Following Friday’s practice at Family Sports Center, Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco touched on his team’s ability to bounce back after tough losses.
Sacco hinted that there was little doubt in his mind his team would come out strong on Saturday night against the Dallas Stars after a tough 3-1 defeat Thursday night at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.
And bounce back they did, taking a convincing 5-0 decision from the Stars behind some strong play from their fourth line.
With forward David Jones
sidelined by a hand injury, the Avalanche recalled Kevin Porter
from the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League to take his place in the lineup. Porter, who had been reassigned following last Saturday’s game against Columbus, played a big role tonight alongside Philippe Dupuis and David Van Der Gulik
on Colorado’s fourth line.
The trio provided the club with plenty of energy, threw their bodies around a bit, won their fair share of corner battles and even contributed offensively.
Some hard work in the opening period led to Porter’s first goal of the 2010-11 season. After a strong shift in Dallas’ zone, Porter picked up a loose puck to the right of Stars netminder Andrew Raycroft and brought it to the front of the goal, where he deposited a backhand attempt into the back of the net. Van Der Gulik and Dupuis were credited with assists on the play.
But the line wasn’t done there. With the Avs short-handed in the second period, Dupuis beat Brad Richards to a loose puck near the blue line and went on a 2-on-1 with Porter. With the passing lane shut down, Dupuis elected to take the shot and beat Raycroft with a laser of a wrist shot for his first NHL goal.
To cap things off, Porter netted his second goal of the night early in the third period. After Dupuis stole an errant Dallas pass, he skated toward the net where he had the puck poke-checked away. However, it ended up right on Porter’s stick with nothing but an open net in front of him.
“The line played great," said Porter. "We were getting pucks deep, we were forechecking hard and creating chances for ourselves. We’ve got to keep doing that.”
Overall, Porter, Dupuis and Van Der Gulik combined for six points (3g/3a), 11 shots on goal and a +8 plus/minus rating.Cohen Debuts
For the second consecutive game, a defenseman who played collegiately at Boston University made his NHL debut for the Avalanche. On Thursday against Vancouver, it was Kevin Shattenkirk who suited up for his first NHL game. Tonight against Dallas, it was his former Terrier teammate, Colby Cohen, who received the nod.
After being recalled alongside Porter earlier this morning, Cohen became the fourth rookie to debut for the Avs this season (Shattenkirk, Jonas Holos
and Mark Olver
are the others).
Cohen saw 18:27 of ice time in his first NHL contest and recorded a +1 plus/minus rating, one shot and two hits.
He was also penalized twice during the game, first taking a roughing penalty in the first period after jostling with Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas (who received a matching penalty) and then getting whistled for holding in the second period.