The Colorado Avalanche entered Tuesday against the Capitals after a heartbreaking loss to St. Louis. They looked to correct the slow start that cost them Saturday.Embed from Getty Images
The Colorado Avalanche laid an egg against St. Louis until about 6 minutes left in the contest. They made a furious rally to get to within 4-3 with 2 minutes left. They ended up losing 5-3 after the tying goal was waved off for kicking, and an empty-net goal by the Blues to seal it. That slow start that allowed St. Louis to build an insurmountable 4-1 lead would doom them against the high-powered Washington Capitals. After the first period, it looked more of the same.
The Avalanche was out-shot in that first period 19-5. I think it’s an obvious statement to say that will never get it done. The return of superstar and perennial MVP candidate Nathan MacKinnon to the lineup should have signaled a return of the high-pace play that defined this team over the last couple of seasons and we discussed in my season preview. It just did not translate in that first period. Thankfully due to some heady goaltending by Darcy Kuemper and a short-handed goal by J.T. Compher they kept the Avalanche to within 2-1 at the first break.Embed from Getty Images
The 2nd period started better for the Colorado Avalanche as they would get a goal from Darren Helm just 3:12 into the period. They even had an 8-5 SOG advantage in the period until the 14:00 min mark. Then the wheels fell off for the Avalanche. Anthony Mantha started the Capitals cascade at 14:47 with his 100th career goal and first of the 2021/2022 season. Then Evgeny Kuznetsov added his 2nd of the game and season at the 16:41 point in the 3rd. That would cap the scoring in the frame and a 4-2 Caps lead. The Avs would end up tied at 8-8 with SOG.
The third period started where the second ended. At just :39 into the frame Nic Dowd added the 5th lamp-lighting for the Capitals, his first of the season. The period would end the way the Blues game ended. With the Avs pulling to within 5-3 with a Power Play-Empty Net goa by Mikko Rantanen with the 6-4 man advantage. This was the first Power Play goal of the season for the Avs and the first goal by Mikko. Then immediately after Alex Ovechkin finally got into the act with an empty-net goal to give us the final score of 6-3.Embed from Getty Images
While much could be lumped on Kuemper in the Blues matchup last Saturday. Today was much more on poor defensive positioning and defensive zone discipline that lead to multiple break-aways for the Capitals. The Capitals were also more physical, as they not only out-shot them 39-26. The Avs were outhit 20-15, and also lost the faceoff battle 32-26. They were thoroughly outplayed in every area. Let’s hope Jack Johnson returning after an early puck to the face doesn’t let this play continue as they have a hard road ahead with trips to Sunrise and Tampa Florida before they get back home to Ball Arena.
Vs Florida Panthers on Thursday, October 21 @ 5:00 PM MST
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