Landeskog and the Avalanche Beat the Wild in a Physical, Penalty-Filled Game

Nick Davis@_nick_davis_Contributor IIIDecember 26, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 23:  Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche controls the puck against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Pepsi Center on December 23, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Lightning 2-1 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

1st Period

Cody McCeod received a five-minute major at 5:22 in the first period after he checked Jared Spurgeon hard into the boards. Pierre-Marc Bouchard and the Wild took advantage of the major penalty by netting the first goal of the game at 9:31.

The Avalanche were shorthanded for nine minutes of the first period. Along with the five-minute major, Shane O'Brien and Jan Hejda both received minor penalties for interference and holding, respectively. The Avalanche were unsuccessful on their only powerplay chance of the period. 

Avalanche forward Kevin Porter had a shorthanded breakaway shot turned away by Niklas Backstrom after he intercepted a pass yet had trouble escaping the Wild defender. 

The Wild outshot the Avalanche 8-7 in the first.


2nd Period

Penalties remained prevalent early in the second period as both teams were able to kill a minor penalty. The Avalanche prevented the Wild from even getting a shot on net during the early second period penalty. 

The Avalanche got on the board at 10:34 after the Avalanche-dominated possession while on a powerplay. The goal was scored by Ryan O'Reilly with an assist from Matt Duchene to tie the game.



The Minnesota Wild took the lead after Avalanche defensemen Erik Johnson turned the puck over in the their own zone right behind the net. Cal Clutterbuck was credited with the goal from Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley.

Matt Duchene drew a penalty near the end of the period after he was hooked by Darroll Powe. It appeared Duchene was going to have an easy goal. The Wild were able to kill the penalty, yet the Avalanche got on the board 31 seconds later after the Colorado Avalanche's 2011 first-round pick Gabriel Landeskog scored his seventh goal of the season with an assist from David Van der Gulik.  

The Wild had eight scoring chances, compared to only three for the Avalanche, in the second period.

3rd Period 

The Avalanche took the lead at 10:20 after David Van der Gulik got his second assist of the game, setting up Jan Hejda for the goal. Ryan O'Reilly also picked up an assist on the goal.  

A wrist-shot 15 yards from the net by T.J. Galiardi gave the Avalanche a two-goal lead. Hejda picked up his second point of the night after assisting Galiardi on the Avalanche's fourth goal of the night. 



"It's a dream come true every time I step onto the ice," Landeskog said in an interview during the second intermission, in reference to his first season as a professional.  

The win for the Avalanche snapped an eight game losing streak on the road, and move to 39 points on the season, which is good for ninth place in the West. 

The loss is the seventh consecutive loss for the Wild, who still lead the Northwest division with 45 points.

The Avalanche outshot the Wild 32-22 while picking up their fifth win in the last six played.

The three stars of the game: 

1st Star: Gabriel Landeskog (Avalanche): 1 Goal.

2nd Star: Cal Clutterbuck (Wild): 1 Goal.

3rd Star: Ryan O'Reilly (Avalanche): 1 Goal, 1 Assist.