In a must win game, the Avs should have come out
with a lot of energy and be ready to play a full 60 minutes. They could not accomplish either feat, and it ended up costing them the game.
The Avs lost by a score of 3-1, causing them to suffer their
first three game losing streak of the season. What was a bigger disappointment
was that all three goals came from the stick of a lone Ranger, Marion Gaborik.
Cody McLeod was the single Avs playing to finally get a puck past Ranger goalie
Chad Johnson late in the third period.
“I don’t think that is really the case,” said Avs forward
T.J. Galiardi. “We do have to play our game, and that is why they won.
Obviously he had a huge game and when a guy scores a hat-trick it’s a pretty
good offensive night. We got know a guy like that is going to be a threat all
night and he burnt us.”
In a game where the Avs knew that they were trying to avoid
their first three game losing streak of the season, they still didn’t show up
to play a full 60 minutes of hockey. A theme that has been haunting this
season, and as a result has cost them a few games, last night included.
The first period was one of the worst periods that Avs have
played all season, which included Gaborik’s first goal. During the first, the
Avs were having issues controlling the puck in both ends of the ice. With the
terrible puck control, it took the Avs several minutes before they were able to
manage a shot on net.
“Same thing I sad earlier, we came out slow,” said Avs
center Paul Stastny. “When we do well we come out and come out hard. We came
out slow and when they got that goal, we tried to play the run and gun with
them. That’s not our style.”
Not only were the Avs having a terrible time controlling the
puck, but the Rangers were having their issues with the puck as well. Much of
the first period was back and forth because of both teams turning the puck
over. The only difference was that Gaborik was able to get a good rush up the
ice and put it past Avs goalie Craig Anderson.
Although the score does not implicate so, Anderson did have
a pretty good night in net, and did his best to try and keep his team in the
game. The only thorn in Anderson’s side was Gaborik, getting the best of him.
In addition to the terrible puck control from both teams,
which got better as the game progressed, was the penalties both sides
committed. In the first two minutes of the game, Anderson and Kyle Cumiskey
received penalties during the same play, giving the Rangers a 5-on-3 power-play
with a full two minutes. Luckily the Avs were able to kill the matching minors,
as well as the other four penalties they committed.
As the game developed, the Avs started to play a bit better,
but were still unable to get anything going. The third period was a much
stronger period which included some scoring chances and McLeod’s goal. Nonetheless,
any chance of a come-back was diffused when Stastny was called for tripping at
17:56 of the third.
“It was our first three game losing streak of the year,”
said Avs coach Joe Sacco. “We try to avoid three game losing streaks. We just
have to stop it and put an end to it.”