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Landeskog Nets First Game-Winner

The Rookie's OT Goal Puts Avs in Sole Possession of Eighth Place

Tuesday, 03.13.2012 / 1:10 AM / News
By Ron Knabenbauer
Gabriel Landeskog is putting together a heck of a resume for the NHL Rookie of the Year honor.
 
After wondering if Landeskog would miss his first NHL game after not participating in morning skate earlier in the day due to an illness, the Stockholm, Sweden native showed his toughness and scored the game-winning goal in overtime in a game the Avalanche couldn’t afford to lose.
 
“I was fighting a little bit, fighting a lot out there,” Landeskog said. “My teammates hung in there for me and we tried to help each other out as much as possible.”
 
Colorado defenseman Matt Hunwick started the Avs' winning sequence by keeping the puck in the Anaheim zone after the Ducks tried to clear it. Hunwick found Landeskog, who made his way to the slot and ripped a slap shot over the glove of Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller.
 
“I wanted to get that on net,” Landeskog said of his shot that gave Colorado a 3-2 win. “I’m just glad that it went in. It's a huge point for us.”
 
The goal was the rookie’s first career overtime winner.
 
Landeskog now has four game-winning goals this season, tops among Avalanche and second among all NHL rookies. His 19 goals – a team high – are also tied for the most among NHL rookies (with Philadelphia’s Matt Read).
 
Earlier in the game, Landeskog set a new franchise record for shots by a rookie in a single season, breaking Peter Stastny’s 232 mark set in 1980-81. Landeskog finished with three shots in the game (235 overall this season) but none were bigger than the one that soared over Hiller's glove.
 
“Thanks Gabriel, that was a heavy shot,” said Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov.
 
Coming into the game, Landeskog led all rookies in shots, plus/minus (+19) and takeaways (55), and was second with 186 hits.
 
The Swede is also the only Av to play in every game this season. Good thing he suited up for game 71 of Colorado’s 2011-12 campaign.
 
Notes From Tonight's Game
The Avs improved to 14-4 in games that go beyond regulation, 6-3 in overtime and 8-1 in shootouts…That ties New Jersey (14-5) for the most combined OT/shootout victories in the NHL.
 
The Avs are 21-9-4 in one-goal games this season, tying Philadelphia and Tampa Bay for the most one-goal victories of any team in the NHL.
 
Jamie McGinn has five goals (and seven points) in his last five games with the Avalanche.
 
Kevin Porter scored a goal tonight on what was his 26th birthday.
 
Colorado is 7-2-0 on Monday’s this season.
 
The Avalanche finished 3-1-0 against the Ducks this year, winning the season series for the first time since 2006-07.
 
Colorado is 4-1-0 in its last five games, 8-3-0 in its last 11 and 11-5-1 in its last 17. The Avs have won three straight at Pepsi Center and are 7-2-0 in their last nine home contests.
 
Semyon Varlamov is 7-2-0 in his last nine starts with a 1.32 goals-against average, .955 save percentage and two shutouts (544 minutes, 269 shots, 12 goals).
 
Teemu Selanne’s goal tonight was his 1,399th career point, allowing him to pass Jari Kurri (1,398) for sole possession of 19th place on the NHL’s all-time scoring list.
 
Saku Koivu appeared in his 1,000th career NHL game tonight…Koivu becomes just the fifth Finnish-born player to achieve the 1,000-game milestone, joining Teppo Numminen (1,372), Teemu Selanne (1,329), Jari Kurri (1,251) and Olli Jokinen (1,029).
 
Koivu is the 33rd European-born player and 35th active player to appear in 1,000 games.
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