Stewart, Hensick Each Record Goal, Assist
Wednesday, 01.21.2009 / 10:08 PM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez - Special to ColoradoAvalanche.com
Avs' Comeback Falls Just Short
-The Avalanche will now have four full days off for the NHL All-Star break. Colorado returns to practice on Monday and will then host San Jose on Tuesday (Jan. 27) at Pepsi Center
-The Avs wore their white road jerseys tonight, while the Kings wore their black jerseys, which are normally reserved for home contests
-Brian Willsie’s third period goal was his first of the season. The forward recorded seven goals in 69 games during his first stint with Colorado (1999-2003)
-The Avs took the season series from the Kings, 3-1
-Chris Stewart recorded his first career "Gordie Howe Hat Trick" with a goal, an assist and a fight tonight. Stewart's first career NHL goal also came against the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 9.
-Defenseman Ruslan Salei picked up two assists tonight and has totaled four points (1g/3a) over the past two games.
Post-Game Video:Chris Stewart
The Kings scored five times in the second period, staking the club to a 6-3 lead after 40 minutes of play. Only a Chris Stewart tally with 7.2 seconds remaining in the middle frame prevented the visitors from taking a four-goal lead into the second intermission.
But that goal by Stewart – on which he knocked the rebound of a T.J. Hensick shot out of mid-air and into the net – provided a big spark to his squad.
The Avalanche took that bit of momentum and came out swinging in the third period. First, Brian Willsie struck at 5:53 when Los Angeles netminder Jonathan Quick put an errant clearing attempt right on his stick. Willsie wasted no time firing a shot high glove side to make it a 6-4 contest.
Only 1:43 later, Cody McLeod brought the Pepsi Center crowd to its feet by depositing the rebound of a Darcy Tucker shot for his 11th goal of the season. Suddenly, a comeback that seemed impossible became a reality.
With only 6:29 remaining in the contest Kings rookie defenseman Drew Doughty was sent to the box for hooking, giving the Avalanche a prime opportunity to even the score. However, Ryan Smyth was whistled for interference 41 seconds later, negating the man-advantage.
The Avalanche had a handful of chances down the stretch – including a Smyth drive to the net with only seconds left on the clock – but couldn’t even the game.
“That just shows what this team can do when they show up and play a 20-minute period like we did at the end," said Stewart. "We came close but in this league you have to play a full 60 minutes to win games. This definitely leaves a sour taste in your mouth. We’ll be thinking about this one until we get back."
Avalanche defenseman John-Michael Liles assisted on Marek Svatos’ first period goal, giving him helpers in three straight games. Liles still has a ways to go before matching his career-high assist streak of six games (seven assists total), set from Jan. 14-26, 2006.
Liles isn’t the only Colorado player who will carry a point streak into the All-Star break. Hensick and Stewart each recorded a goal and an assist tonight, giving both players three-game point streaks (2g/2a).
Svatos has now scored in back-to-back games and has three tallies in his last five outings. The forward has now totaled five points (3g/2a) in the Avalanche’s past six contests, including a three-game point streak of his own (2g/1a).