Avs Knock Off Stars, 3-2
With tonight’s victory, the Avalanche snapped Dallas’ season-long five-game win streak. The Stars had outscored their opponents by a 20-7 margin over that span.
-The Avalanche now owns a 4-9-0 record when entering the third period tied with its opponent.
-Colorado has scored a power-play goal in four straight games, marking a season high. The Avs went 1-for-2 with the man-advantage tonight, making the club 8-for-28 (28.6%) in its last seven contests.
-Cody McLeod scored his 12th goal of the season Thursday night, giving him nine points (5g/4a) over his last 11 games. Coming into tonight’s contest, McLeod was one of only two NHL players with at least 10 goals and 100 penalty minutes this season.
-The Avalanche has now played 30 one-goal games this season, surpassing Detroit (29) for the most of any NHL team. The Avs are 18-11-1 in those 30 contests, tying the Red Wings and New York Rangers for the most one-goal wins in the league.
Now in his 10th NHL season, Milan Hejduk
is enjoying yet another banner campaign. In addition to being named an NHL All-Star for the third time in his career, Hejduk also topped the 300-goal mark for his career earlier this year.
On Thursday night at Pepsi Center, Hejduk added to the accolades when he scored his 20th goal of the season – and his fifth in the last four games.
On the play, Hejduk corralled the puck in the right corner and methodically worked his way toward the Dallas net with a couple of quick dekes. Dallas netminder Marty Turco made the first move by dropping down to cover the bottom of the net and Hejduk responded by calmy putting a forehand top shelf from just outside the crease.
It marked the ninth straight year the winger has totaled at least 20 goals – the fourth longest streak in franchise history. The only campaign in which Hejduk failed to light the lamp at least 20 times was his rookie year of 1998-99, when he scored 14 goals.
If anything defines Hejduk – other than his quick and soft hands – it’s that calm, steadying demeanor he displayed on his goal tonight. You know he’ll always have an impact on the game, whether it comes through playing solid in all three zones or scoring a goal – something that seems to come naturally for the sniper from the Czech Republic.
His tally tonight also had additional significance in a historical sense, as it pushed him past Anton Stastny for sole possession of fifth place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 637 career points (305g/332a). Hejduk had tied Stastny Monday night against Calgary on a power-play goal. He would also add an assist on Marek Svatos’ goal in the third period, moving his point total to 638.
Hejduk now trails only Joe Sakic (1,641), Peter Stastny (1,048), Michel Goulet (945) and Peter Forsberg (755) as the top point-getters in franchise history. Physicality on Display
After leading Calgary in hits by a 36-22 margin on Monday night, the Avalanche again showed off a physical game tonight against the Stars by more than doubling their hit total, 23-11. Cody McCormick, Cody McLeod
and Darcy Tucker officially led the Avs with three hits apiece, but it may have been Ian Laperriere who had the biggest impact along the boards. Laperriere, who finished the contest with two hits according to the official score sheet, put three big body checks on Dallas players during one shift alone midway through the second period.