for this game

Hejduk's power-play goal pushes Avalanche past Flyers

Dec 8, 2007 - 6:27 AM
By Dave Reed PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

DENVER (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers are hoping it's another four years before they return to the Mile High City.

Milan Hejduk snapped a tie late in the second period and Jose Theodore shut the door in the third as the Colorado Avalanche edged the Flyers, 2-1, on Friday.

Jaroslav Hlinka also tallied for the Avalanche, who are one win away from 1,000 as a franchise. The victory was No. 409 for coach Joel Quenneville, who tied Darryl Sutter and Jacques Demers for 19th place on the all-time list.

Daniel Briere tallied for Philadelphia, which was visiting Colorado for the first time since December 27, 2003.

"The effort was there all night," Briere said. "We played hard. We played a team that played extremely well defensively, but at least the effort was there. ... We didn't back down. We were in the game all the way to the end."

Quenneville was happy for the chance to host the Flyers for the first time in three seasons.

"It's fun. It's enjoyable," he said. "It's a different approach. The players look forward to seeing new guys and measuring up against them, too."

For the first 37 minutes, the game was a hard-hitting defensive battle. Both teams successfully killed brief two-man disadvantages in the second period and each goaltender made big saves, with Theodore stopping Mike Richards on a breakaway four minutes into the second period just as Colorado's 5-on-3 power play was about to expire.

"I thought we played well," Richards said. "A couple of bounces here or there. That breakaway in the second that I had probably could have turned the momentum of the game a little bit more."

Theodore finished with 28 saves for the Avalanche, who halted a brief two-game skid.

"I saw the puck well," the former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner said. "I didn't change much from the last game. Our guys played so well in front of me. The defensemen were clearing a lot of rebounds. When I left some bad rebounds, they were on top of it. All the credit goes to them, they played really well.

"You can bounce back. That's the good thing with hockey. You play almost every other day, so when you have a bad game and lose points, you can bounce back right away, and that's what we did tonight."

Colorado appeared to be ready for Philadelphia's big hitting, as defenseman Scott Hannan checked Jeff Carter into the glass late in the first period, knocking the center's helmet off and leading to an exchange of pleasantries in front of the net.

The Avalanche opened the scoring at 7:26 of the middle session, when Hlinka put a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle over goaltender Martin Biron's shoulder for his fourth goal of the season.

Andrew Brunette took an outlet pass from Tyler Arnason along the left wing boards, then passed to Hlinka at center ice. Hlinka skated toward the right circle and held the puck before unleashing his shot as a defender remained in the passing lane.

"It was just a lucky shot," Hlinka said. "I just tried to hit the net and it went in."

Briere tied the game during a power play with 2:05 remaining in the session.

Scottie Upshall completed a pass to defenseman Kimmo Timonen, who wound up as if he was going to take a slap shot from above the right circle. Instead, he sent a hard pass to a wide-open Briere, who put a shot from a difficult angle at the bottom of the left circle just inside the far goalpost for his 13th tally.

"In the second period, we used more composure and started creating chances. Finally, we got our goal," Briere said. "In the first period, it was just a matter of us not making the smart plays. I made some bad plays that kind of killed the momentum."

The Avalanche capitalized on a hooking penalty on Timonen to grab a 2-1 lead with just under three seconds remaining in the period. From behind the net, Ryan Smyth passed in front to Hejduk, who beat Biron with a wrist shot for his 10th of the campaign.

"Smytty made a great pass from behind the net. I was open in the slot," Hejduk said. "The power play can decide the outcome of the game, and we were fortunate tonight that we scored a power-play goal to win. It's a big confidence booster, especially after how we finished in Columbus (on Wednesday), when we were up 3-1 and lost the game. We needed these two points."

"I was worried about the guy trying to stuff it right away, so I went paddle down," Biron explained. "It got to Hejduk, and as he shot it, it went off of Carter's stick and went right in the top shelf. I didn't know he was there because there was a scrum in front of the net. I saw the puck at the last second, which was a little too late. It was too late to react."

Quenneville was impressed with his team's ability to draw a penalty and cash in on the ensuing opportunity.

"We sustain the play offensively, draw a penalty and get a fortunate break when the puck comes to Hejduk, and he makes a great shot," he said. "It's a big goal. That was the signature goal of the game."

Richards blamed himself for failing to cover Hejduk.

"Smyth made a good play, threw it back and it ended up right on Hejduk's stick," Richards said. "Obviously, I should have covered him, but at the time, I was thinking, 'Cover the slot.' It was kind of a tough way to end the period."

Arnason was denied by Biron from alone on front after a turnover with 10:27 remaining in the third to keep Colorado on top.

Biron made 30 saves for Philadelphia, which had its four-game road winning streak halted.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 0 1
    COLORADO 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 4 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, TYLER ARNASON)
    7:26
    PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 13 (KIMMO TIMONEN, SCOTTIE UPSHALL)
    17:55
    COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PAUL STASTNY) 19:57
    3RD PRD: NONE

    Dec 7 11:27 PM
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    Flyers vs. AvalancheDec 7 11:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1
    COLORADO 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 4 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, TYLER ARNASON)
    7:26
    PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 13 (KIMMO TIMONEN, MIKE RICHARDS)
    17:55
    COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PAUL STASTNY) 19:57
    S

    Dec 7 10:35 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    COLORADO 2
    2ND PRD: COL - (PP) MILAN HEJDUK 10 (RYAN SMYTH, PAUL STASTNY) 19:57

    Flyers vs. AvalancheDec 7 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) DANIEL BRIERE 13 (KIMMO TIMONEN, MIKE RICHARDS)
    17:55

    Flyers vs. AvalancheDec 7 10:28 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    COLORADO 1
    2ND PRD: COL - JAROSLAV HLINKA 4 (ANDREW BRUNETTE, TYLER ARNASON) 7:26

    Flyers vs. AvalancheDec 7 10:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 7 7
    COL 13 13
    GOALIES: PHI - MARTIN BIRON
    COL - JOSE THEODORE

    Dec 7 9:42 PM
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    mrman226 Added 5 roots

    Flyers vs. AvalancheDec 7 7:40 PM
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    Flyers vs. AvalancheDec 7 10:27 AM