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Duchene Hits Century Mark In Loss

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Duchene Hits 100

Avalanche center Matt Duchene recorded his 100th career NHL point (44g/56a) tonight with a goal at the 15:44 mark of the third period.

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In the process, the second-year pro became the youngest player in franchise history to hit the century mark in points. Duchene, who turned 20 on Jan. 16 (20 years, 10 days), surpassed Joe Sakic (20 years, 163 days) to set the new mark. He became the first player from the 2009 draft class to reach 100 points.

“That’s a milestone that I’m very proud of and I’ll somewhat be able to enjoy it the next few days once I flush this one out of my system,” said Duchene. “Coming back, we’re going to look to make a very good push. We’re still in a fine position.”

Also of note is that the goal was Duchene’s 20th of the season, making him just the third player in Avalanche history to notch 20 or more goals in each of their first two seasons. Chris Drury (1998-2000) and Paul Stastny (2006-08) previously accomplished the feat. Duchene netted 24 goals during his rookie campaign a year ago.

Jones Injured
Avalanche winger David Jones was injured on a strange play in the second period. During a stoppage in play with 6:24 remaining in the frame, Jones stepped onto the ice while making a line change and stumbled. He took a few seconds to get up, skated toward the left faceoff circle as though he would continue, but then headed to the bench. During the third period it was announced that Jones had suffered a shoulder injury and would not return to the game.

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Galiardi Denied
Forward T.J. Galiardi was robbed of what appeared to be a goal with 4:42 remaining in the second period and the Avalanche trailing by a 3-1 score. Defenseman Ryan O’Byrne started the play by intentionally missing the net wide with a slap shot from the right point. The puck hit the active boards behind the net and bounced back out in front, where Galiardi swooped in and beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a wrister to his blocker side, but the goal was immediately waved off.

It first appeared that the tally was disallowed because the net came off its moorings, since replays clearly showed that Phoenix defenseman Sami Lepisto – with nobody around him – had dislodged the net from the opposite side of the crease. It was later revealed that the goal wasn’t counted because forward Cody McLeod had interfered with Bryzgalov. The Pepsi Center crowd obviously didn’t agree with the call and booed for the next several minutes.

“I never heard the explanation,” said McLeod. “I don’t know if I was in the crease. It looked to me like they [Phoenix] kind of pushed the net off. I don’t know, the ref made the call and nothing we can do about it now.”

A similar situation took place with 1:16 left in the same period, as Phoenix blueliner Derek Morris pushed the net off its moorings during a scramble near the Coyotes’ goal. No penalty was called on that play either.

Stoa Heating Up
Ryan Stoa scored for the second consecutive game, netting a goal on Colorado’s first (and only) shot of the first period.  During four-on-four action, the forward grabbed the puck out of the corner, brought it into the left circle and tried to drop it back to Stastny in the corner. The pass was deflected by a Coyotes defender and ended up right back on the stick of Stoa, who beat Bryzgalov with a wrist shot.

Stoa had just scored his first goal of the season in Colorado’s matchup with the St. Louis Blues on Monday night.

Recalled from Lake Erie on Jan. 19, Stoa ranked second on the Monsters in goals (15) and points (28) in 44 games at the time of his recall. His recent production at the NHL level might just be a continuation of his strong play in Lake Erie prior to his call-up. In his final 13 games with the Monsters, the Bloomington, Minn., native tallied 12 points (6g/6a).
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