The Colorado Avalanche shutout the visiting Dallas Stars 5-0 Saturday night at Pepsi Center. The team was able to bounce back after a lackluster performance against the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
The Avs seemed to have forgotten about their last game in which the team barely avoided getting shutout themselves. From the first puck drop to the final buzzer, the team played with an awesome amount of intensity.
After the unfortunate injury to Craig Anderson, some may have questioned whether Peter Budaj was up to the task to be number one. The past three games have proven that he is. With last week’s near shutout of Columbus and his solid play against Vancouver, it seems to be true that Peter Budaj is back and ready to be the starting goaltender for the Colorado Avalanche.
Budaj credits much of his success in tonight’s game to his teammates’ play, not least of which came from the fourth line.
“That’s the depth that you want to have, the confidence you want to have in your third and fourth lines,” he said. “They worked really hard and it was great to see them get rewarded.”
Colorado Avalanche Head Coach Joe Sacco was also impressed with the team’s fourth line, which finished the game with a combined six points.
“They work hard all the time,” the coach said. “A lot of what they do doesn’t necessarily show up on the score sheet on most nights.”
Kevin Porter, who had two goals, including the game winner, had been recalled from Lake Erie in the American Hockey League because of a hand injury to David Jones.
“I’m really excited, really happy with the way I played,” he said. “I don’t think anyone expected this, even us. We just wanted to play well defensively, get pucks deep and have a lot of energy for the team. I thought we did that, and we created some scoring chances. This was one of the most fun games I’ve played in a while.”
Phillipe Dupuis, also a fourth-liner, scored his first NHL goal while on the penalty kill. After a fortunate bounce, his wrist shot beat Dallas goaltender Andrew Raycroft top-shelf, glove-side to score the short-handed goal.
“It was surreal. I really didn’t play on the PK so far this season, so it was one of my first shifts doing it. Richards went down, so we had a two-on-one and I saw the D-man was going down. I knew I had to shoot and the short side was open. I was trying for the corner and I got lucky.”
Dallas came into the game as the number one team in the NHL for goals scored per game, and Sacco knows that regardless, it is not easy to get a shutout.
“Any time you’re able to shutout any team in this league it says a lot about your team defense and it says a lot about the group we had back there,” Sacco said.
The Avs look forward to continue tonight’s success on Tuesday when the Calgary Flames come to town.