The Colorado Avalanche made the third stop their eastern conference road trip for an afternoon (or morning back at home) affair with the Carolina Hurricanes. Taking the momentum from their big win in New Jersey, the Avalanche were tasked with stopping another hot team in the Hurricanes. And that they did with a 3-1 victory in this contest.
Canes rookie Warren Foegele took a high-sticking penalty early in the period, giving the Avs a power play. Mikko Rantanen was making music early, setting up Tyson Barrie for a shot from the wing, and then later he passed to Nathan MacKinnon for a shot that Hurricanes netminder Curtis McElhinney caught with his chest-protector.
Before the whistle blew, Calvin de Haan pushed Tyson Jost into McElhinney causing the puck to go in the net, and a “conversation” between the two teams and the refs as to whether the goal should count or not. After a brief discussion, the signal was that there was no goal.
Sven Andrighetto has looked good in his second game of the season. He had a goal in his first game of the year against New Jersey on Thursday, but today he looked a lot more resiliant in the neutral zone. He appeared faster and more aggressive when it came to retrieving the puck.
Through the middle of the period, the Canes started to hound the Avs, putting up five shots in a row within minutes. As a result of the Avs falling into scramble mode, Rantanen was forced to trip Foegele before he could put home a back-door pass that Philipp Grubauer was no where near finding. After two minutes, the Avs were able to safely kill the penalty off, taking one shot to the Canes’ one shot in the process.
Gabriel Landeskog broke the tie near the end of the period on a play largely created by MacKinnon. MacKinnon was streaking into the offensive zone on the players bench side, chipping the puck behind the Canes defenseman and straight up overpowering his opponent to get the puck back. He then gave Landeskog a back-hand drop pass so the captain could beat McElhinney with a quick shot on the short side.
The beginning half of the first was faily even between the two teams, but from the shift that preluded the Rantanen pelanty onward, the Canes peppered the Avs in shots. Fortunately, one of their two shot attempts from that moment onward went in, and that was the only goal of the game so far.
5v5 Shot Attempts: 9-19
5v5 Shots: 2-9
5v5 Scoring Chances: 6-8
When a team plays the Hurricanes, their goalie needs to be on top of their game. Thanksfully, the Avs have Grubauer and he had such an afternoon. He stopped two great saves in the first period (you can find the video here), and then a third huge stop off a Michael Ferland backhand on a breakaway.
With Andrei Svechnikov in the box for slashing Tyson Barrie, Landeskog got his second goal of the game on a broken play. MacKinnon brought the puck into the zone and handed it off to Landeskog. Landeskog then walked down the wing and tried to make a cross-ice pass to a wide open Rantanen, but the puck bounced back to him off a body inbetween, leaving Landeskog wide open and with a confused McElhinney out of the play.
The Canes took another penalty, de Haan this time for holding, giving the Avs their third power play of the game. The Avs had been 1/2 on the power play up until that point, but an odd-man break by Foegele and Jordan Martinook led Rantanen into taking a second penalty. Grubauer once again coming up huge on the scoring chance.
The second was a lot more even than the first, Grubauer has had to come up big multiple times in each frame. However, the shots are still heavily favouring the Canes over the Avs. The Avs blocked serven shots at 5v5 in that frame alone.
5v5 Shot Attempts: 13-15
5v5 Shots: 3-8
5v5 Scoring Chances: 5-8
[Editor’s Note: It was at this point that Hardev had to go to a birthday party and Jackie was kind enough to finish the game and put it together in recap form.]
Carolina tried to get something going when Micheal Ferland laid two consecutive big hits on Sam Girard and Tyson Jost. Then Erik Johnson took exception to this and dropped the gloves with Ferland.
MacKinnon added the dagger with just under four minutes to go to put the Avalanche up 3-0 with another signature puck-on-a-string type shot.
Ferland got the last laugh and broke Philipp Grubaer’s shutout bid less than a minute later off of a pass thrown out from behind the net. That was all Carolina could muster as the avalanche hung on for he victory.
The shots were much more lopsided than the game unfolded, which was sleepy at times. The Hurricanes shoot from everywhere and the Avalanche opted for more a quality and game management approach once they took the lead. Still, 22 shots and nine total at even strength is probably a performance the Avalanche won’t want to remember even if the Hurricanes never looked remotely threatening.
In another penalty filled affair, the Avalanche again took six minor penalties. And while they drew four of their own in what is becoming a very tightly officiated season thus far, that is a number that the coaching staff is certainly going to focus on before heading into their next contest.
The Avalanche finish their trip in Philadelphia with a rematch against the Flyers at 5pm MT on Monday, October 22nd.