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Youthful Avs Make It Three Straight

by Ron Knabenbauer / Colorado Avalanche
T.J. Galiardi might have scored the game winner, but it would not have been possible without a great feed from Gabriel Landeskog.

Galiardi poked the puck away to Landeskog at center ice – creating a 2-on-1 break – and Landeskog soon found his teammate in the slot.
“He was yelling for it and I saw that he was loaded and ready,” Landeskog said. “I just teed it up for him.”
The goal – scored shorthanded with Detroit having two seconds remaining on a power play – returned the lead back to Colorado’s side after the Red Wings tied the game 4:14 earlier. The Avs added one more and picked up the 4-2 victory on Sunday, their third in a row at home.
“I thought we had a good push in the third, but unfortunately we turned the puck over right at the end of the power play at the middle of the ice,” said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock.
Landeskog had an assist earlier in the game on another big goal – one that tied the contest 1-1.
The Swede didn’t have too much difficulty on deciding what to do on Colorado’s first goal. He was behind the Red Wings net and saw Ryan O’Reilly open in the slot.
“We were going on a forecheck and I think [Detroit’s Ian] White lost the puck behind the net,” Landeskog said. “Momentum carried me around the net and I found Ryan [O’Reilly] at the backdoor. He was so open and was yelling for it, so it was kind of easy to make that one.
Landeskog’s two helpers set a career high for assists in a game, and tied a career high of two points in a contest. He is also a plus-7 in his last three games and leads the team in plus/minus with the same statistic.
The Avs’ three-game win streak is their longest since winning five in a row from Oct. 10-17. It is also the first time that Colorado has won three straight at Pepsi Center since Dec. 13-19, 2010.
Colorado closes its longest continuous homestand in team history with a 5-3 record, but went 4-1 in its last five games.
“We knew that this homestand was going to be really important for us for the rest of the season,” Landeskog said. “We have faced some really good teams. I don’t think you can hide that we played some really good teams, but I think we really came together in the end and topping it off with this win is pretty special.”
The team now heads to western Canada for three games beginning Tuesday in Vancouver. The Avs will also play Calgary and Edmonton. Colorado’s next home game is on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. against the San Jose Sharks.
Could there be a correlation between Ryan O’Reilly scoring and the Avalanche winning?
For the third straight game, O’Reilly found the back of the net and for the third straight game, Colorado picked up the victory.
O’Reilly finished the night with two goals, his first coming just 26 seconds into the second period, tying the game at one, while his second was scored on an empty net with 34 seconds remaining in the game, securing the Avs’ first win of the season against the Red Wings.
His first goal matches the fastest goal to begin a period by an Avalanche player this season, tying Matt Duchene, who scored 26 seconds into the third period on Nov. 12 versus Calgary.
The 20-year-old’s two-goal night was a season high and tied a career high. It was his third career multi-goal game and first since Feb. 2, 2010 vs. Columbus.
O’Reilly continues to lead the team in scoring with 21 points (six goals and 15 assists). He now has three straight multi-point games (four goals and three assists in this span).
SHG for T.J.
T.J. Galiardi’s second game-winning goal in the last three games could not have come at a better time.
With the Red Wings gaining momentum after tying the game at two just minutes earlier, Galiardi took advantage of a Detroit turnover on its own power play and made them pay.
“Landy had good speed and so did I. We both came up and he put it right in my wheel-house,” Galiardi said of his goal.
The short-handed tally gave Colorado back the lead, something the Avs would not relinquish for the rest of the contest.
It was his second career short-handed goal and his first since Jan. 24, 2011 against Dallas.
No No. 8
The Red Wings were unable to improve their win streak to eight games after the Avalanche scored two goals in both the second and third periods.
“I thought we started good,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. “I thought they played harder, played better; they had more people going than we did in the second period. We started to make a couple of mistakes, turnovers led to goals.”
Detroit forward Danny Cleary said the team’s play on Sunday was uncharacteristic for how the club had been playing recently.
“Even though we didn’t skate that well, and they had more chances and outshot us, we were still in the game,” Cleary said. “We certainly didn’t play how we have been playing the last seven games, for sure.”
Detroit’s seven-game win streak was tied for the second-longest streak in the NHL (Boston reeled off 10-straight victories).
More Notes
The Avalanche finished 5-3-0 on their eight-game homestand, which included winning the final three games…This eight-game stay, which ran from Nov. 18 to Dec. 4, was the longest continuous homestand in Avalanche history…The Avs did have a nine-game homestand in 2001-02 but that was wrapped around the Olympic Break, and had an eight-game stay in 2008-09 but that was broken up by the All-Star Break.
9 games Feb. 9 – March 9, 2002  (included Olympic Break)
8 games Nov. 18 – Dec. 4, 2011
8 games Jan. 16 – Feb. 5, 2009  (included All-Star Break)
7 games Jan. 18 – Feb. 5, 2011  (not scheduled - road game in middle was postponed)
7 games Nov. 16 – Dec. 6, 1996
Semyon Varlamov made his sixth consecutive start tonight, matching his longest streak of the season set Oct. 28 to Nov. 8.
Varlamov has won three straight games and is 4-2-0 with a 1.81 GAA and .939 Sv% in his last six starts (364 min, 180 shots, 11 goals)…He has allowed two goals or less in each of those six games.
According to the official stats, the Avalanche “out-hit” the Red Wings 31-9 tonight.
Ryan O’Reilly collected his third straight multi-point game tonight…O’Reilly has seven points (4g/3a) and is +7 over these last three games…He continues to lead the Avalanche in scoring with 21 points (6g/15a).
As a team, the Avalanche now has four short-handed goals, tied for third most in the NHL.
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