Cody McCormick Andrew Brunette Photo GalleryNotes & Quotes
With many of its regulars not in uniform – including captain Joe Sakic and forward Ryan Smyth – the Avalanche has been getting contributions from every line across the board. Sunday night against the Vancouver Canucks, it was Cody McCormick’s turn to step up.
McCormick, who now has two goals in his last three games, fired a wrist shot past Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo from the left faceoff circle for the eventual game-winner in Colorado’s 3-1 victory over Vancouver.
McCormick started the play with a big hit on Ryan Kesler before grabbing a loose puck seconds later and giving the Avs a 2-1 lead at the 10:50 mark of the third period.
Marek Svatos and Andrew Brunette also scored for Colorado, which won its fifth straight at home and improved to 15-3-0 at Pepsi Center.
“We got the puck in deep. Ben (Guite) got in there really hard,” said McCormick. “They really pitched it out there for me and the puck just bounced out. And I put it on net and fortunately it went in.”
Following a scoreless opening frame, Svatos made it a 1-0 game at 3:29 of the second period. Svatos kept a Vancouver clearing attempt in the offensive zone and fed Jaroslav Hlinka in the slot, who put a shot on goal. Luongo stopped the attempt, but the rebound bounced off Svatos and toward the goal line, where the forward tapped it in for his 12th goal of the season.
Taylor Pyatt evened the game at 6:57 on the rebound of a Byron Ritchie attempt with Vancouver on the power-play.
After McCormick gave Colorado the lead, Andrew Brunette effectively iced the game at the 12:24 mark of the third period on his sixth tally of the season. With the Avalanche on the power-play, John-Michael Liles threw the puck toward the net, where Brunette gained control. Left alone at the goal mouth, Brunette turned and faked to his forehand before shelving a backhand attempt.
“John (Liles) made a real nice play and kind of caught (Luongo) a little bit off-guard,” said Brunette. “I was just trying to get him down, he’s such a good goalie, so big. If you can get him to commit and go the other way, that’s basically what I was trying to do. He doesn’t bite too much. I got him to go down to the one side and there was a hole on the other side.”
Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj made 21 saves to earn his 14th victory of the season.Notes
: The Avalanche heads into the Christmas Break tied with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division with 44 points… Colorado’s 15-3-0 home record (.833) is its best at the Christmas Break in Avalanche history (since 1995-96)…The previous mark was 14-3-3-0 (.775) in 2000-01…Tonight marked Colorado’s first intra-divisional game since Nov. 28…The Avs are 5-0-1 in their last six games and 7-1-1 in their last nine… Budaj has posted a 5-0-1 record over the last six games with a 1.64 goals-against average and .940 save percentage (365 mins, 167 shots, 10 goals)…The netminder has not allowed more than two goals in any single contest during that stretch.