Avs fans didn’t have much to see when it comes to the trade deadline, but they certainly had a great game to watch to make up for all of the disappointment (unless you’re me, I was a nervous wreck until it was over). Here’s what happened in this much needed win
Vancouver immediately takes a hooking penalty to start the period. The Avs got a view good chances, but ultimately were unable to convert. In a few minutes Alexander Kerfoot took a hooking penalty. The penalty kill was fairly solid, and right after the Avs put on some serious pressure. The Nathan MacKinnon line was especially good, wearing out the Canucks line all while getting several good scoring chances. It doesn’t stop there though: the Avalanche kept dominating throughout the first half of the period.
To make things better for the Avs, Jake Virtanen takes a hooking penalty to leave Vancouver shorthanded. Things were initially looking good, but Varlamov had to bail out his team twice on some quality opportunities. The time bled down, and Colorado goes 0-2 on the powerplay. Play evens up in the final minutes, but Vancouver has an interference penalty in the last two minutes. Mikko Rantanen scores on a perfect one-timer feed from Nathan MacKinnon. Period end, 1-0 Avalanche.
Jake Virtanen takes his second holding penalty of the game, and the PP unit heads out on the ice. The Avs didn’t get much going, and the Canucks killed it off. There was some back and forth between the two teams after the penalty, with the Avs having the slight edge. Mikko Rantanen then scored, but the Canucks then challenged for goalie interfenrence. The original call was overturned unfortunately, and the game is back to 1-0.
Not much else happened in this period of play, the Avs hold a slight shot advantage at 19-18. Score still 1-0 at the end of the period.
Two minutes into the period Zadorov continues the troubling trend of dumb penalties, this time a tripping call. The Avs managed to kill it off, and get back to even strength. The Avs then catch a break on a Virtanen shot that went off the post. MacKinnon got the puck, shook off a hit, and sniped the puck just around Markstrom’s blocker.
A few minutes later, Virtanen slashed Landeskog to put Colorado on the power play. Not much happened on that opportunity, only getting one shot on net. Vancouver pulled the goalie with 3 minutes left. They were rewarded with a Daniel Sedin rebound goal, but MacKinnon canceled that out with an empty-netter. The Avs win a nice one 3-1, winning the season series.
- Like the Calgary game, there were a lot of missed opportunities. A lot of the shots the Avs had in the game either went over the net or wide of it (or both). It simply just strikes me as bad luck, and hopefully that corrects itself as the Avs make a playoff push!
- Varlamov had a really nice bounce back from the game vs Calgary, earning Second Star honors and a .962 on the night. If the Avs want to keep playoff hopes alive, they’ll need him to stay at a high level of play in order to have a fighting chance at keeping postseason hopes alive
- Speaking of playoffs, the Avs currently sit two points out of the second wild card spot with a game in hand on the teams surrounding them in the standings. Attaining that spot by the end of the season would do wonders for team morale, even if it only results in a first round elimination.
- MacKinnon’s scored 8 points in 4 games since being back from injury. Glad to have you back, kid. We needed you.
The Colorado Avalanche continue the home-stand with a game against Calgary at 7:30 PM Mountain time on February 28th.