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Avalanche/Wild Notebook

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Jones Back On Track

Avalanche winger David Jones got back into the scoring column during Colorado’s 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night at Pepsi Center, netting his 12th goal of the season during the opening frame.

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After coming out of the gates on fire and scoring 11 times in his first 21 games of the season, Jones had gone 10 consecutive games without lighting the lamp. The Guelph, Ontario native’s goal tonight came as a result of going to the net hard. After taking a wrist shot from the right circle, Jones followed his shot and put his own rebound past Niklas Backstrom for a power-play goal at 10:08 of the first period.

Jones had two other decent scoring chances within a 20-second span late in the second period. He first worked his way around Minnesota defender Greg Zanon and fired a low shot that was stopped by Backstrom, and on the next Avalanche rush his shot from the low slot sailed wide of the net.

In 15:42 of ice time, Jones recorded a goal five shots on net, four hits and two takeaways.

Lineup Changes
Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco tinkered with his lineup a bit for tonight’s game. For one, Sacco dressed six defensemen and 12 forwards instead of the seven defenseman and 11 forwards that he had employed during the Avalanche’s past two games.

Secondly, the head coach mixed up a few of his line combinations as well, putting T.J. Galiardi alongside Matt Duchene and Tomas Fleischmann to begin the game, although Brandon Yip ended up seeing the majority of the minutes in Galiardi’s spot. Colorado’s other scoring line featured Paul Stastny at center with Kevin Porter and Jones at the wings.

The line combination of Daniel Winnik, Ryan O’Reilly and Greg Mauldin stayed the same, while David Koci, Philippe Dupuis and Yip also started the game playing together, though, as mentioned, the line combinations changed slightly throughout the contest.

Andy Starts, Budaj Finishes
After giving up the third Minnesota goal of the night at the 2:46 mark of the second period, Avalanche netminder Craig Anderson was pulled and replaced by Peter Budaj. Anderson had made 11 saves on 14 shots before his night ended.

For Budaj, it was his first appearance since he made 33 saves in a 6-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 4. Since that contest, Anderson has started each of the Avalanche’s nine games, including tonight.

Budaj was extremely solid after taking over in goal, stopping all 10 shots he faced in the second period and each of Minnesota’s eight attempts in the final frame.

Game Notes
Ryan Wilson dropped the gloves with Kyle Brozdiak with 5:29 remaining in the first period after Wilson laid out the Minnesota forward with a huge hip check near the Avalanche’s offensive blue line…Forward Greg Mauldin was shaken after a scary play with 14:32 remaining in the third period. Mauldin was in a race to the corner with Minnesota defenseman Marco Scandella when there was some contact between the pair. Scandella seemed to lose his footing slightly and went down after the contact, but Mauldin couldn’t stop himself and hit his head hard on the boards. Maudlin was able to leave the ice under his own power after receiving some medical attention from Avalanche athletic trainer Matt Sokolowski. He did not return to the game after the incident.
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