New Jersey Devils Vs. Colorado Avalanche 3/15/12 Rob’s Free NHL Hockey Pick
The Colorado Avalanche continued their surge to the playoffs with about as dramatic a win as a team could have. Trailing 4-3 with 25 seconds to play in their game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog rushed the puck up the ice and threw it towards the net. After a scramble in front it was Jamie McGinn burying the loose puck past Ryan Miller to tie the game at 4-4 with under two seconds remaining in the game. Colorado carried the momentum through the overtime period and won the game 5-4 on Peter Mueller’s shootout goal. McGinn scored a first period goal that tied the game at 1-1, and David Jones scored his 17th of the season with under a minute to play in the opening frame to tie the game at 2-2. Landeskog scored his 20th goal of the season on the power play in the second period to give Colorado a 3-2 lead but Buffalo tied the score midway through the period. After the Sabres took a 4-3 lead 1:55 into the third period the Avalanche battled for the final 18 minutes until McGinn could finally tie it. The victory moved the Avalanche into eighth place in the Western Conference standings, however they’ve played three more games than ninth place San Jose. Colorado will look to keep it going in New Jersey on Thursday night against a Devils club that will be looking to rebound from a poor showing on Tuesday night in Philadelphia against the Flyers. One of the Devils’ kryptonite’s this season has been Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, and he shut them down once again as the Flyers went on to a 3-0 victory. New Jersey still has a chance at the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home ice in the first round of the playoffs, but they also could fall to seventh place and a likely match up with the Boston Bruins. The Devils would love to avoid that match up, seeing as how the Bruins have played against them this season, but they’ve also been a better hockey club on the road than at home this year. Look for the Devils to come out hard here on Thursday night and try to take advantage of an Avalanche club that’s coming off a hard fought, emotional win the night before.