It did not take long for the Carolina Hurricanes to become accustomed to the Colorado altitude. After a wonderful Military Appreciation Night held by the Colorado Avalanche, the teams set in to battle for 60 minutes. Tim Brent put the Canes ahead just 7:22 into the game. Chad Larose skated down the boards and gained access to Avalanche territory. Anthony Stewart settled the puck and circled the wagons around the net. Stewart was able to draw 3 Av defenders to him before dropping the puck to Brent. Brent would put some hot sauce on the puck and send it into the net. It was Brent’s 8th goal of the season.
Colorado would draw even on the board late in the 1st period. Carolina turned the puck over in their zone and Gabriel Landeskog looped around to his far side before he wristed one by Cam Ward. Ward would be the first person to tell you that he wishes he could have that goal back. After Landeskog’s goal, it looked as if Colorado would hold the momentum heading to intermission. They did until Jiri Tlusty rang the posts on a wrister at the 19:37 mark of the first. It was Tlusty’s 12th goal of the season. Picking up the assists were Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu The Canes had two power play opportunities in the first, but could not capitalize on either of them.
The 2nd period would provide just as many goals as the 1st period for the two teams combined. This time however, the Canes came up on the short end of the stick. Just 3:15 into the period, the Av’s played a little tic-tac-toe to pull the score even at two. Playing the game were Milan Hejduk, Paul Statsney, and David Jones. Hejduk would be credited with his 13th goal of the year. The Canes would once again pull ahead of the Av’s late into the period. Eric Staal would score on his own deflected shot for his 14th of the year. Picking up assists on Staal’s goal were Ruutu and Jay Harrison. The Canes would hold this lead for a little over 3 minutes before Paul Statsney would slip in behind Carolina defenders, with a minute remaining in the 2nd, to score his 14th of the year on a backhand.
Both teams would struggle in the first part of the 3rd period. Colorado poured on numerous scoring opportunities as the altitude seemed to catch up with the Canes. Cam Ward came up huge in the late stages of the 3rd period. None more memorable than when the Canes were on a PP late in the 3rd and the Av’s broke out on a shorthanded chance. Ward had to stand on his head for 3 straight shots.
Neither of the teams were able to capitalize in the final period. Carolina would head to OT for the 2nd straight game. Once again, the Canes would fall short in OT period. Justin Faulk was stripped of the puck and Ryan O’Reilly would slap a bullet past Cam Ward with less than 2 seconds remaining in the OT period. Final score- Avalanche 4 Canes 3.