Ryan O'Reilly the Factor in Thrilling Avalanche Win, St. Louis Next

Joey Suyeishi@avrilancheCorrespondent IIFebruary 11, 2012

After a pretty evenly matched game in which the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche traded goals into a 3-3 regulation tie, Ryan O'Reilly—nicknamed "Factor"—blasted a shot past goalie Cam Ward to send the Avs to victory with only 1.2 seconds left. O'Reilly had several chances before his game-winning goal, but had a game-high six shots and several quality takeaways.

Gabriel Landeskog also netted a goal and led the Avs with seven hits. Captain Milan Hejduk broke a six-game goalless drought and Paul Stastny had another productive game with a goal and an assist.

Great night at Pepsi Center last night with everything the Avalanche organization did for Military Appreciation Night. The Avs put on a great show and gave those brave men and women a fantastic game to watch. Special presenters included Joe Sakic and Matt Duchene.

Duchene will not travel with the team to St. Louis today, but is expected to travel with the team starting next Wednesday as they embark to Vancouver.  Hopefully, this signals the imminent return of No. 9. 

The Avs will not have too much time to savor last night's thrilling victory, as it's off to St. Louis today to face former Avs goalie Brian Elliott and the St. Louis Blues.