That's the sound of the Avs falling back down to Earth after an improbable win last night in Detroit. And that's not to say that the Avs didn't play well tonight, because they did. But they just seemed to be a bit outmatched by a better team who wanted it more, and who managed a few lucky bounces on the way. And even as the diehard fans we are, did we REALLY expect the team to dominate a red-hot Flyers team in their home building while the Avs are playing the second game of a back to back? In my heart, I expect the team to win them all, but there's some games that I know will be tougher than others, and this, of course, was one of them.
The Avs started out strong, just as last night, and Paul Stastny was able to score a PPG off what seemed like a broken play as he won the faceoff, and pushed it off the boards to Hejduk or Smyth, but both of them were tied up and the puck managed to find it's way right back to Stastny's stick, which he quickly stick-handled to his forehand to put it in the net. The Flyers didn't allow that lead to last long however, as they got goals by Mike Knuble on the powerplay and a shorthanded goal by Jeff Carter before the end of the period.
The second period saw the Flyers extend their lead to a comfortable 4-1 before David Jones had an absolutely beautiful tip-in on a T.J. Hensick from the point. I was a huge critic of him earlier in the season, partly because Guite was being benched in his favor, but I really think this guy is starting to come around and find his groove on the ice. The second period also saw two fights, the first resulted from Chris Stewart standing up for Jonesy after he took a big hit from Aaron Asham into the Flyers bench. I love Stewart more and more each game, and I feel that he won the fight as well. The second fight was a bout between Lappy and Scott Hartnell. I never knew Hartnell to be much of a fighter, but he definitely was ready for this one with Laperriere.
In the third, the Flyers scored their fifth and final goal of the night, bringing the score to it's final, 5-2 mark.
I really can't put too much blame on the Avs as a whole for this one, as some goals were flukey, and others were just great goals that most goalies wouldn't stand a chance against. They obviously were a bit tired after the game in Detroit last night, and you could sense that about halfway through the game. Jones had another great game, as did Stastny and Smyth, as usual. The Avs travel to the state of Florida next for two games before coming home for one game before the holidays. Barring any unforeseen news in the Avs world, I will be back Thursday to talk about the game against Vinny LeCavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning.