The Colorado Avalanche came out flying in this one but the early pressure wasn’t enough to translate into a goal. Eventually, a parade to the penalty box proved to be costly as a usually anemic power play came alive giving the New York Islanders a 4-1 victory over the Avs.
Nathan MacKinnon had two great chance off the rush to test Thomas Greiss on the first shift for the big-3. It wasn’t just the first line putting on pressure. The group of Tyson Jost, J.T. Compher and Sven Andrighetto had a couple chances of their own during the first half of the period.
The Islanders didn’t have any real scoring chances until 3⁄4 of the way through the period when Josh Ho-Sang found himself breaking in alone, only to be stopped by Semyon Varlamov. New York was able to keep the pressure on and after a couple big saves by Varly, the Avs found themselves taking the first penalty of the game.
The Avalanche were able to kill off the Mikko Rantanen penalty, but a minute later, the Islanders struck first when Jordan Eberle put a fluttering shot past Varlamov to send his team to the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.
The Avs got off to a bad start to the second period as Tyson Barrie took a penalty only a few seconds in. After an early post by Mathew Barzal, the Islanders were able to keep on the pressure. Nearing the end of the power play Johnny Boychuk scored his first goal of the season extending the lead to two.
The Avalanche got a power play of their own a few minutes later. It took more than a minute to get it done, but Gabriel Landeskog cut the lead in half when he tipped home a Tyson Barrie point shot. It was the captain’s 22nd of the season and Barrie’s 207th career assist, pulling him into a tie with John-Michael Liles for most by an Avalanche defender.
The Avs had a big penalty kill after another bench minor for too many men on the ice. Right out of the box, Andrighetto was hauled down on a rush to send Colorado to a power play of their own. On a play you don’t see very often, Josh Ho Sang got four minutes in the box for two separate hooking penalties. Not only were the Islanders able to kill off both minors, but they got the best scoring chance during the penalties - fortunately, a tremendous defensive play by Tyson Barrie kept the game at 2-1.
Late in the period, Ian Cole went to the penalty box for kneeing after a rather dangerous hit. The Islanders scored their second power play goal of the night to re-gain the two goal lead heading into the second intermission.
Like in the first, the Avalanche put on a ton of pressure to start the third period. After a couple of scoring chances and one great shot off the iron, the Avalanche went back to the power play thanks to a holding penalty on Anders Lee. Colorado wasn’t able to get a shot and weren’t able to sustain a lot more from there.
Valtari Filpula added an empty net goal to seal the deal and send the Avalanche home with a 4-1 loss.
It was a game in which the Avalanche were dominant at 5-on-5 but unfortunately, they were sunk by untimely penalties. They let this one get away from them, but it’s important to move on as the Avs have a busy week with three games in the next five days.
The Avalanche will be back in action Wednesday night as Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens come to town.