After being held scoreless in his first 14 NHL games, Tyson Barrie’s name has been a common occurrence on the scoresheet over the Avalanche’s last three contests.
He picked up his first career point (an assist) last Thursday at Minnesota. Then he had his first multi-point game (two assists) on Saturday in Edmonton. And now, he has his first goal.
Barrie’s slap shot from the point made its way though traffic and beat Predators goaltender Chris Mason at 9:30 of the first period to give the Avs a 2-0 lead.
“That is something that I have been working towards, playing better and playing a lot more lately,” Barrie said. “I shot it and I saw that it went in so it is nice to get it. I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to come.”
Barrie has become a dependable defenseman for Colorado and coach Joe Sacco has rewarded him with more ice time, including during key situations when the team has been shorthanded.
He played 22:08 on Monday against Nashville and saw 3:37 of penalty kill time as well. It marked the third straight game in which the young defenseman had played over 22 minutes.
“He has been much more in-charge out there,” Sacco said of Barrie’s play prior to Monday’s contest. “I think he has been more confident in his game.”
Other than being a solid defender, Sacco said he is also looking for Barrie to continue to fill the scoresheet with points.
“We are looking for some offense from him,” he said. “That’s no secret.”
Barrie understands that his role on the team is to provide some offense from the back end, but no matter how many more times he scores, he said he won’t forget his first NHL goal.
“It was a pretty cool feeling. I was smiling ear to ear when I scored,” Barrie said. “It is definitely something I won’t forget.”
Palushaj Feeling Comfortable
It’s still early but it looks like Aaron Palushaj is settling in nicely in a Burgundy and Blue sweater.
The American had his first career multi-point game on Monday as he picked up three points in total, scoring a goal and adding two assists against the Predators.
Acquired off waivers on Feb. 5 from Montreal, Palushaj scored his first goal (and second of his career) in his second game as a member of the Avalanche last Thursday in Minnesota.
On Monday afternoon, he scored his first goal at Pepsi Center on a shot from the right side that got past Mason before going off the Nashville netminder’s leg and into the back of the net.
“I threw it on net and it took a fortunate bounce,” Palushaj said. “I’ll take it.”
“I feel great,” Palushaj said. “I’m playing with two phenomenal players and it makes it easy.”
Matt Duchene continued his hot play with one goal and two assists against Nashville. He extends his goal streak to four games, which ties a career-high.
His last four-game goal streak came on Nov. 24-30, 2010, and he is the first Avalanche player to have a goal streak of four or more games since he did it himself during that stretch two seasons ago.
He leads the Avalanche in points this year with 17 (six goals, 11 assists) and has eight points (four goals, four assists) over his last four games.
Duchene, who also had three points (one goal, two assists) on Saturday in Edmonton, now has back-to-back three-point games for the first time in his career.
• The Avalanche matched a season high with six goals, equaling the mark set on Jan. 31 at Calgary…It was the most goals allowed by Nashville, the league’s top team in terms of fewest goals allowed in the NHL this season…Colorado has scored 10 goals in its last two games and 13 in its last three contests (not including the goal awarded for winning a shootout in Minnesota).
• Colorado’s four second-period goals were a season high for a single period…It was the first time the Avs scored four times in a single frame since March 6, 2012 vs. Minnesota (2nd).
• The Avalanche’s victory today snapped a nine-game winless streak against the Predators (0-8-1)…This afternoon was Colorado’s first victory over the Preds since Jan. 22, 2010 in Denver.
• Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist today, his 99th career multi-point game.
• Patric Hornqvist fired a season-high 12 shots-on-goal…It is actually not his career high, however, as he had 14 shots on Dec. 28, 2010 vs. Dallas…It was the most shots by an Avalanche opponent since Brad Richards had 12 for Tampa Bay against Colorado on March 7, 2003 in Tampa.
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