Arizona Coyotes looked for revenge as they jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Colorado Avalanche bounced back, but fell short.
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Philipp Grubauer of the Colorado Avalanche got the game off, and to start the first period, it seemed as if the rest of the roster thought they did too. Within the first 5 minutes of the opening period, Colorado found themselves down 2-0 after bad turnovers/defensive positioning lead to 2 easy goals for the Yotes. Jakob Chychrun (9) put one in at 1:25 into the period, then was followed by Alex Goligoski at 4:52 into the period for his first of the season. Goligoski joined fellow defenseman Ekman-Larsson to notch his first goal of the season against Colorado in as many nights.
Where Grubauer was able to turn away seemingly every breakaway or odd-man rush by the opponent. Sub Jonas Johansson was not up to the task at first. That’s not to say his defense did him any favors with said goals. But this is where you truly see the value of a goaltender like Gru. Then the Avalanche showed why they are so dangerous when Gabriel Landeskog deposited his 10th goal of the season in net at 14:47 into the period. Then Mikko Rantanen followed with his 19th of the year at 18:89 into the period to tie the game at 2-2.
The third-period saw the Avalanche raise their energy and Coyote keep their foot on the gas. It looked like it was going to be a period dominated by the Arizona poke check, and Colorado Penalty Kill. The Colorado special teams killed 6 minutes of Coyote Power Play in the 2nd-period alone. Nathan MacKinnon had both the worst and best plays of the game to that point. At 56 seconds into the period MacKinnon was cut-off at his blue line by Chychrun and knocked off balance. This caused Nathan to lose control of his stick on his way to the ice and caught Chychrun square in the face drawing blood, and a 4-minute major. The Avalanche then commenced to display a clinic on penalty kill, not allowing a single true scoring opportunity throughout the power play for the Yotes.
The best play came on Nathan’s 10th goal of the season off a slap-shot from just below the blue-line that was slightly deflected and in with just 11 seconds left in the period. Sandwiched between these two major moments was good-old-fashioned, buckle-your-strap, rival hockey. Neither team willing to give an inch, both goaltenders locked in and effortlessly tossing aside shots. But as I mentioned last time, that is what is so crushing about this Avs squad. You can do everything perfect for 19:49 of the 20:00 minute period. This team only needs one shot and those last :11 to burn you.
Here is that goal by Nathan courtesy of the Colorado Avalanche Social Team:
Then the 3rd-period showed why the Coyotes can be just as infuriating. The Avs looked to be in a comfortable position after Valeri Nichushkin snuck his 7th goal by Adin HIll to make it 4-2 Avalanche at 5:28 into the period. It seemed everyone took a breathe, which turned out to be a mistake. The Yotes are just a band of pesky bandits waiting for targets of opportunity. And Lawson Crouse (2, 6:38) and Phil Kessel (10, 8:41) found just that to tie it at 4-4. Johansson and Hill settled down to lock things up and not allow another goal in regulation.
So we go to overtime where the Avalanche had every opportunity to get the 2nd point. Including a 2:00 power play with just less than 3-minutes left in overtime. But Hill transformed into Hasek and somehow found the puck no matter where he threw his body. Which lead to the first shoot-out of the season for Colorado, where Johansson was unable to stop a single Coyote shot. The Avalanche lost the shoot-out 3-1, and the game 5-4 as a result. The new kid put up a valiant effort, including some impressive saves in OT. But as I mentioned earlier, I choose Gru, unfortunately, he can’t play every night. And Avalanche fans will have to endure a tough loss like this from time to time. Wednesday is a day off and a chance to recharge so the avalanche can return on its path of destruction.
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@Vegas Golden Knight, Thursday, March 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM MST
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Colorado Market: Altitude TV/Altitude Radio 92.5 FM
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