Calvin Pickard made 25-of-26 saves and just about all the big names scored for Colorado in route to their 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
It took both team a few minutes to get into the game, but it would be Carolina to do so first. Six minutes in, Lee Stempniak won a puck battle along the left boards and backhanded a pass out to Erie, Colorado’s Jaccob Slavin at the point. The 22-year-old rookie then dished to Jeff Skinner scooting up the slot, who tapped a touch pass to a wide-open Justin Faulk at the right circle. Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard never quite regained position and Faulk beat him short-side for his 12th goal of the season.
The Avalanche would strike back late in the second period after Derek Ryan got caught hooking Rene Bourque. The Avalanche would execute a rather effective power play, managing five shot attempts and—eventually—a goal. Mark Barberio faked a shot up at the point and passed to Tyson Barrie on the right circle, who let one fly toward a heap of traffic in front of the net. Gabriel Landeskog, in perfect position, got the tip for his 15th tally on the year, tying the game at one apiece.
Not a minute later, recent Avalanche trade acquisition Sven Andrighetto came screaming up ice with the puck and Mikko Rantanen close in tow. Andrigetto pulled up and waited for Matt Duchene to skate through the slot and clear the defense before dishing to Tyson Barrie on the far circle. This time there was no tip. The goal was Barrie’s 6th of the year and would give Colorado a 2-1 lead headed into the third.
Carolina would get a couple of good looks in the final frame, but the Avalanche—get this—didn’t screw up. In fact, this was perhaps their most complete game in recent memory. Nathan MacKinnon sealed it with less than a minute remaining with an empty-net goal—his 13th—and Colorado would delivery a home-ice victory in front of their poor destitute fans.
The Avalanche move to 18-44-3 on the season. They will host the New Jersey Devils, who have lost eight straight, on Thursday evening.