As the Avs shake of the last vestiges of the Joe Sacco era, a few hurdles remain.
The biggest one remains winning in Vancouver but the Avs cleared another beating the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 in their last home game before the holiday break.
Devan Dubnyk's save percentage is below .900 on the season but against the Avs in his career he is 8-3-1 with a save percentage of .943, giving up less than two goals per game.
Tonight, thanks to a three point night from star forward Matt Duchene, they put three past him, with Duchene tacking on an empty netter near the end of the game to seal up the victory.
Duchene had his third straight multi-point game and his fourth in five games to further his bid to play with Team Canada in Sochi, Russia this February. He has now had 10 points his past five games after going seven games without a point.
Linemate Ryan O'Reilly had two points of his one, one a key goal to tie the game 2-2. After Taylor Hall overpowered Erik Johnson and fed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for an easy tap-in goal, things looked bleak.
The Avs, who have struggled against the Oilers of late, played tentative and what chances the did get were put into the chest of the 6'5 behemoth that is Dubnyk. That all changed when Duchene drew two players to him fed MacKinnon in the right faceoff dot. MacKinnon, he the veteran of 34 games sold a shot before finding O'Reilly on a doorstep for a goal so easy it should count as an empty netter.
The Avs carried on from there, picking up a timely shorthanded goal from Maxime Talbot to take a slim lead into the third, which the Oilers carried the majority of the play.
Exorcizing ones demons is never easy but the Avs did not need an old priest and young priest to get past the Oilers in this one.
1. Matt Duchene- three points, leading his team to victory
2. Semyon Varlamov- played huge, especially in the third
3. Ryan O'Reilly- Two points and some great defensive play from Radar.
Facepalm of the game
This goes to Erik Johnson and Jan Hejda on Taylor Hall's first goal for letting the Oilers' most dangerous scorer get that wide open.
Bang Bang play of the game
The play by Duchene, MacKinnon and O'Reilly on the tying goal was three highly skilled players going to town on an overmateched defense.