Somehow, some way, the Colorado Avalanche scratched and clawed and came out with two points.
Facing their ‘blood rival’, the Avs received an incredible contribution for winger David Jones, who finished the night with a line of 2 goals, 1 assist, +3 and 5 SOG. Every time the team found themselves in a deficit they battled back thanks to Jones, Daniel Winnik, Ryan O’Reilly and some shootout magic from Brandon Yip. Every time meaning down 1-0, 3-1, and 4-3.
The problem for the Detroit Red Wings seemed to be keeping the lead as they squandered two goals from Johan Franzen, a powerplay marker from Pavel Datsyuk and a shortie by Patrick Eaves. After losing minute-eater Brian Rafalski for a few weeks, it would have been nice to keep winning, but that did not happen.
Both goalies in the contest were mediocre. Peter Budaj showed some rust by only turning aside 24 of 28. Jimmy Howard played a more respectable game with 34 saves in 38 tries.
In the late game, the Los Angeles Kings fired back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Thrashers thanks to veteran left wing Ryan Smyth. Captain Canada scored the game-tying-goal early in the third then assisted on the game winner before sealing the game with an empty netter, his second of the contest.
It simply did not matter if he was on the first line with Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown or the second unit with Justin Williams and Jarrett Stoll, the 34-year-old produced with grind and grit, leading his team to their first win in a home opener in four years.
The starting goalies played a solid game with Chris Mason turning aside 32 of 34 and Jonathan Quick stopping 31 of 32.