hopes his preseason debut is just a glimpse of things to come, while Ryan Smyth is also optimistic that his production this preseason will continue when the puck drops for real in a little more than a week.
Jones tallied the game-winning goal in a 3-1 Avalanche victory Wednesday night at Pepsi Center, while Smyth notched his team-leading fourth goal of the preseason. T.J. Hensick added a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, which improved to 3-0-1 in exhibition play.
Following a scoreless first period, Smyth notched a power-play marker from Paul Stastny
and Joe Sakic at the 18:38 mark of the second stanza to break open a scoreless game.
With the Avs on a 3-on-2 rush, Smyth and Stastny worked a give-and-go which ended with the veteran forward tapping the puck past Dallas netminder Mat Climie.
Jones extended Colorado’s lead to 2-0 just 2:39 into the third period. The Dartmouth product corralled the puck near the Dallas blue line and skated through the right faceoff circle before cutting to the net and beating Climie on his backhand.
The Stars got one back at 4:57 when Steve Ott’s attempt from the goalmouth just eluded Avs goaltender Peter Budaj, but Hensick added an insurance goal with 3:10 remaining in the game, depositing the rebound of a Per Ledin shot.
Budaj was solid in goal for the Avalanche, stopping 29-of-30 shots to earn the victory.Svatos Returns
Avalanche forward Marek Svatos made his return to the lineup tonight following a seven-month absence. Svatos injured his knee during a March 1 game last season against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kosice, Slovakia native recorded one shot on goal and a +1 rating while playing with a wide variety of linemates, including Tyler Arnason, Per Ledin and Brian Willsie.Jones, Wolski Make Preseason Debuts
Jones (hip) and Wojtek Wolski (foot) each made their preseason debuts tonight. The pair played the majority of the contest on a line together, centered by Sakic.
In addition to his third-period tally, Jones had a solid scoring chance with the Avs short-handed in the second period. The forward found himself on a semi-breakaway, but his low shot was stopped by Climie with 7:30 left on the clock.
Wolski showed no ill effects from his injury, notching one shot on goal and a hit in 18:02 of ice time.Scoring Leaders
Smyth leads the Avalanche in goals (4) through the team’s first four preseason contests and is tied with Hensick (2g/3a) for the team lead with five points…Hensick, Stastny and Sakic are tied for the team lead in assists with three apiece.