Game 68. Avs-Wild. Huge Second Period Blows the Wild Away

Posted: March 7, 2012 in Avs vs. Minnesota Wild, Game Thoughts

What a perfect game for the Avs. They came out, were passionate, and thrashed the Wild, very similarly to how Tiger is going to thrash the field in Doral this week.

Semyon Varlamov continues to be white hot, but the story of the night was the Avs offense. The first period started out well for the Avs. They were controlling play, and were getting the majority of the chances. They quickly capitalized on a chance just over 3 minutes into the game when Jay McClement found a rebound and scores before Matt Hackett could get across the crease.

The Avs continued to apply the pressure for the rest of the period, and outplayed the Wild, however the score remained at the same. The Wild fought back, literally, after the goal. The first period included 2 fights, and a total of 10 penalties. It was clear for the Wild that after their recent 6-0 loss at Detroit, and 2-0 loss on Sunday to the Avs, that they were not satisfied with their play.

The second period was very similar to the first period, for the first ten minutes, but it was the second half of the period where the Avs exploded. They scored 4 goals in a 6 minute stretch that included a Jan Hejda slapshot, a Jamie McGinn tip-in, and wrist shots from Mark Olver and Ryan O’Reilly.

The Hejda goal was awful. Matt Hackett let an un-screened slapshot from the point beat him 5 hole. He was pulled after allowing the fourth goal to Olver.

Devin Setoguchi ruined Varlamov’s shutout on a penalty shot early in the third period. It was one of the few times that he has let in any sort of breakaway goal this year (he stopped one earlier in the game) and I was surprised to see him let it in. But it was a nice shot from Setoguchi, and you have to give the guy credit.

The Avs didn’t take the goal laying down. It would have been easy to sit back with a 5-1 lead, and certainly there was some of that, but they responded with two goals before the final buzzer sounded. A buzzer that I would imagine was greeted with a few cheers, but what probably relatively silent as most of the crowd (myself included) was out of there with at least 5 minutes left in the game.

Just about the only bad news for the Avs last night, was about every other team the Avs are fighting with for a playoff spot won. About every possible game went the opposite of what the Avs were hoping. The other downside of last night’s game was Duchene hurt his ankle. He laid on the ice for a while, and needed a lot of help getting off the ice. Certainly the Avs need him if they are going to make a playoff push, hopefully it is not too serious.

The Avs next game is Thursday against the Nashville Predators in Tennessee. The game starts at 6 p.m. Mountain time.

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