WHERE/WHEN

November 23, 2015 Game 21
MTS Centre / Winnipeg, Manitoba

HIGHLIGHTS

Colorado battled all night and got some excellent play from their number one goaltender, Semyon Varlamov who returned from injured-reserve on Monday.

The first period started off very high paced, but quickly slowed as the teams adjusted defensively.  Cody McLeod set the tone early by dropping the gloves with Jets enforcer Chris Thorburn just 1:46 into the game. Winnipeg got on the board first when defenseman Tobias Enstrom scored at 13:40 to put his team up 1-0. The Jets followed this goal with a power play chance when Blake Comeau went off for cross-checking at 16:25 of the first. Colorado killed off this penalty to keep it 1-0 as they headed to the dressing rooms for the first intermission.

Colorado got a better result in the second period, as they were able to tie it up on a lucky power play goal.  Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien got called for cross-checking Matt Duchene behind the net which led to the Avalanche power play. Toward the end of the opportunity, Carl Soderberg carried the puck into the zone with speed, around the Jets defenders and the puck found its way into the back of the net off of Tyler Myers‘ leg. Soderberg’s third goal of the season was assisted by Mikhail Grigorenko and Francois Beauchemin. Semyon Varlamov made some huge saves to keep the Jets off the scoreboard in the second period, as the score was tied 1-1 after two.

Toward the end of the second period, Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom was called for a double-minor high sticking penalty when he gave Cody McLeod a new scar. This gave the Avalanche a four minute power play which carried over to the third period, which was ultimately killed off by Winnipeg. Later in the period, Colorado would gain a 2-1 lead when McLeod scored his fifth goal of the season — deflected off his leg on a shot by Zach Redmond, who picked up an assist along with Blake Comeau on they play.

Insurance would come for the Avs in the form of Matt Duchene’s 11th goal of the season at 16:09 of the third period — assisted by Gabriel Landeskog and Tyson Barrie.  At the 18:50 mark, Blake Comeau picked up his second point of the night by burying an empty-net goal to make it 4-1.  Cody McLeod picked up an assist on Comeau’s goal to finish off the “Gordie Howe Hat-Trick” which is a goal, assist and a fight all in one game. Ed. note: The scoring was changed postgame to take the assist away from McLeod and instead giving them to Soderberg and Beauchemin.

Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves on 21 shots to pick up his fourth with of the season.

THREE STARS

  1. Cody McLeod (1 goal, 1 fight, 3 shots, +2)
  2. Semyon Varlamov (20 saves, win)
  3. Michael Hutchinson (25 saves)

PLAY OF THE GAME

Matt Duchene’s 11th goal of the season:

TURNING POINT

The goal by Cody McLeod turned this around for the Avalanche. This gave the Avs a lead which they never lost. It wasn’t necessarily a great goal by McLeod, but more of a great play by his teammates Blake Comeau and Zach Redmond to set up the goal:

BY THE NUMBERS

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QUOTE OF THE GAME

“We took advantage of it tonight and that was just a character win all-around.” On Cody McLeod: “That guy wants it bad. He wants to win so bad, it’s great to see. He did everything tonight for us. He had a great fight, drew that four-minute penalty, scored, was on for that last goal (for the Gordie Howe Hat-Trick). He was awesome tonight, we drew from his energy. He lead us tonight.”

-Matt Duchene

LASTING IMPACT

The victory gives the Avs a positive end to the seven-game, season long road trip, as they finish with a 4-3-0 record on the trip. Now with an overall record of 8-12-1 on the season, Colorado has 17 points and pull ahead of the Edmonton Oilers (who lost on this night) for last place in the Western Conference.

WHAT’S NEXT

Now that the Avalanche have completed their longest road trip of the season, they will head back home to host the Ottawa Senators on at Pepsi Center on Wednesday, November 25th at 7:30 pm MT.

Nick Bracken

Covers DU Hockey, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rapids for BSNDenver. Nick can be followed @nickbracken303 on Twitter. He enjoys watching any live sports on TV and playing hockey and golf in his free-time. Chris Drury is his all-time favorite athlete.