On a snowy sloppy night before Thanksgiving the Colorado Avalanche hosted the Edmonton Oilers in hopes of avenging the 6-2 loss they suffered in Edmonton just two weeks ago. While reinforcements from the injured list are forthcoming they were not available in this match and even added another as Erik Johnson was forced out of the lineup to deal with a lower body ailment.
In a game that was perhaps a little more difficult than it needed to be the Avalanche did indeed get that revenge and place back in the win column with a 4-1 victory in a game which saw scoring from multiple depth players.
Just as many had predicted it was Jujhar Khaira who got the Oilers on the board first at 13:17 in the opening frame after outworking Ian Cole along the boards and then walking through the rest of the burgundy sweaters parked around the net. Otherwise the first period was fairly even with the Avalanche leading in shots on goal 14-12 and one ineffective power play.
The Avalanche had a huge opportunity at the start of the second period when Adam Larsson was called for a major elbowing penalty on T.J. Tynan and was awarded five minutes on the man advantage. To make matters even more critical, Leon Draisaitl took a penalty on the kill giving the Avalanche a full two minute 5-on-3, which they did not convert on either.
After a chance to turn the game around slipped away it was Nazem Kadri who took a feed from Joonas Donskoi in the neutral zone and converted to finally get the Avalanche on the board and even the score at one at 10:50. And that’s how the period ended despite a massive 19-5 shot advantage in that frame for the Avalanche.
The dam finally broke early in the third period at 3:05 when Matt Nieto tipped a perfect pass from Nathan MacKinnon past Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen. That was only the beginning of a three goal barrage in just over two and a half minutes. MacKinnon got a goal of his own on a fluke play where Koskinen though he had possession of the puck and MacKinnon swatted it in the back of the net.
Not to be left out of the party Logan O’Connor decided this would be the perfect evening to score his first NHL goal and added an extra insurance marker when he took a slick behind the net feed from Val Nichuskin and deposited a backhand shot over Koskinen’s glove.
Physicality picked up late in the game but the Avalanche ran away with the game at the end outshooting Edmonton 50-20 by the final horn. It was a full team effort and they were rewarded for sticking with it and battling through the early game adversity.
With every win comes a sacrifice and this evening’s casualty was Andre Burakovsky who did not play in the third period. Bednar indicated after the game that it was an upper body injury with no further information. It’s unclear what exactly happened to Burakovsky but he did take a hard spill behind the net.
Calle Rosen played his first game for the Avalanche after his recall from the Colorado Eagles on Sunday. The defense sorely needed a shakeup but the aforementioned Erik Johnson injury was the impetus for the change. Rosen ended up getting a secondary assist on the Kadri goal and two shots on goal in 15:43 of ice time paired mostly with Sam Girard. He had a few turnovers in the first period but settled in especially after recording the assist. A good first game to build on for the Swede.
The much maligned defense held both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl off the scoresheet entirely in this meeting. Only giving the Oilers one power play was a help as well but each defenseman handled their duties and did not give the Oilers much to work with.
A home-and-home meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks starting at 2pm MT on Friday, November 29th in Chicago and then back home for the rematch at 7pm on Saturday.