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Avs Drop Seesaw Battle to Bruins

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
A late goal by Boston’s David Krejci gave the Bruins a 5-4 victory over the Avalanche in a back-and-forth battle Thursday night during Colorado’s season opener.

No team led by more than one goal at any point during the contest, which saw Krejci notch the game-winner with 2:36 remaining after teammate Chuck Kobasew fanned on his attempt, putting the puck right on Krejci’s stick with a partially open net.

The opening night loss was a bit of an abnormality for the Avalanche, which came into the game with the NHL’s best winning percentage (16-5-7; .696) in season openers.

“You have to give (Thomas) credit. He played well and they did what they had to do,” said Avs defenseman Jordan Leopold. “It’s one of those deals where we got a weird bounce at the end and they end up getting the game-winning goal. It’s frustrating. First game of the season, we put a good effort. We have to make some changes mentally and not so many mistakes but we’ll learn from it.”

The first period saw each team score twice. Boston’s Phil Kessel opened the scoring at 6:21 after picking up a loose puck in the Bruins’ offensive zone and putting a shot past Budaj.

Milan Hejduk evened the game at 10:02 on a power-play tally from the goalmouth off a Paul Stastny feed, but Boston struck back on Blake Wheeler’s first NHL goal just 49 seconds later.

Wojtek Wolski tied it up again before the first intermission, with assists going to Marek Svatos and Darcy Tucker. During a flurry of action in front of the Boston goal that saw Svatos take two unsuccessful jabs, Wolski crashed the net and poked the puck past Tim Thomas at 14:52.

The Avs grabbed a 3-2 advantage on Cody McLeod’s goal at 6:34 of the third period. On the play, Joe Sakic stripped the puck off the stick of a Boston defender and put a backhand attempt on net, the rebound of which was deposited by McLeod.

Marc Savard’s power-play tally at 10:43 again tied the game heading into the final frame.

Savard also got into the action in the third period, using his speed to set up a Michael Ryder tally at 5:36 and again give the Bruins a one-goal advantage.

Jordan Leopold briefly tied the game when he buried the rebound of a Hejduk attempt past Thomas’ glove at 10:17, but Krejci’s tally at 17:24 effectively sealed the game for the Bruins.

Calling It Early
The second period ended prematurely after a shot shattered a pane of glass directly behind Budaj with 2:47 remaining in the frame. The leftover time from the second period was played after a full intermission. Following the official end of the second, the teams took a brief break before contesting the final stanza.

Just One Shy
Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote is now one step closer to an impressive milestone. Foote played in his 999th career NHL contest Thursday against the Bruins, leaving him one shy of the 1,000 mark. He is scheduled to appear in the milestone contest on Sunday night in Edmonton.

Foote played his first regular season game on Oct. 19, 1991 vs. Detroit at the Quebec Colisee. Fun fact: Avalanche assistant coach Jacques Cloutier played in goal for the Nordiques that evening.

Sakic Strong in Openers
Joe Sakic further cemented his legacy as the NHL’s current “King of Season Openers.” The Avalanche captain notched an assist on Cody McLeod’s second-period goal tonight, giving him 27 career points (11g/16a) on opening night. That total ranks fourth in NHL history, and is the most of any current NHL player.
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