mark Olver
After stating following Thursday’s morning skate that he would again suit up seven defensemen tonight, Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco instead iced six blueliners against the Canucks. It wasn’t a change he anticipated, however.
Instead, it was necessitated because defenseman Ryan Wilson
was forced to miss the game due to a leg injury. With Wilson out, the Avalanche had no healthy scratches tonight, as Craig Anderson (knee), Kyle Cumiskey (head), Adam Foote (head), David Koci (jaw) and Peter Mueller
(head) are all either on injured reserve or simply unavailable because of their injuries.Van Der Gulik Scores
The lone Avalanche tally of the evening came at 16:52 of the third period off the stick of David Van Der Gulik
. It was the forward’s first career NHL goal and came in his ninth game.
“It’s obviously a huge milestone for my career," said Van Der Gulik. "It was pretty special in the moment, pretty emotional. We needed this win so it’s bittersweet. We have to regroup and come out with a big game against Dallas. We obviously didn’t come ready to play but we’ll be ready next game.”
The Abbotsford, B.C. native, skating in his third contest with the Avalanche, previously played six games with Calgary during the 2008-09 campaign. He now owns three career points (1g/2a).Stastny Shaken, But Okay
There was a scary moment early in the second period, as the Avs saw one of their assistant captains lying prone on the ice after being struck in the head by a puck.
With 15:52 remaining in the middle frame, Paul Stastny
was hit in the side of the head by a Liles point shot. After winning a faceoff in the offensive zone, Stastny began skating into the slot, where he ended up falling onto the ice. From there, Liles’ point shot appeared to strike him in the side of the helmet. Stastny remained down for half a minute before skating to the locker room under his own power.
The good news came shortly thereafter, as the center returned to the Avalanche’s bench just over a minute of game time later.