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Mile High Sports

Avs’ O’Reilly talks about first penalty this season

With 11 minutes and change remaining in the third period of Colorado’s huge 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks, the seemingly unthinkable happened. A saint—not a sin-binner—all season long, Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly received his first penalty of the nearly-completed 2013-14 campaign.

The call that got him? Playing the puck with a broken stick.

O’Reilly had the end of his twig broken off on a defensive faceoff. With the puck between his legs, the 23-year-old Lady Byng Trophy hopeful did what any center would have done, he kicked it to a teammate.

The trouble is that O’Reilly hadn’t dropped his useless shaft yet. He was immediately called for the infraction, which gave the lethal Sharks an extended chance to tie the game.

Avs clinch playoff berth with 3-2 win over Sharks

The decision also ended O’Reilly’s miraculous penalty-free streak at 71 games.

“That’s an unfortunate penalty too,” said O’Reilly of the play. “I’m glad to have it over with.”

While the play, for some, might have an impact on voting for the Lady Byng Trophy for sportsmanship, it shouldn’t. O’Reilly is still the cleanest player in the league to date and his team-leading 26 goals and 32 assists make the feat even more impressive.

See what he thought of the situation:

Ryan Boulding is a staff writer for Mile High Sports. He can be reached via email at ryan@milehighsports.com or on Twitter @RBoulding.

For complete coverage of the Avalanche and the NHL.

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