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Avalanche can’t catch a break in a tough 5-1 loss

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Fire beats Ice in a disheartening loss to the Calgary Flames

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

This was a rough one.

The Avs missed quality opportunity after quality opportunity in the first two periods, and fell off the map in the third for a final score of 5-1.

Let’s take you through it:

Period 1:

Calgary immediately scored to start the period on a garbage shot from Michael Frolik:

This didn’t seem to faze the Avs, though, as they quickly started off outshooting the Flames 8-4 in the first half of the period.

However, this didn’t seem to matter, as Mark Giordano scored on a good feed from Mikael Backlund not too long after.

MacKinnon then pulled a PK Subban and shot the puck from center ice (it probably was more of a clear). It hit the goaltender, then the post, and then dribbled in to the net to get the Avalanche their first goal.

This sparked the team, and the Avs seemed to have turned things around to dominate. They finished the period getting more scoring chances with 15 shots to Calgary’s 8. Calgary 2, Colorado 1, end of first period.

Period 2:

The period started off fairly uneventful, until Gabriel Bourque leveled one of the Flames. Beyond that, nothing else really happened in the first few minutes of the period. Brett Kulak then took a penalty for hooking, and the Avs milked the delayed penalty for a minute or so before Calgary eventually got it on a rebound. Colorado instantly starting getting some dangerous opportunities, but were unable to convert. Both units looked REALLY dangerous, getting at least 4 high quality shots on net.

Zadorov unfortunately committed a tripping penalty, hurting the momentum. Sean Monahan scored on a tipped shot from Stone. Zadorov again takes a stupid penalty for both cross-checking and roughing (the Calgary player took a roughing penalty as well). This time though the Avalanche killed it off. The clock runs down, and the Avs stay down, this time by 2 goals, 3-1. Shots are 25-18 in the Avalanche’s favor, and the Avs looked better than the Flames all game, the pucks just don’t seem to bouncing in their favor. Hopefully they can turn it around in the final period of play.

Period 3:

Troy Brouwer scored to start the period, making the game seem even more hopeless for the Avalanche. They Avs can’t seem to get much of anything going in the first half of the period, not being able to carry the puck at all and getting zero shots. The Flames were intent upon coasting to the end of the period, and were very successful doing so.

Duncan Siemens took a penalty with just over 6 minutes left, all but sealing the game for a Calgary win. If that wasn’t enough, Mikael Backlund scored on the PP. Not much else happens the rest of the game, except a couple of instances of roughing around that only led to the unnecessary extension of this already painful game. Flames win, 5-1.

Takeaways:

  • The Avs dominated for the first two periods, but were for the most part unable to convert on any of their chances. The third period dropoff was terrible though, and the Avs need to figure out how to keep things going through all three periods.
  • Varlamov was pretty uninspiring throughout the game. There were a couple of those that would’ve been extremely difficult to stop, but a few of those were preventable. Depending on how long Bernier’s out, the Avs might have a hairy situation on their hands in net.
  • The defensive situation is a mess right now with two guys regularly playing on their off side. Zadorov has had two terrible games in a row, and he sat out the third period again tonight. However, a bright spot tonight was surely Samuel Girard, who made some excellent plays both in the offensive and defensive zones.

What’s Next:

The Avs play the Vancouver Canucks at the Pepsi Center at 7:00 PM Mountain Time on February 26th.