Well, that was a fun way to end the weekend. Just as it looked like the Colorado Avalanche were on the verge of losing yet another road game, the team was able to show a lot of resilience and storm back to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 in overtime.
Outshooting their opponents on the road for the first time in a long while, the Avs played their best game away from the Pepsi Center since the season-opening road trip.
Colorado was playing from behind until late in regulation, but that was thanks to some great play by Jimmy Howard. Luckily, in true Jimmy Howard fashion, he erased all the good he did earlier in the game by letting in a stinker in overtime.
After jumping out to an early lead thanks to Justin Abdelkader's fourth goal of the season, it looked as though the Red Wings were going to go into the first intermission ahead 1-0. That was until Erik Johnson was able to tie it up with only 15 seconds left in the period. The goal was Johnson’s first of the season, but more importantly, with an assist on the play, Dominic Toninato got his first NHL point.
The game stayed tied through a relatively uneventful second period until Andreas Athanasiou was able to get free for a breakaway in the final minute to put Detroit ahead 2-1.
Even though they were on the second leg of a back-to-back, the Avalanche were playing with a ton of energy and were able to control a lot of the play through large chunks of the game, only to be thwarted by Howard - who looked like he was set to steal the game for his team.
With Mikko Rantanen in the box for his third time in the game, Nik Kronwall was able to extend the Red Wings lead to 3-1 and it seemed as though the Avs were on their way to another road loss.
Though it’s not something we’ve seen much this season, the Avs powerplay came through in a huge way as Nail Yakupov was able to score his sixth of the season, cutting the lead back down to one.
After putting on a ton of pressure late in the third, the Avs pulled the goalie and finally tied the game up with only 45 seconds left in regulation. The goal was scored when Carl Soderberg deflected a MacKinnon shot over the shoulder of Howard.
The Avs had all the momentum going into overtime and looked like they weren’t going to let this one slip away. After a few minutes of back and forth play, Nathan MacKinnon was able to snap one home off the rush to give the Avs a huge victory. It was another statement goal from a player that is finally showing the hockey world just how good he can be.
- Erik Johnson was outstanding. This game doesn’t get anywhere near overtime without him playing as well as he did.
- Jonathan Bernier had a lot of bad luck tonight. He let in three goals on only 24 shots, but those came on two deflections and a breakaway.
- Jimmy Howard was great for a large chunk of the game, but that OT goal was a stinker that he has to save.
- This was Samuel Girard’s 10th game of the season meaning he has now activated the first year of his entry-level contract.
- Nathan MacKinnon is now on pace for 95 points this season.
The Avs have a couple days off before the Dallas Stars make another visit to the Pepsi Center Wednesday night. The Stars will be looking for a little revenge after coming to Denver and losing 5-3 back on October 24th.