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Avs Fall to Defending Stanley Cup Champs

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Ian Laperriere

Notes & Quotes
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Samuel Pahlsson netted the game-winner with 4:21 remaining in the third period to give the Anaheim Ducks a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday night at Pepsi Center.

Avalanche netminder Jose Theodore stopped the initial attempt from the slot on the play, but Pahlsson broke through a traffic jam in front of the Colorado goal to bang home the loose puck. The goal gave Anaheim its first regular-season win in Denver since Jan. 9, 2003, snapping a six-game losing streak at Pepsi Center.

“It felt like a playoff game and it was played like a playoff game,” said Theodore. “I’m happy with the way the guys competed for 60 minutes.”

The Avalanche took an early 1-0 lead on a play that was started and finished by Marek Svatos. The forward made a pass from the red line to Wojtek Wolski, whose attempt from just outside the left faceoff circle was stopped by Anaheim netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere. However, Svatos swooped in and knocked the rebound over Giguere’s left shoulder at the 1:37 mark for his team-leading 25th goal of the season.

The Ducks evened the game 1:09 into the second period when Teemu Selanne capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage for Anaheim, putting a quick wrister past Jose Theodore’s glove hand.

Theodore finished with 27 saves for the Avalanche, while Giguere had 32 stops for the Ducks.

Ironman v2.0
Defenseman Brett Clark played in his 200th consecutive game tonight against Anaheim. Clark ranks second among Avalanche players in that category, trailing only Andrew Brunette, who holds the league’s second longest active streak at 428 games. However, Clark left the game in the third period with a shoulder injury and did not return.

Dressing the ‘D’
The Avalanche dressed seven defensemen in tonight’s game, with Karlis Skrastins playing his first two shifts at right wing on a line with T.J. Hensick and Cody McLeod. From that point on, Skrastins returned to his natural position as the Avs rotated all seven defensemen. Colorado was without forwards Scott Parker (flu) and Cody McCormick (chest contusion).

Loose Pucks
Colorado is 8-4-2 in its last 14 games…Svatos scored the fastest goal to begin a game for the Avalanche this season, lighting the lamp 1:37 into the contest…The previous mark was 2:37 by Ryan Smyth on Dec. 17 at Los Angeles…Tonight was one of only four home contests for the Avs in February, as they will play 10 of their 14 games this month on the road.
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