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McLeod Notches First NHL Goal in Loss

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Post-Game Comments:

Cody McLeod
Wojtek Wolski
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Rookie forward Cody McLeod notched his first career NHL goal on Thursday night in Colorado’s 4-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Pepsi Center.

McLeod, who recorded six goals and seven assists in 27 contests with the Lake Erie Monsters before being called up Dec. 16, scored at the 18:37 mark of the first period on a strong individual effort. While on the forecheck, McLeod stole a pass off the stick of Brian Rafalski near the top of the faceoff circle and skated in all alone before putting a wrister over Dominik Hasek’s right shoulder.

The goal, combined with Marek Svatos’ tally early in the second period, erased a 2-0 deficit for the Avalanche. However, the Red Wings struck twice more in the second half of the contest to come away with the victory.

“It’s definitely something you want to do when you’re growing up is to play in the NHL. Then to steal a goal, that’s kind of a bonus,” said McLeod. “I think it was kind of a big goal. We were down 2-0 right at the end of the first (period) and we got some life. But it’s a tough one to lose tonight.”

Detroit took a 1-0 lead at the 12:56 mark of the first period on a Valtteri Filppula attempt that was saved by Peter Budaj but bounced off an Avalanche defender and into the net. Filppula added a second marker before the first intermission when he deposited the rebound of a Niklas Kronwall shot at 17:05.

After McLeod’s goal made it a 2-1 game after 20 minutes of play, the Avalanche evened the score, 2-2, at 5:56 of the second period. Jeff Finger sprung the play with a pass out of Colorado’s defensive zone onto the stick of Jaroslav Hlinka, who carried the puck into the Detroit zone and put a shot on Hasek. The Red Wing netminder made the initial save, but Svatos tapped in the rebound for his 13th tally of the season.

The Wings took a 3-2 lead and closed out the second-period scoring at the 11:00 mark as Jiri Hudler put a slap shot past Budaj after a give-and-go with Kris Draper.

Mikael Samuelsson added an empty-net goal with 11 seconds remaining in the final frame to wrap up the scoring.

Notes: Svatos scored for the third straight game, giving him the longest goal-scoring streak by an Avalanche player this season…The Avs are 15-4-0 at home this season…Colorado now owns an 8-4-1 record in the month of December…The Avalanche, who entered tonight’s game as the least penalized team in the NHL, committed a season-low two penalty minutes this evening…The franchise record is 0 penalty minutes set against the Red Wings on April 9, 2000...The Avalanche is now 2-1 on its four-game homestand…The homestand concludes with a matinee affair against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday afternoon.

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