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Svatos Notches OT Game-Winner

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
Post-Game Comments:

Marek Svatos
Jose Theodore
Photo Gallery
Notes & Quotes

Marek Svatos notched the game-winning goal 2:05 into overtime to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday in a somewhat rare appearance in Denver for the visitors.

With the game knotted in the extra session, Svatos put a high backhander past New York goaltender Rick DiPietro off a feed from John-Michael Liles to give the Avs the win.

“(DiPietro) played well the whole game. We created a lot of chances. It was really important for us to win tonight and get one win before we hit the road,” said Svatos. “It was a great effort by the whole team. I think we deserved to win. We had to do exactly what we did, we threw the pucks at the net.”

The Islanders were making their first appearance in Denver since Feb. 10, 2004. That game ended in a 1-1 tie. The Avalanche and Islanders did not meet last year and were facing off for the first time since Dec. 17, 2005, in Long Island – a 5-4 New York victory.

Tim Jackman staked the Islanders to a 1-0 lead 3:18 into the game on a shot from the bottom of the right faceoff circle that beat Jose Theodore high to the glove side.

Colorado evened the game, 1-1, with only 32 seconds remaining in the second frame. Brett Clark carried the puck into New York’s zone and dropped a feed to Wojtek Wolski, who attempted a shot that was partially blocked by an Islander defender. Jordan Leopold, situated just outside the crease, was able to tap the puck past DiPietro for his third goal of the season.

Theodore kept the Islanders off the scoreboard during a scoreless third period with several spectacular saves. Perhaps the most impressive sequence came six minutes into the frame, when the netminder made three consecutive pad saves on Sean Bergenheim with his outstretched left leg hugging the goal line and the left post.

Boychuk Makes NHL Debut
Johnny Boychuk, Colorado’s second-round selection (61st overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, made his National Hockey League debut against the Islanders. He became the sixth different Avalanche player to make his NHL debut in 2007-08, joining T.J. Hensick, Jaroslav Hlinka, David Jones, Cody McLeod and Tyler Weiman.

Dressing the ‘D’
The Avalanche dressed eight defensemen against New York Saturday night, with natural defensemen Boychuk and Kyle Cumiskey lining up as forwards. The two played on a line together, being centered by either Wolski or Hensick. Boychuk, who lined up on the wing at times in training camp with the Avalanche, also saw a few shifts on defense during the game.

Colorado’s first goal of the game came with three defensemen – John-Michael Liles, Brett Clark and Leopold – on the ice together.

A Pair of Milestones
Both Svatos and Clark recorded their 100th career points against the Islanders. Svatos hit the 100-point plateau in grand fashion with his overtime game-winner - his sixth goal in the last seven games. Svatos now has 65 goals and 35 assists in 169 career contests.

Clark recorded his 100th career point when he assisted on Leopold’s second-period goal. Clark, who now has 14 points on the season (4g/10a), has totaled 28 goals and 72 assists in 361 career games.

Halfway There
The Avalanche reached the halfway point of the season with tonight’s game and came away with a winning record at the midpoint for the 11th time in 12 seasons since moving to Denver. With the victory, the Avs have posted a 22-16-3 record through 41 games. The team’s 47 points are its most at the midpoint since 2003-04 (53 points).

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