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 13 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.
“It was a hard-fought game for a full 60 minutes,” he said. “Great team effort. In the overtime there we just tried to capitalize on a turnover, and ‘Mitchy’ (John Mitchell) made a great play across, and [Kings goaltender Ben] Scrivens made a great save, but then we got a lucky bounce and it went in the net.
“I’m just trying to put the puck on the net. I’ve been waiting for one of those, and it’s nice to finally hit the back of the net.”
Colorado’s scoring sequence started when Los Angeles’ Anze Kopitar lost the puck off his stick as he wound for a shot in the Avalanche’s zone. John Mitchell was there to pick up possession for Colorado, and he quickly found Jan Hejda with a pass just inside the Kings zone.
Hejda then scooted it back to Mitchell, who skated into position before finding McGinn in stride just outside the crease. McGinn’s shot was deflected on a great play by Scrivens, but the puck bounced off the shoulder of Los Angeles forward Jarret Stoll and slid across the goal line.
Staples Center went quiet. Except for the roar from the Avalanche bench, and the youthful excitement from McGinn, who scored for the 50th time in his career and finally lit the lamp after a month of close calls.
“I’m just going to continue to work hard on it, and I’m going to do the extra things in the practice—stay a little extra time and just work on my shot,” McGinn said.
“We dropped three in a row, so it’s great to get three back right away. That’s what we want to do, and we just take it one day at a time and stay positive, and it’s working out for us.
POSTGAME NOTES OF NOTE
- The Avalanche improved Saturday to 3-0 in overtime this season. The Avs and New York Rangers are the only two teams who have yet to go into a shootout in 2013-14.
- The Avs are now 4-0 this season against last year’s Stanley Cup playoffs conference finalists: Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Los Angeles. Colorado has also allowed just one goal in those four games (2-0 vs. the Bruins; 1-0 vs. the Penguins; 5-1 vs. Chicago; 1-0 vs. L.A.)
- Colorado is 15-0-0 when scoring the first goal, the NHL's only unbeaten team when scoring first. The Avalanche is 11-0-0 when leading after the first period and 14-0-0 when leading after two. The Avs have allowed a league-low nine first-period goals, outscoring the opposition 20-9 in the opening frame.
- Gabriel Landeskog, the Avalanche’s captain, celebrated his 21st birthday today. He was born Nov. 23, 1992 in Stockholm, Sweden and was honored as Avs team captain Sept. 4, 2012, becoming the youngest captain in NHL history (19 years, 286 days). At the time, he was 11 days younger than Sidney Crosby was when he was designated Pittsburgh’s captain (May 31, 2007) at the age of 19 years, 297 days.
- Paul Stastny didn’t score a point in Saturday’s goalie-dominated contest, but he’s been dominant in his career against the Kings. He’s now played 27 career games against L.A. and scored 29 points (11 goals / 18 assists).
- “If at some point in the season I want to take a game [for film study], that would be this one. We did a lot of good things out there.” – Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy
- “I think if you look at the biggest difference from last year to this year, [it’s] just our team morale. I think we maybe would feel sorry for ourselves the last couple years. This year there’s none of that. It’s, ‘Right back out there; next shift.’” – Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson