The Colorado Avalanche won back to back games riding a nine goal offensive explosion in games against the Dallas Stars and Phoenix Coyotes. Coming off a four game losing streak the Colorado Avalanche were fading fast. An upcoming three game home stand would be exactly what the doctor ordered. The Avalanche are on the edge of being eliminated from the post season but a few wins would go a long way to help the Avalanche out. In the first two games of the home stand the Avalanche offense exploded resulting in back to back wins.
Against the Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars came to Denver with key players like Tyler Seguin and Ales Hemsky out of the lineup with injuries. The Avalanche would take advantage of the Stars depleted lineup and
Jonas Enroth who was making his first start for the Stars after being acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres.
The Avalanche got goals from captain Gabriel Landeskog, veterans Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla and fourth liner Dennis Everberg. Tanguay and Iginla have been consistent all season and are currently first and second on the Avalanche roster in points, 78 points between the two of them. Everberg’s late goal was really not necessary as it was scored with less then a minute left but it was a nice bonus for a guy who plays hard minutes every night.
Against the Arizona Coyotes
Following the game against Colorado, Arizona would not play again for five days. As a result, back up goalie Mike McKenna got his first start of the season and it turned out to be a game he would like to soon forget.
At the end of the first period the Avalanche found themselves up three goals to one with tallies from enforcer Cody McLeod and nine seconds later Matt Duchene scored another for the Avalanche. Denfseman Nick Holden scored with a slap shot from the point later in the first period. The goal scored by Holden was a special one for the Avalanche as it came on the power play. The Avalanche had gone 32 straight power play chances with out a goal before Holden’s blast beat McKenna.
The Avalanche added two goals in the second period and would win the game 5-2 Also in the second period the Avalanche accomplished something never before done by the organization. The Coyotes did not record a single shot on net in the second period. When the third period began Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov found himself sitting on the bench. Coach Patrick Roy replaced him with Retto Berra just to give Berra ice time and Varlamov a rest since he had played 13 straight games.
The Avalanche are still fighting for their playoff lives and will need to continue to string wins together. If the goal on the power play can result in more power play tallies moving forward and the defense continues to be strong the Avalanche may have a chance. The Avalanche can still make the playoffs but because of the situation they find themselves in they are going to have to do it the hard way. The three game home stand ends on Wednesday with a game against the Los Angeles Kings which begins at 8 P.M. Mountain time.
I am a University of New Mexico journalism student who has been watching NHL hockey since 1996 and I started playing hockey myself in 2003. I have covered both college soccer and volleyball in the past and I also contribute to a NASCAR news website.