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Dutchy, Avs Down Ducks 4-2

AJ Haefele Avatar
April 4, 2015

In a disappointing season for the Colorado Avalanche, it’s all about finding the small things to take solace in. For one more night, the Avs staved off mathematical elimination from the playoffs as they held off the Anaheim Ducks on the road, 4-2, despite being thoroughly outplayed for much of the game.

A breakaway goal by Matt Duchene, his 21st of the season, at 9:08 of the 3rd period proved to be the difference maker as the Avs, backstopped by resurgent Reto Berra, held on to win through a complete onslaught against the Avs’ net. Being outshot is nothing new to this Avs team but after leading shots in the first period, 12-11, they were outshot by the Ducks, 26-11. It’s more of a throwback to the kind of success the team found last season, where goal-scoring and a quick-strike counter attack offense balanced out a porous defense that gave up too many shots against.

The game was physical and competitive throughout and the scoring started early with John Mitchell notching his 11th goal of the season just 6:33 into the game to give the Avs a 1-0 lead.

The lead would dissolve quickly as Jiri Sekac scored an unassisted beauty of a goal where Berra bit hard on Sekac’s head fake, leaving the net wide open for an easy goal and a 1-1 tie just 58 seconds after the Avs had taken the lead. 10 minutes of even hockey would pass before Rickard Rakell would bang home his 9th of the season and give the Ducks a 2-1 lead heading into the second period.

A physical second period saw a string of undisciplined play by the Ducks result in 3 consecutive Avalanche power plays, the last of which resulted in a beautiful tic-tac-toe play between Tyson Barrie, Alex Tanguay, and Gabriel Landeskog that gave Landeskog his 23rd goal the season, Barrie his 50th point of the year, and the Avs a tie game at 2-2.

Playing for their playoff lives, the Avs staved off a fervent Ducks barrage of shots towards the Avs net in the third period as Anaheim threw 15 shots on Berra and the Duchene goal would prove to be all the team needed. An empty-net goal by Dennis Everberg would push the lead to 4-2 in favor of the Avs and give the Ducks just their 11th regulation home loss of the season.

Despite the disappointing season in the standings, tonight saw the Avs hit a few player milestones. As mentioned earlier, Barrie hit 50 points on the season, becoming just the fourth defenseman in Avalanche history and the first drafted by the team to reach that mark. Barrie also became the 6th member of the Avs to hit 50 points this season, making the Avs the only team in the NHL with that many players to hit the 50 point plateau

For Berra, it marks the 4th straight appearance where his results have looked to be of NHL quality, an enormous leap from earlier in the season when he appeared anything but. His late-season resurgence has been a fresh of breath air as the Avs attempt to salvage what has been a disastrous season from their backup goaltender.

In a season full of frustrations and disappointments, sometimes it’s the little things that help bring you home late in the season. A win by the Winnipeg Jets would officially eliminate the Avs from the postseason race and if it happens, it happens. For one night, it was nice to the Avs rise up and rage against the dying of the light.

3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Matt Duchene – 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, 18:33 TOI
  2. Jiri Sekac – 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot, 2 hits, 14:10 TOI
  3. Reto Berra – 35 saves on 37 shots


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