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McGinn Comes up Big in OT Win
Jamie McGinn scored two goals in the Avalanche’s Opening Night win against Anaheim and then found the net again four games later against Washington. At that point, on Oct. 12, just five games into the season, McGinn had three goals and five points.
Not a bad start to the season.
He came into the Avs’ Saturday night game in Los Angeles, however, with two points scored since (on assists) and just seemed to have a certain “snake-bit” cloud hovering around him. He had had plenty of opportunities to score, with 21 shots in his past 16 games, but all those tries always found a goaltender’s padding or ended up squeezed in gloves.
He also dealt with a minor injury and missed three games.
But McGinn pushed that all into the rear-view Saturday night when he scored the game’s only goal—off a lucky bounce, perhaps—in the Avalanche’s 1-0 overtime win at Staples Center.
Colorado improved to 17-5 on the season and won for the third time since losing three straight. It also moved to 4-0 this season against last year’s Stanley Cup playoff conference finalists: Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles.
And all because of McGinn.READ MORE >
McGinn's OT Goal Lifts Avalanche Past Kings
Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent
LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Roy knows a little something about coming into Los Angeles and winning in overtime, so it resonates loud when he passes out A-plus grades to his team.
The first-year Colorado Avalanche coach had his team match the Los Angeles Kings defensively every step Saturday night and come out with a 1-0 win at Staples Center on Jamie McGinn's overtime goal.
McGinn one-timed a pass from John Mitchell from the right side on a rush, and McGinn's shot went in off a sprawled Jarret Stoll at 2:32. Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov made 19 saves for the shutout in a duel with Ben Scrivens, who made 32 saves and is 4-0-2 in place of injured goalie Jonathan Quick.
Colorado has now won three straight contests without leading scorer Matt Duchene.
"The entire game, for a 60-minute effort, I thought it was one of our best games of the year," Roy said. "It was the best game of the year for us."
Benoit Gets First Avs Goal in Win Against Coyotes
The defenseman had a career-high three points versus Phoenix
Defenseman Andre Benoit was nearly robbed of his first goal of the season, again.
As Phoenix was trying to clear the puck out of its zone in the second period of Thursday game, Benoit was able to keep it in at the blue line and fired a wrist shot toward the net. The puck went off the post and the back of goalie Mike Smith before it finally settled into the cage at 15:50 of the stanza.
However, the tally was close to being awarded to Gabriel Landeskog, again.
In Tuesday's contest against Chicago, Benoit's shot from the point just nicked the blade of Landeskog's stick and was redirected past Corey Crawford for a goal in the first period.
This time the shot just went under the arm of Landeskog as the Colorado captain was trying to screen the 6-foot-4 Smith from seeing the puck.
Fortunately for Benoit, the puck missed his teammate before it crossed the goal line—not that he would have cared much as long as the shot went in.
"Landeskog had a great screen in front of the net so it was tough for their goalie to see it," Benoit said. "When there is a screen like that you just have to hit the spot."READ MORE >
- Tonight is the first of three meetings between the Avalanche and Kings in 2013-14. Colorado will visit Los Angeles twice while hosting the Kings once. The Avs finished 1-1-1 against the Kings last season, 0-1-1 here at STAPLES Center.
- Ryan O'Reilly scored his third career overtime goal on Thursday night in Phoenix. It's his fourth OT goal if you include his overtime winner in the 2010 playoffs versus San Jose. O'Reilly has a season-high four-game point streak (3g/2a).
- Andre Benoit recorded a career-high three points (1g/2a) in Thursday's win over the Coyotes. He is the first Avs defenseman to register three points in a game since Ryan Wilson on Nov. 4, 2011 at Dallas. Benoit leads all Colorado defensemen in scoring with 11 points (1g/10a), one more than he had in 33 games with the Ottawa Senators last year.
- Cody McLeod and John Mitchell have scored in each of the last two games, matching their career best goal streaks. Mitchell needs three points to reach 100 NHL points.
- The Avs are 14-0-0 when scoring the first goal, the NHL's only unbeaten team when scoring first.
- As of Friday (Nov. 22), the Avalanche ranked fifth in the NHL in both goals-per-game (3.24) and goals-against-per-game (2.14). Colorado and San Jose are the only teams to rank among the top five in both categories. Colorado's +23 goal differential also ranks among the league's best. Overall, the Avalanche has allowed the second-fewest goals (45) in the NHL, trailing only Boston (39).
- Colorado improved to 2-0 in overtime this season with Thursday's 4-3 victory in Arizona. The Avalanche and New York Rangers are the only two teams who have yet to go into a shootout in 2013-14.
Avalanche Wraps Up Two-Game Trip vs. Kings
AVALANCHE (16-5-0) at KINGS (15-6-2)
TV: RDS2, ALT, FS-W
Last 10: Colorado 6-4-0, Los Angeles (7-1-2)
Season series: It's the first of three games this season; the first two are at Staples Center. It's been mostly all-or-nothing between these two teams; the Los Angeles Kings won the last two meetings in 2012-13, ending the Colorado Avalanche's five-game winning streak in the series. Before that, the Kings had won five in a row.
Big story: The teams enter Saturday with 32 points, though the Avalanche has played two fewer games. More important, each is close to first place in its division. The Avalanche is on a two-game roll after manhandling the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 and defeating the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 in overtime, while Los Angeles is 4-0-1 in its past five games but is coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.