Time was running out Wednesday night. The Ottawa Senators were up by a goal with a little more than two minutes left in the third period at the Pepsi Center. It was the kind of moment that cried out for a leader, the kind of moment where guys with a "C" on their chests need to be there. Gabe Landeskog was there.

Landeskog dug a little deeper in driving to the net, sacrificing his body in a way that helped tie the game on Paul Stastny's subsequent goal. Landeskog carried a Senators defender on his back while lugging the puck into the crease area in front of goalie Craig Anderson, who poke-checked Landeskog's shot attempt away. All the attention Landeskog drew allowed Stastny to have free rein to put in the rebound.

"Example," the German philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Albert Schweitzer said, "is leadership."

"I don't think you have to be the cheerleader, the guy always chatting it up in the dressing room, pumping the guys up," said Landeskog, the NHL's youngest captain at 21. "There's a time and a place to say things, and I'll say it. But I'm trying to channel my energy and put it all on the ice instead of sitting and screaming in the dressing room. I try to just focus on what I've got to do on the ice. When I focus on my game, I help our line get going and help our team get going as well."

Now that he has coached Landeskog for half a season, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy has bought in on him being the captain. Roy played on Avs teams for eight years with Hall of Famer Joe Sakic as his captain, don't forget.

"Joe was a bit like this too as a captain. What I like is, when these kinds of guys take the ice, that's exactly the kind of leadership we get on the ice," Roy said.

On the tying goal against Ottawa, Roy said: "That's what we needed. Landy showed why he's captain and Paul assistant captain. They're leaders."

With the Avs a young team having almost no playoff experience, they know big questions still await in the second half. Will those young players be able to handle the pressure of a playoff race as the games become more important? Do they have enough leadership to get into the playoffs?