For most of the night, the rematch between the Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes was far less entertaining that Saturday’s game. The weasel Zac Rinaldo has been suspended, so we knew there wouldn’t be any shenanigans.
Despite being far less eventful, this turned out to be a very disappointing game for the Avalanche. A home game after a few days off, against the worst team in the conference - this is a game you absolutely have to win. Unfortunately, the Avs were unable to do so.
Arizona won 3-1, beating an Avalanche team that waited until the third period to really wake up. They had 13 shots through the first two periods and that’s simply not enough of an effort to win in the NHL.
It didn’t take long to get the scoring going as Tobias Rieder scored less than a minute into the game, giving the Coyotes a very quick 1-0 lead. Rieder was able to put the puck in a wide open net after a lazy defensive play by Nikita Zadorov. It was the fastest goal against the Avalanche to start a game this season.
Fortunately, it only took three minutes for the Avalanche to tie it up as Mikko Rantanen sniped home his 11th goal of the season. The play was created by a tremendous outlet pass from Erik Johnson.
After the quick start, it turned into a bit of a snoozefest.
The Coyotes finally broke the deadlock midway through the second as Alex Goligoski scored his fourth goal of the season with an assist from rookie sensation Clayton Keller. Everything else in the second was pretty dull. The Avalanche were only able to manage five shots in the period - 13 total - as they went into the second intermission trailing by a score of 2-1.
The Avs came out flying in the third. Taking short shifts, they had all kinds of pressure on Antti Raanta during the first few minutes. Matt Nieto came within an inch of tying the game as he beat Raanta but rang the puck off the bottom of the crossbar.
Nikita Zadorov took a penalty nine minutes into the third, the team was able to kill it off thanks to a couple huge saves from Semyon Varlamov. Keeping the deficit to one heading into the final ten minutes of the game.
The Avs bad luck continued as they hit another post, only to have Lawson Crouse score his first of the season a few minutes later. Crouse beat Mark Barberio in a foot race through the neutral zone as Sam Girard failed to cover the open man resulting in a nice give and go between Crouse and Josh Archibald.
Despite being the better team in the third period, the Avalanche were unable to score again, making the final 3-1.
- Mikko Rantanen is now on a 7 game point streak. He is turning into one of the more dangerous young wingers in the league.
- It was another rough night for the Kerfoot, Jost, Yakupov line. They were dominated 5v5 and I think the coaching staff is going to have to re-think that trio.
- This was probably Anton Lindholm’s best game since returning from his broken jaw. He will have to continue to improve with Tyson Barrie out of the lineup.
- Thirteen shots through two periods simply isn’t good enough. The Avs came alive in the third, but they looked totally disengaged through large portions of the first two periods.
- The Avs are four points out of a Wild Card spot. To put that in perspective, they’ve now lost home games to the two worst teams in the league - Arizona and Buffalo.
The Avs will be home to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night. It will be a good chance to pick up a home win as the Leafs will be coming to town for the second half of a back-to-back.