The Colorado Avalanche received some good news prior to their regular season finale Sunday night on the road against the Anaheim Ducks. They would come into the final day tied with the St. Louis Blues atop the Central Division in need of a Blues loss to clinch the Central. They would get their wish as the Detroit Red Wings would drop the Blues in a 3-0 shutout win to push the Avs to their first division title since the 2002-03′ season.
Colorado would go into Sunday night’s game against the Ducks with nothing to play for, the same would go for the Ducks. Colorado would strike at the 12:11 mark in the first period off of a goal from Brad Malone who collected his third of the season, assisted by Nick Holden and Ryan Wilson. Jumping ahead to the final two minutes of the second period, Stefan Elliott who was just called up in wake of the Tyson Barrie injury, collected his first goal of the season on the assists from Maxime Talbot and Patrick Bordeleau.
From this point on it would be all Ducks. Patrick Maroon would strike for his 11th goal of the season just 1:41 into the third period as Mathieu Perreault and Ben Lovejoy would collect the points. About three minutes later, Saku Koivu would notch his 11th of the season as well, on the assists from Sami Vatanen and Andrew Cogliano. Neither team would convert late in the third period and the Ducks and Avs would go into overtime. At the 1:33 mark in overtime, Nick Bonino would score the game-winner for the Ducks, on the assists from Devante Smith-Pelly and Sami Vatanen to end the season on a high-note before the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
If you didn’t watch the game, the Ducks would cheer for forward Teemu Selanne every time he stepped foot on the ice as it is his final season in an NHL uniform. The 43-year-old who was the tenth overall pick back in the 1988 NHL Draft will call it quits after this season after 20 years in the league. He would share a touching moment after the game with Colorado’s goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere as they were former teammates and won a Stanley Cup together.
Looking ahead to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Colorado Avalanche will take on the division rival Minnesota Wild. Colorado would have a lot of success against Minnesota this season, winning the season series 4-1. Here is a look ahead at the scheduling for the first-round.
Game 1: Thu. April 17th: Wild vs. Avalanche (9:30 PM ET, 7:30 PM MT)
Game 2: Sat. April 19th: Wild vs. Avalanche (9:30 PM ET, 7:30 PM MT)
Game 3: Mon. April 21st: Avalanche vs. Wild (7:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM MT)
Game 4: Thu. April 24th: Avalanche vs. Wild (9:30 PM ET, 7:30 PM MT)
Game 5: (If necessary) Sat. April 26th: Wild vs. Avalanche (TBA)
Game 6: (If necessary) Mon. April 28th: Avalanche vs. Wild (TBA)
Game 7: (If necessary) Wed. April 30th: Wild vs. Avalanche (TBA)