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Jones Helps Avs Power Past Canucks

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
In talking with Avalanche forward David Jones, he believes his skating and willingness to go hard toward the goal are two of the biggest attributes he possesses. His coaches have said much the same since the Dartmouth product earned his first call-up to the big club a season ago.

Earlier this season, when Jones was having some trouble finding the back of the net, Avalanche head coach Tony Granato and his staff continued to tell Jones that if he took the puck to the crease, good things would eventually happen.

“That’s my biggest asset; driving wide and taking the puck to the net,” said Jones. “The coaches have been telling me they like how hard I skate and that I’m doing exactly what I should be.”

Sunday’s 5-4 shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks was evidence of just that. Jones notched his fourth goal of the season and also drew a penalty by simply using his speed and wide-frame to barrel toward the opposing goalie.

The Canucks jumped on the scoreboard early, as Darcy Hordichuk put a shot past Peter Budaj from the left faceoff circle just 2:17 into the game.

Jones then helped to put the Avs on the power play, going 1-on-2 with a pair of Vancouver defenders before being hauled down by Jannik Hansen.

While the Avalanche couldn’t capitalize on that opportunity, another power move to the net by Jones helped the team even the game in the middle frame.

After Colorado killed off a penalty, Vancouver continued to sustain pressure in the Avalanche zone. Eventually, Jones was able to gain control of the puck and hustled from one end of the ice to the other before trying to split the defense by hopping around Vancouver defender Shane O’Brien. The Canucks’ blueliner got a piece of him, but Jones stayed with the play and – while suspended in mid-air – was able to somehow get his stick on the puck and knock it past Cory Schneider at 5:14.

Watch Jones' Goal

“I didn’t even know it went in. I kind of made a little move there and just tried to put it on the net,” said Jones. “It was a fortunate break, but that’s what happens when you get shots on net.

The goal was Jones’ fourth of the season and third in a five-game span.

The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead on a Ryan Smyth blast at 11:25. Trailing the play, Smyth took a drop pass from Hejduk and uncorked a one-timer from just inside the blue line.

However, the Canucks scored a pair of goals before the second intermission, with Daniel Sedin striking at 15:49 following a scramble in front of the net and Steve Bernier notching a power-play marker at 17:45.

Milan Hejduk evened the game at 3-3 early in the third period. After a Jordan Leopold point shot was deflected, Hejduk picked up the loose puck and put a well-placed shot into the back of the Vancouver goal with a little help from a Smyth screen.

Bernier notched his second goal of the night off a one-timer at 9:57, but Swedish defenseman Daniel Tjarnqvist displayed some late-game heroics for the Avalanche. Tjarnqvist took a pass from Hejduk at the left point and one-timed a low shot past Schneider with only 2:50 remaining to send the game to an extra session.

Following a scoreless overtime, Wojtek Wolski, Marek Svatos and Milan Hejduk all converted during the shootout to give the Avs a 5-4 win.

Smyth, Stastny Continue to Produce
Ryan Smyth’s second period goal extended his current point streak to four games (2g/2a). He has now been on the scoresheet in six of his last seven games, having totaled four goals and two assists in that span.

Paul Stastny picked up a trio of assists tonight, giving the third-year center seven points (2g/5a) in his past four games. Stastny leads the club in scoring with 24 points (6g/18a) in 27 games this year.

Crazy Eights
Tonight’s win continued a nice streak for the Avalanche, as it marked the club’s eighth consecutive victory over the Canucks. The eight-game win streak is now Colorado’s longest ever against Vancouver. The club had previously won seven in a row against their division rivals from March 9, 1996 to March 18, 1997.

Tonight was the second of six meetings between the Avalanche and Canucks this year.
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