Avalanche 6, Devils 1
DENVER -- Goals and victories have been rare feats for the Colorado Avalanche, especially on home ice, and neither expected to come easily Wednesday night against Martin Brodeur
, the winningest goalie in NHL history.
But the Avs, who were averaging fewer than two goals per game at home, stunned Brodeur with three first-period goals and skated to a 6-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at the Pepsi Center.
Six players scored goals as the Avalanche posted just its fifth victory in 14 home games.
Milan Hejduk and TJ Galiardi snapped long slumps with goals that came 6:37 apart, and defenseman Jan Hejdabeat Brodeur with a 45-foot screen shot with the Avalanche’s Paul Stastny and Devils’ Anton Volchenkovjousting for position in front.
The Devils cut the lead to 3-1 at 11:03 of the second period when Ilya Kovalchuk
nudged the puck across the goal line after Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov gave it to defenseman Shane O’Brien at the side of the net. O’Brien was double-teamed, eventually lost possession and Kovalchuk scored on a scramble in front.
But the Avalanche killed off a Kyle Quincey slashing penalty that carried into the third period and followed with three goals to turn the game into a rout.
Ryan O’Reilly scored at 2:47 after pursuing Anton Volchenkov
behind the New Jersey net. Hejduk jarred the puck loose with a hit on Volchenkov, O’Reilly scooped it up, circled in front and shot the puck off Brodeur into the net.
Jay McClement’s shorthanded goal at 10:32 increased the advantage to 5-1. Quincey and the Devils’Adam Larsson
skated down left wing in pursuit of the puck, Quincey got to it and slipped it to McClement barreling down the slot. It was the League-high sixth shorthanded goal allowed by the Devils this season.
Rookie Stefan Elliott closed out the scoring at 17:17 with a shot from the right point that sailed past Brodeur’s glove. It was the 12th time in Brodeur's career that he's allowed six goals -- he's never given up seven in a game.
Semyon Varlamov faced only 19 shots in goal for the Avs.
Hejduk, who had gone seven games without a goal since being named team captain, opened the scoring at 7:37 of the opening period with a shot from the left circle at 7:37 off a pass from O’Reilly in the slot. Galiardi, centering the fourth line, stole the puck from Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder
behind the net and scored on a wraparound at 14:14. It was Galiardi’s first goal since Oct. 12 in the third game of the season.
It was Hejda’s turn at 16:02. Matt Duchene passed to him just inside the blue line for his second goal in three games and third of the season.
Duchene had a golden scoring chance at 9:15 when he blocked a shot by Adam Larsson
and sped into the Devils end on a breakaway, but his backhander sailed over the net.
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