Game 8. Avs-Oilers. Avs remain perfect at home

Posted: February 2, 2013 in Avs vs. Edmonton Oilers

After allowing the first shot of the game go in, Semyon Varlamov stopped 25 in a row to propel the Avs to a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Pepsi Center.

Photo from nhl.com

Photo from nhl.com


It was a worrisome start for the Avs, as lackluster defense led to a Nail Yakupov goal just 58 seconds into the game, but the Avs responded, and went toe to toe with the Oilers the rest of the game, scoring 3 unanswered to finish the game.

Varlamov kept the Avs in the game early, as Edmonton had a number of decent opportunities to take control early, but couldn’t beat the Russian. Edmonton was having success throwing the puck on net on the rush, and looking for a tip on the way there, but Varlamov was solid.

The Avs outworked the Oilers, which shows up by their 6 powerplays in the game to the Oilers 3. The Avs continue to stuggle on the powerplay, as they didn’t have any goals, and kept the puck on the perimeter too often, but they also held the Oilers powerplay scoreless, and for the most part, without any quality chances. The Avs were starting to look discouraged when PA Parenteau tipped in a Ryan Wilson shot from the point to tie things up halfway through the second. Avs fans were expecting points from Parenteau when he was signed, but I don’t think anyone expected him to be carrying the team offensively like he is. Parenteau now has 6 goals in 8 games.

With less than 5 minutes left in the second period, and killing off a DVG penalty, Matt Duchene grabbed the puck and fed it to Jamie McGinn in front to finally got the puck into the net on a deflection. McGinn has hit the post 8 times this year, leading the NHL. 15 players were tied for second, with 4 hit posts, so hopefully McGinn’s big goal today will help turn his fortune around.

The one criticism I have, is that the Avs had a chance to close out the game in the third with 2 powerplays, but was unable to get the puck in the net. The powerplay has been woeful this year (2 for 27, a salty 7.4%). But they were able to make up for the lousy powerplays by killing off a Paul Stastny penalty in the last 3 minutes of the game. Stastny came out of the box with 1:20 left in the game, promptly got the puck at center ice, and smoothly slid the puck into the empty net, securing the victory.

Other notes:

The Matt Hunwick/Erik Johnson pairing was solid today. Hunwick on the powerplay was as good as anyone else for the Avs.

Duchene keeps on rolling. He is creating many offensive chances, and continues to draw penalties in the offensive zone from his aggressiveness.

Stastny really hasn’t been as good as the 3 goals in 2 games would say; but, it’s better than nothing.

The Avs next game is Monday against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center. The game starts at 7 p.m. Mountain time.

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