It was another one goal victory, but the Colorado faithful didn’t seem to mind.
The Avalanche scored four unanswered goals with defenseman Kyle Quincey scoring the game winner in overtime to help lift Colorado to the 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Pepsi Center.
“It really tested us, this game. It’s a process and it is all about 60 minutes,” Quincey said. “It was looking pretty bleak halfway through the second, thinking here we go again. But we stuck with it and it shows a lot of character, and I think this is a turning point in our season. We need to build on this momentum.”
The victory was the Avs’ largest comeback since overcoming an 0-4 deficit to beat the Calgary Flames on Oct. 16, 2007.
Colorado is now 7-1-1 in one goal games and 5-1 in games that go beyond regulation this season.
After killing off a New York power play early in the overtime period, the Avs received a man advantage opportunity of their own after Islanders goaltender Al Montoya received a high sticking minor. Colorado only used 46 seconds of the power play as Quincey’s shot from the point got past the screened Montoya with 2:21 left in the extra frame.
“[David Jones] did a great job in front,” said Quincey on his first career overtime goal. “If he (Montoya) sees that shot, he probably saves it. Jonesy did all the work there.”
Jones said he saw Quincey on the edge looking to shoot.
“He was just looking for a lane,” Jones said. “They weren’t giving us much on the side, and he found an opening and fired it. I don’t think the goaltender even saw it.”
Colorado found themselves down 3-0 midway through the second period, but Paul Stastny began the Avs comeback with a power-play goal with 21 seconds remaining in the second period.
Quincey had the original shot from the point before it rebounded off of Montoya’s pad and onto the stick of Jones. After a couple whacks at it by Jones, the puck popped free to Stastny, who wristed it top shelf.
Milan Hejduk made it a one-goal game after he scored midway through the third period. Hejduk, who now leads the team in goals with six, fired the puck from the right circle that hit off of Montoya and slid into the cage.
Jan Hejda tied the game at three after he ripped a slap shot from the left point. It was Hejda’s first score since Mar. 19 of last season.
With 1:43 left in regulation, the Islanders received a power play chance after Daniel Winnik was called for goalie interference. New York had several good chances late in the period, including a shot on a 2-on-1 as time expired, but Avs goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was able to get his pad on the last second shot.
“I looked at the clock, there was five seconds left, and I thought this is going to be over pretty soon,” Giguere said of the final sequence. “I got lucky [on the final shot]. He got a good piece of that and I was able to make the save.”
The win improves Colorado’s record to 8-7-1 on the season. Colorado is now only three points behind Northwest Division-leading Edmonton, who has 20 points.
Colorado returns to action on Saturday night when the Calgary Flames return to Pepsi Center at 8 p.m. MT. The Flames played in Denver last Sunday.
Jiggy in Top 50
Avs goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere
made 30 saves for his third victory of the season and 234th of his career. The win ties Giguere for 50th on the NHL all-time wins list with Eddie Johnston.
After the game, Giguere said that Thursday night’s game was a must win for the team.
“We had to win this game. You can’t accept going 1-4 (at home),” Giguere said. “It is unacceptable in this league. We need to make a statement here and if we want to have any chance to make the playoffs, we have to be good at home.”
Power Play Stays Hot
Colorado continues to have the hottest power play with power plays goals from Stastny and Quincey in the win over the Islanders.
The Avs were first in the NHL at 29.2 percent (14-for-48) entering Thursday’s game. They have scored on the power play in six of their last eight contests.
Kyle Quincey scored his first career overtime goal…He is the first Avalanche defenseman to score an OT goal since John-Michael Liles on April 4, 2010 vs. San Jose.
The Avalanche fired over 50 shots on net for the first time since Nov. 12, 2002 vs. Columbus (also 51)…In fact, Colorado’s 51 shots tonight equaled the club’s second-highest total since moving to Denver.
· 57 March 5, 1996 vs. San Jose
· 51 Nov. 10, 2011 vs. NY Islanders
· 51 Nov. 12, 2002 vs. Columbus
· 51 Feb. 11, 1997 vs. Los Angeles
· 50 March 1, 1999 vs. Edmonton
The Avalanche snapped a season-high four-game winless drought (0-3-1)…Tonight was Colorado’s second home win of the season (now 2-5-0).
Colorado also snapped a four-game losing streak against the Islanders, beating New York for the first time since Jan. 5, 2008 in Denver.
The Avalanche improved to 5-0-0 against Eastern Conference teams this season.
David Jones recorded his first career fighting major in the NHL.
TJ Galiardi had a career-high six shots.
Josh Bailey tallied his first goal of the season and first since March 22, 2011 at Tampa Bay.
Jay McClement saw his consecutive games played streak end at 275 games, the longest active streak on the team…Tonight marked the first time McClement missed a game since March 4, 2008 vs. Los Angeles as a member of the Blues…He started his streak the very next night on March 5, 2008 in Detroit.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere made his first start since Oct. 26 at Calgary…Semyon Varlamov had started each of the previous six games.