for this game

Stastny's two goals propel Avalanche over Wild

Nov 12, 2007 - 4:58 AM
By Dave Reed PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- Apparently, Paul Stastny has not heard of the sophomore slump.

Stastny continued his excellent campaign with two goals and an assist Sunday as the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Minnesota Wild, 4-2, in a battle of the two top teams in the Northwest Division.

Ryan Smyth also scored a goal and set up another for the Avalanche, who have won seven of their last nine contests and moved to the top of the division standings.

After scoring 28 goals as a rookie in 2006-07, the 21-year-old Stastny is off to a quick start this season. He has nine goals and a team-leading 22 points.

"I feel good out there," Stastny said. "Especially with the team we have, sometimes if we take the night off, another line will pick it up. That's the way we've been going all year."

Stastny's two goals Sunday marked his third multi-goal performance of the season. He had two tallies against the Calgary Flames on Monday and notched a hat trick in the season opener against the Dallas Stars.

Stastny registered his first goal Sunday when he banged home the rebound of his own shot at 5:59 of the second period.

Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom made a save on Joe Sakic's slapshot from the left point, but the rebound went to Stastny below the left circle. Backstrom stopped Stastny's first shot, but he got his own rebound and slid it under Backstrom's left pad.

Stastny, who has collected 19 points at home this season, gave the Avalanche a 3-1 advantage with 5:03 left in the middle session on a rush with Wojtek Wolski.

Stastny took a pass from Wolski at center ice and carried into the offensive zone. After letting his linemate drive toward the right post, Stastny cut back behind defenseman Martin Skoula and beat Backstrom with a wrist shot from between the circles.

"I might have played it a little differently," Skoula said. "I would like to maybe take it back, but it's done."

Minnesota answered with a power-play goal with just six seconds left in the second period. Pierre-Marc Bouchard took a cross-ice pass from Petteri Nummelin and blasted a one-timer, while falling down, that beat Colorado netminder Peter Budaj on the glove side.

Budaj made seven of his 25 saves in the final period to preserve the one-goal lead and Wolski scored an empty net goal - his seventh of the season - with one second remaining to put the game away.

"We came out strong and played really good defensively, even though they scored two goal on the power play," Budaj said. "It was a big win because Minnesota is right behind us (in the standings) and it's a four-point hockey game. It's a huge win for us."

"It seems like the fans are in it. We're excited," Wolski said. "Some teams struggle with the altitude if they come in the day before and are not used to it. We're happy that it's working out the way it is."

The Avalanche took an early 1-0 lead with 4:12 remaining in the first period when Smyth beat Backstrom on his stick side. Just 18 seconds after coming out of the penalty box, Smyth intercepted defenseman Scott Hannan's shot from the right circle and flipped the puck over a sprawling Backstrom.

Minnesota cut the deficit to 2-1 on an unusual goal midway through the second period. Brian Rolston's slap shot from the high slot went off the glass and the puck dropped in behind Budaj. Eric Belanger jammed it between Budaj's pads for the goal.

"The shot hit the boards and went straight up," Budaj said. "I don't know why goalies never look up when the puck is in the air. They always try to find it on the ground. The puck landed on my shoulder and as I went down, it rolled into the net."

"We have to play than we did tonight if we want to win," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "If (Pavel Demitra) would have been there and (Marion Gaborik) was with us and we played like this, we would not win."

Sakic, who collected an assist on Stastny's first goal, has at least one point in 10 of his last 11 games and needs just eight more assists to become the 11th player in NHL history with 1,000 career assists.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 2 0 2
    COLORADO 1 2 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - RYAN SMYTH 6 (SCOTT HANNAN) 15:48
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) PAUL STASTNY 8 (JOE SAKIC, RYAN SMYTH) 5:59
    MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 5 (MARK PARRISH, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    10:08
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 9 (WOJTEK WOLSKI, KURT SAUER)

    Nov 11 10:37 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 4
    3RD PRD: COL - (EN) WOJTEK WOLSKI 7 (MILAN HEJDUK, PAUL STASTNY) 19:59

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 10:37 PM
  • 15
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 15 roots

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 10:37 PM
  • 30
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 10:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 2 2
    COLORADO 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - RYAN SMYTH 6 (SCOTT HANNAN) 15:48
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) PAUL STASTNY 8 (JOE SAKIC) 5:59
    MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 5 (MARK PARRISH, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    10:08
    COL - PAUL STASTNY 9 (WOJTEK WOLSKI, KURT SAUER)

    Nov 11 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 2
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) PIERRE-MARC BOUCHARD 5 (PETTERI NUMMELIN, BRENT
    BURNS) 19:54

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 9:45 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    COLORADO 3
    2ND PRD: COL - PAUL STASTNY 9 (WOJTEK WOLSKI, KURT SAUER) 14:57

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 1
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: MIN - (PP) ERIC BELANGER 5 (MARK PARRISH, BRIAN ROLSTON)
    10:08

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) PAUL STASTNY 8 (JOE SAKIC) 5:59

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 9:15 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MINNESOTA 0 0
    COLORADO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COL - RYAN SMYTH 6 (SCOTT HANNAN) 15:48
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MIN 8 8
    COL 7 7
    GOALIES: MIN - NIKLAS BACKSTROM
    COL - PETER BUDA

    Nov 11 8:48 PM


  • NHL
    MINNESOTA 0
    COLORADO 1
    1ST PRD: COL - RYAN SMYTH 6 (SCOTT HANNAN) 15:48

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 8:40 PM
  • 15
    roots
    TulowitzkiFan Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 3:58 PM
  • 10
    roots
    alamowx Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 11 9:03 AM
  • 5
    roots
    Flyboy Added 5 roots

    Wild vs. AvalancheNov 4 7:09 PM