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Penguins Vs. Avalanche Score Update: Colorado Takes 3-1 Lead After First Period

Struggling Colorado leads Pittsburgh 3-1 after a high scoring first period at Consol Energy Center. In the first, the Avalanche pushed into the the Pens' zone after Pittsburgh squandered a 5 on 3 advantage. Milan Hejduk and Erik Johson played interchange and controlled the puck on the board. Jay McClement got inside position in front of the goal, grabbed a deflected shot on net, was stuffed on his first shot but controlled the deflection and slammed the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury for the opening goal.

Colorado grabbed a two goal lead on one of the prettiest goals of this young season by Matt Duchene. Paul Stastny beat Kris Letang to a puck in the corner and fought off a hit attempt by Letang. Handling the puck in the corner, he centered it back to Duchene. It was Duchene's 7th goal of the season but one of the niftiest moves you will see, as he dragged his toe and controlled the pass which was behind him. He took the puck slid it through his own legs, brought the stick around and quickly backhanded the puck into what was nearly an open net, with Fleury sprawled out on the ice after the quick move. Although he won't get the highlight, Stastny's hustle on the forecheck and fighting off Letang set up the entire opportunity.

The Pens would get one back with a minute and a half to go in the period when Jordan Staal buried his ninth goal of the season. The play was set up by Tyler Kennedy down low. Kennedy controlled the puck and Staal cut from the corner to a soft spot in front. Kennedy put the puck right on Staal's stick and he went top shelf past Semyon Varlamov to cut the lead in half.

Just over a minute later, however, Colorado would re-gain the two goal advantage on an amazing individual effort by David Jones. Jones took the puck down the middle of the ice with Penguins' defenseman Paul Martin skating backwards. It was a bad play by Martin as Jones exposed him in the open ice and beat Fleury for Colorado's third of the night.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.