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Gabriel Landeskog Ends Goalless Drought In 3-2 Shootout Win

The Rookie Scores His First Goal In 18 Games; His First At Pepsi Center

Monday, 12.19.2011 / 11:40 PM MT / News
By Ron Knabenbauer
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Gabriel Landeskog Ends Goalless Drought In 3-2 Shootout Win
It had been awhile since Gabriel Landeskog found the back of the net, but his goal in the second period might well have been the turning point of the game.
After taking a high-sticking penalty late in the first period that resulted in a Philadelphia power-play goal, Landeskog made up for it by beating goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov midway through the second period to help ignite the Avalanche to a 3-2 shootout victory on Monday at Pepsi Center.
“It is a huge two points for our hockey club,” Landeskog said. “We worked really hard for this one.”
The Flyers dominated play in the first period, taking the first eight shots and held a 12-8 advantage at the first intermission.
“They came out flying and we didn’t really match their work ethic there, but we worked ourselves into it and we got better and better as the game went on,” Landeskog said.
With 7:34 left in the second stanza, Shane O’Brien found Landeskog in the slot and the Swede went forehand to backhand with the puck, getting past Bryzgalov, and fired it into the open net.
The rookie’s sixth goal of the season ended an 18-game scoreless drought, and was his first at home this season. Landeskog last found the twine in a 5-2 loss to Detroit on Nov. 8.
Colorado’s victory ended Philadelphia’s five-game road winning streak and extended its winning streak at home to six games, the club's longest home winning streak since they opened the 2009-10 season by winning their first six at Pepsi Center (Oct. 1 to Nov. 6, 2009).
The Avs have won their last five home games versus the Flyers, as Philadelphia's last win in the Mile High City came on Dec. 27, 2002 (2-1 in overtime).
The Avalanche hosts the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the third game of its current four-game homestand.
Shooting A Winner
Colorado had several good scoring chances in the overtime period, but you could probably forgive the club if they were playing for the shootout.
The Avs won in a shootout for the ninth straight time and set a franchise record in the process. Colorado had won eight straight shootouts twice before.
Colorado is 6-0 in shootouts this year and is 17-1 in its last 18 and 32-10 in its last 42 tiebreakers.
This season, the Avalanche is 8-1 in games that go beyond regulation, 2-1 in overtime and 6-0 in shootouts. Only New Jersey (9-1) has more combined OT/shootout wins in 2011-12.
J.S., Team’s Lifeline in First Period
Colorado goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 31 saves on Wednesday and won his second game in as many starts, improving his record to 6-4-0 on the year.
The first period was heavily weighted in favor of the Flyers, as the team from Philly fired shot after shot at the veteran goaltender all period before finally getting one past him by a give-and-go goal by Scott Hartnell with 1:30 left until the intermission.
However, the Flyers lead could have been larger, a lot larger.
“Our start was not good enough,” Giguere said. “We have to learn from that.”
Throughout the first period – and for most of the game – Giguere received a lot of help from his defense by clearing rebounds after he made the original save.
“We are defending our house pretty well – the slot area. That is the key, they are letting me see the puck and make the first save. We are on the rebound and we are hard to play against in front of the net.”
It was the sixth time this season that Giguere had given up two goals or less as a starter. He is 5-1 in those games.
Another Point For Johnson
Erik Johnson picked up his 13th assist of the season on Gabriel Landeskog’s goal in the second period.
The helper extended his point streak to four games (1g/4a), his longest streak since joining the Avalanche, and one shy of his career high. Johnson has an assist in each of his last four games, equaling the longest assist streak of his NHL career (March 29 to April 5, 2008).
The defenseman’s four-game point streak also matches the longest scoring streak by an Avalanche player this season. Kyle Quincey had points in four straight from Oct. 22-30 and Milan Hejduk from Nov. 8-15.
More Notes
The Flyers had their five-game road winning streak snapped and failed to win on the road for just the fifth time in 17 road contests this season (12-3-2).
Colorado improved to 8-1-0 against Eastern Conference teams this season, 4-0 at home and 4-1 on the road…That .889 winning percentage ranks as the second-best record against the Eastern Conference behind only St. Louis (7-0-1, .938).
Jean-Sebastien Giguere appeared in his 537th career game, tying Ron Tugnutt for 52nd place on the all-time list…Giguere tonight posted his 237th career win, passing Rejean Lemelin (236) for sole possession of 49th place on the NHL's all-time wins list.
Cody McLeod appeared in his 300th NHL game.
Brad Malone recorded his first career point with an assist tonight.
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