A minute into the game, Eric Staal is behind the net with the puck, something he’s had a mastery of for his entire career, sees Jason Zucker amid the chaos of six players in front of Jonathan Bernier’s net. He takes the pass and snaps the puck past the ex-Maple Leaf, giving the Wild an early lead.
Halfway into the period, Nail Yakupov gets caught and is forced to take a hooking penalty. Oh no! The Wild have a top-10 powerplay in the league! They’re surely to score. Not so fast...
Gabriel Landeskog makes a diving play along the half-wall to get the puck out of the zone. Little does he know that J.T. Compher was speeding out of the zone. He grabs the puck, streaks in on a breakaway, shoots, and scores! The 22-year-old now has three goals and six points on the season, beating his total from last year.
The Wild’s breakout gets stalled (or Staal’d) in the neutral zone and is immediately turned on their heels by the Avs. Blake Comeau and Matt Nieto are away together with only one defenseman back. The vet keeps, shoots, and scores his fifth of the season! Apples go to Carl Soderberg and Tyson Barrie, who’s two-line pass began the transition play.
Scoring from the bottom-six has got to feel good for the Avs. It’s forced the Wild to focus on more than just the top group, and give coach Bednar the confidence to even out the ice-time.
The Avalanche, once again, begin the period slowly and one of the goal-scorers, Blake Comeau, takes a slashing penalty.
On the powerplay, Mikko Koivu makes a 85ft pass in the offensive zone, right to Nino Niederreiter’s stick, who’s slapper gets by Bernier. Tie game.
The rest of the period sees the Avs winning the possession battle, Tyson Barrie looking like Tyson Barrie of old, leading the team in shot attempt +/- with Colin Wilson of all players trailing not far behind.
The period sees no goals but not for a lack of trying, with Barrie, Wilson, Comeau, and Johnson all having chances to bring the Avalanche ahead on the scoresheet.
The Avs definitely outplayed their opponents in that period. Unfortunately, Colorado failed to score and we head to overtime.
Somehow, all the momentum the Avs gained in the third seems to have travelled into the overtime. They look flat-footed and cannot gain possession of the puck for the life of them.
Staal, Zucker, and Charlie Coyle all have chances but Jonathan Bernier stands tall and stops them all.
We head to the shootout. Boo.
The first shooter is Koivu and his backhand deke is stopped by Bernier.
Nathan MacKinnon, who has been faily quiet in this game, comes in and shoots from distance but is stopped by Alex Stalock.
Third shooter, Coyle, comes in, dekes, and scores. Ew.
Mikko Rantanen tries to tie the shootout but fails to do so. Oh no.
Chris Stewart.. Wait am I reading that correctly? Okay then, let’s see what he can d- AHH DAMN. He dekes and scores five-hole on Bernie, winning the game.
The Colorado Avalanche play their next game tomorrow night at home against the Calgary Flames.