Avalanche Dump Predators 2-1 - Colorado Avalanche Updates, News and Game Reviews at Avs Talk

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Avalanche Dump Predators 2-1

(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
The Avalanche got their fifth road win of the season with a 2-1 defeat over the Nashville Predators. It was nearly a perfect performance from Peter Budaj but Alexander Radulov was able to beat him with just 20 seconds left in the game.

The Avalanche needed some solid goaltending tonight and they got it from Peter Budaj. He was calm and collected all night and was able to stay composed even while scrambling in the crease to locate the puck.

He had to do that on a few occasions as the Predators were really putting pressure on the Avalanche for most of the night. They spent a lot of time passing the puck in the offensive zone though the Avalanche defenders did well in keeping the Predators mostly to the outside.

Ryan Smyth opened up the scoring midway through the third period as he fired a shot from the wing that got past Mason. Earlier in the game Smyth had taken a harmless shot from the wing and I thought "Man, knock it off. You're not going to score from there." He must have heard me and decided to prove me wrong!

Ian Laperriere then scored the eventual game winner as he returned to the lineup from a knee injury. Jaroslav Hlinka demonstrated ultimate patience with the puck as he circled the net then fed a perfect pass to Laperriere who was right on the doorstep. That's where you need to be to score goals. Nobody was happier than Laperriere as he had joked with Mike Haynes in pre-game about how his return would provide an offensive boost to the club.

Lappy skated on the "4th line" with Guite and McCormick. I put "4th line" in quotes as it was really the third line tonight as the Avs went with 7 D and 11 forwards. Ryan Smyth was double-shifted with Marek Svatos and Brad Richardson to form a makeshift line from time to time.

Scott Hannan pulled in monster minutes with 27:52 in ice-time tonight. Ryan Smyth was just behind him with 26:09 thanks to the aforementioned double-shifting. Marek Svatos saw a lowly 6:50 in ice-time. It's not that he's not trying when he's out there. It's just that he hasn't been terribly effective.

Tyler Arnason sat out the game but it was supposedly due to a hand injury rather than being a healthy scratch. Jordan Leopold also made his return and looked ok in just over 9 minutes on the ice.

Coach Q was seen smiling behind the bench shortly before the buzzer. I'm guessing it's because he was able to keep his job for one more day.

So now it's back to Denver for a game on Saturday against...the Nashville Predators. Gotta love the schedule.

Related Links
NHL.com Event Summary
In the Cheap Seats Game Recap
ColoradoAvalanche.com Game Recap


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