Ryan O'Reilly played old-time hockey Thursday night. Cut beside the right eye with about 10 minutes to go, the Avalanche wing didn't miss a shift. He had trainers plug the wound so he could seize the opportunity, and that chance turned into the overtime goal. O'Reilly's wrist shot on a 4-on-3 power play with 48 seconds remaining in OT gave the Avs an improbable 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes. O'Reilly received four stitches after Colorado won its second in a row to improve to 16-5. "It was a character win for us. We stuck with it," O'Reilly said. The Avs, playing in just their second three-point game of the season, forced OT with a grinding goal from third-line grinder Cody McLeod at 16:46 of the third period to get a point out of a game they were badly outplayed after taking a 2-0 lead. "McLeod had a great grinding goal, getting in the blue ice and bang one home to tie it up," O'Reilly said. "Just a character win." The Avs, facing a Coyotes team that was 9-0-1 at home, had two 4-on-3 advantages in OT and O'Reilly capitalized on the second with Keith Yandle in the box for slashing Tyson Barrie on the hand. "They were solid in the third," Avs coach Patrick Roy said of the Coyotes. "They were faster than us on the puck and jumping on loose pucks. But you no what? We found a way to win. I thought our guys did a really good job coming here and winning that hockey game." The Avs blew a 2-0 goal and allowed three unanswered goals, the go-ahead by Phoenix's Antoine Vermette on the power play with 5:53 left in regulation, and four seconds left on defenseman Jan Hejda's hooking minor. Hejda was also exposed on the tying goal, a Martin Hanzel tap-in to cap a dominating shift by the Coyotes.
Ryan O'Reilly's last-minute goal in OT lifts Avalanche past Phoenix
Denver Post | Nov 22