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The Avalanche remain bad, lose 4-1 to the Ducks

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Remember that win last week? Yeah, me too.

Anaheim Ducks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche are bad and the Anaheim Ducks’ John Gibson was unwilling to show any mercy, stopping 33 shots and leading his team to a 4-1 victory in Colorado’s first game back from their five-game bye week.

The Ducks scored first. Why? Because Francois Beauchemin pinched in and fired off a big slap shot—right into the pads of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg, causing the puck to leak out toward the Avalanche zone. The 26-year-old Swedish wing then chased down the puck himself and ripped an uncontested breakaway shot past goalie Semyon Varlamov to put the Ducks up 1-0.

Less than two minutes later, Nathan MacKinnon stole Hampus Lindholm’s lunch money at center ice and hit the afterburners to beat everyone up ice. A deke, shake and a slick backhand later and MacKinnon would even up the game against Ducks’ goalie John Gibson for his 11th goal of the season.

Then, just 51 seconds after that, the Ducks pinned the Avalanche in their own zone for a longer than preferred amount of time and worked the puck back to the point. After the defense scrambled to get back in position, Kevin Bieksa slid the puck over to Rickard Rakell above the right circle, who launched a high wrist shot at the net through a Cory Perry (and Patrick Wiercioch) screen and past Varlamov for Anaheim’s second goal of the contest.

The second period was less eventful scoring-wise, but not uneventful enough. After getting away with a clear penalty in their own zone, the Ducks skated the puck up ice blasted a shot Varlamov, who deflected the puck wide. Shea Theodore then took control of the rebound behind the net and quickly moved toward the far side of the net for the wraparound. Varlamov stopped this too, but unfortunately never saw where the puck went, even though it was right under his skate. Ryan Kesler, seeing an easy opportunity, skated in a tapped it in to put the Ducks up 3-1.

A couple of good power plays and five-on-five play during the third wouldn’t help the Avalanche. John Gibson would end up turning away 33 of 34 shots and Corey Perry would score an empty-net goal with 1:36 left and the Avalanche would fall 4-1, dropping their record to a (still) league-worst 13-26-1.