|Colorado’s Giguere and Mueller|
In two previous games vs. the Kings this season, the Avalanche were out shot by a wide margin, yet still came away with victories each time. Last night, Colorado out shot LA 31-26 and 16 of the Avs’ 18 skaters registered at least one shot. They also won the game 3-1, with the final contest of the four-game season series set for February 22 in Denver.
After the final buzzer, here’s what they were saying back in the Avs dressing room…
Coach Joe Sacco:
On the overall game – “I thought we played well tonight. I thought we had a really good first two periods and I like the tempo in our game. I thought our guys competed real hard tonight. We got down a goal and stuck with it and we were able to respond right away there right after they scored. It was nice to see a guy like Cody (McLeod) get rewarded for a lot of hard work that he does. It was a nice play by Elliot on the goal, a nice outlet pass to him. It really was a good effort from all of our guys tonight and that’s a tough team to play against, to come in here and grab a couple points. We’re very pleased.”
On the play of goalie JS Giguere – “He was solid tonight. He gave us a chance to win and that’s all we ask of him. Goaltending is important for every team. This league, you look around, you need saves at critical times and at big moments and I thought their first power play he made a big save right away to start the game. He made a couple other great saves but again, I go back to our overall team game tonight. We had some passion tonight and we had some desperation. That’s how you have to play at this time of the year if you really want to be a playoff team. It’s a tight conference, it’s a tough conference, and we’re just trying to get points.”
On the overall game – “It’s a big win for us. Any road win, we’ll take at this point. We’re trying to approach every game as a playoff game right now. We’re trying to catch those guys and I thought we had a terrific game. I was happy that we were playing well. I thought we had a jump. They scored the first goal but we came back right away and that’s part of the job. You have to be ready for any kind of situation and you have to find a way to stay focused. Those guys (in front of me) are playing well, so I got to try to help them out.”
On Peter Mueller’s return to the lineup – “We’re happy for him. He’s been through a tough battle and none of us can even imagine what it’s like and he’s having fun right now, which I don’t think he’s had fun for the last two years. It’s nice to see that.”
On the Avs recent success against the Kings – “It’s a fun building to come into. There’s always a lot of atmosphere. Obviously they have a good team so you need to be prepared and ready to go. It’s always fun to play against them. Always a lot of action and they’re a skilled team. It’s one of those games where you want to get up and play.”
On his recent hot streak after returning from a long term injury – “It doesn’t matter about the goals. I’m just happy to be back, first and foremost. Playing a tough team, especially LA, at home, it’s a tough challenge. It fell apart a little bit in the third, but that just shows the character of the guys. They bailed me out on that penalty and Giggy (Giguere) stood on his head in the third.”
On his tip-in goal – “Just trying to get the big body in front and cause some havoc. Fortunately I got a little tip on it and it went in.”
A few final notes…
– Former Avalanche forward Brad Richardson – who seems to almost always pick up points against Colorado – was held off the score sheet last night.
– Kings defenseman Jack Johnson was wrong. He incorrectly predicted Justin Williams would score the first goal of the night for LA. Instead, Anze Kopitar picked up their one and only goal.