SAN JOSE, Calif. --
If this is the type of goaltending Craig Anderson
is going to provide in this best-of-seven series against the San Jose Sharks
, then the Colorado Avalanche
are in pretty good shape.
Making his first-ever appearance in a Stanley Cup Playoff game, the 28-year-old made 25 saves, including all 12 shots he faced in the first period, in the Avs' 2-1 victory in Game 1 at HP Pavilion on Wednesday night.
"I thought he was solid," Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. "All you can do is ask your goalie to give you a chance to win, and he certainly did that tonight."
Anderson, arguably the most underrated signing during last summer's free agency period, spoke with NHL.com after the game.
How big was it to come in here and get a win in Game 1?
It was huge. We wanted to come in here and play a hard game and make it hard on them. The result was because of what we did as a team. There was no individual efforts. Our guys were paying the price. We blocked shots and our 'D' did a great job of clearing the rebounds and allowing me to see the puck.
Did John-Michael Liles
' goal in the second period get them off their game and take the crowd out it a bit?
Obviously, the fans wanted their team to play a little bit better. They got it in the third and they scored and the fans were back in it. But the fans can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. It's pretty exciting out there. I think we fed off of it just as much as they did.
Was that second period tough at all for you considering you only faced three shots?
They still had some chances and you've got to be sharp at all times. I think you just try to keep it simple. Keep any type of thought you might have out of your mind and just worry about stopping the puck, whether it's one shot a period or 50. Whatever the number is, it's just a number. You've got to be prepared for anything.
That was your first playoff game. Was it everything you thought it would be?
And more. I came out at the start of the game and my hair was standing up. It was just a great experience. They have great fans here. It's a good crowd. It's a tough building to come in and play, but we found a way.
There was a lot of pressure on the Sharks going into this series. What do you think is going through their heads right now following tonight's outcome?
For them, I think they've just got to stick to their program. They're going to talk about it, but they've got a game plan and they've got to stick to it and we've got a game plan and we've got to stick to it.
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL