Ducks dispose of Avs in OT
DENVER ” Even though Ilya Bryzgalov wasn’t impeccable, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks remained perfect thanks to Joffrey Lupul’s four goals Tuesday night.
Lupul’s three goals in regulation and one in overtime gave the Ducks a 4-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche and a 3-0 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.
Bryzgalov’s shutout streak ended at three games, but the Ducks are still a win away from advancing to the conference finals.
The Ducks can complete the sweep Thursday night at the Pepsi Center. The Avalanche will try to join the 1975 New York Islanders and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs as the only teams tin win series after losing the first three games.
Colorado had won its last six playoff overtime games, tops in the NHL and a franchise record, including three over Dallas in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
After both teams killed a power play in the extra period, Dustin Penner stole the puck from Patrice Brisebois in the Colorado zone and fed Lupul, who added to his first career hat trick with a shot from between the circles that beat Avs goaltender Jose Theodore at 16:30 of overtime.
The Avalanche took a 2-1 lead on Jim Dowd’s short-handed goal early in the third period, but Colorado was lax on defense and allowed Lupul to score his second and third goals less than two minutes apart.
Defenseman Rob Blake got caught pinching in on the blue line and Alex Tanguay’s turnover led to a 2-on-1 breakaway and Lupul tied it with his second goal at 8:54. He gave Anaheim a 3-2 led at 10:40 with a slap shot from between the circles.
The deflated Avs fought back to tie it at 3 on Blake’s slap shot at 13:35.
Bryzgalov allowed a goal for the first time in 249 minutes, 15 seconds when he gave up a goal late in the first period. The rookie goalie’s streak is the second-longest in NHL playoff history, trailing only George Hainsworth’s 270:08, set in 1930 for Montreal.
After posting three straight shutouts, including two against the Avalanche in Anaheim, Bryzgalov finally gave up a goal when Dan Hinote tapped the puck past him with 26 seconds left in the first period, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead.
The 25-year-old Russian was closing in on his 13th straight perfect period.
He had stopped 99 straight shots dating to the Ducks’ Game 7 win at Calgary in the Western Conference quarterfinals before Andrew Brunette got control of the puck behind the net and with one arm slid it to the left side of the crease to Hinote.
The Avs, who didn’t get off a single shot in a 5-on-3 advantage that lasted more than a minute, acted as though they’d won another overtime game. It was, after all, their first goal since April 30.
The celebration was short-lived, however, as Lupul tied it at 9:02 of the second period with a slap shot after the Ducks controlled the puck in the Colorado zone for more than a minute, even managing a line change during that time.
Brunette had a goal late in the second period waved off because Milan Hejduk’s pass was high-sticked as he swatted a deflection into the crease. Later in the period, Theodore made a sensational save while sprawled when he reached high to stop Teemu Selanne’s hard, high shot from the left circle.
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