The Avalanche had a game in good command Sunday night, until the referees imposed their will and got the Anaheim Ducks back in the game.
That was the frustrated sentiment coming from the Avs' dressing room after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Ducks at the sold-out Honda Center.
The Ducks used three power-play goals to beat the Avs, including the game-winner with 46 seconds left in OT, 15 seconds after Colorado's Ryan O'Byrne was called for a hooking penalty on Cam Fowler.
"Questionable" was how Avs coach Joe Sacco described the call on O'Byrne. "It was a bouncing puck. I don't think it was really obtainable for their guy to really get it. One minute left in the game. I mean, 'Burner' did get his stick up, but not to the extent that he really got his hands there, I don't think."
The Avs tried to nurse a 3-2 lead to the end, playing conservative hockey in the third. But part of the conservative playbook, if it is to be successful, is to stay out of the penalty box. Gabe Landeskog forgot about that rule when he took a needless slashing penalty against Ducks center Nick Bonino close to the midway point.
Landeskog was called for precisely the thing referees didn't call on Anaheim star Corey Perry in the second, when he hacked the stick out of the hands of Avs defender Greg Zanon and then scored in front when Zanon was powerless to block Ryan Getz laf's centering pass. That goal by Perry got the Ducks back into a game the Avs had been dominating to that point.
"We were quick to pucks, we were physical, we moved our feet and there's a reason (Anaheim) took the penalties they did. We get ourselves a good lead and then their first goal — it's a slash (on Perry)," Sacco said. "Two-handed, right across his stick. Both officials were standing right there. It's hard to imagine that they missed that, but they did."
Read more: Avs question officiating in 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim Ducks - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_22661328/avs-question-officiating-4-3-overtime-loss-anaheim#ixzz2LvtZsoq7
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Avs question officiating in 4-3 overtime loss to Anaheim Ducks
Denver Post | Feb 25