The Avalanche finished Tampa Bay off in an overtime thriller Friday night before taking a two-day holiday break. The win extended the Avalanche’s home winning streak to a record setting eighth consecutive game. Unfortunately, the mark still does not break the Avs nine game road losing streak, which they will try and end today.
J.S. Giguere’s 29 saves for his fourth win in a week, helped earn him the NHL’s third overall star of the week award. Matt Duchene’s overtime goal was the work of a perfectly placed shot that found its way in between Tampa Bay goalie Garon’s legs. Ryan O’Reilly scored his eighth goal of the season in the second; he is on pace to double his career scoring this year. He had 21 goals combined in his first two seasons.
While the Avalanche’s eight game home winning streak is impressive, the glory day Avalanche of the pre-lockout era did not have the shootout. The shootout, which was introduced for the 2005-2006, season assures that no game ends in a tie. The Avalanche have won 16 out of their last 17 shootouts, which is highly unusual.
The Avs streak featured shootouts in three games on this streak starting with game two against St. Louis. The team also won in shootouts against San Jose in game five and Philadelphia in game seven. The one overtime win could have happened before the lockout.
In comparison, the nine game road losing streak has seen no games go into overtime. Therefore, the Avalanche have not received a point and could just as easily have had the streak before the lockout. If the Avalanche want to stay in the playoff hunt, they must turn more of those losses into overtime losses to receive points. The Avalanche have only one overtime loss, tied for the lowest in the league.
The Avalanche sit just three points behind Nashville in the Western Conference with 37 points. The Predators currently hold the Conference’s eighth playoff spot after playing 35 of the league’s 82 regular season game. The Avs must try to end their nine game road losing streak to find a way back in the race.