Before an 11-day break, one last task to complete was getting the two points from a hapless Detroit Red Wings squad languishing at the bottom of the league standings. While the Colorado Avalanche unnecessarily kept the game close for a while the dam finally broke and a 6-3 victory was secured.
An unfortunate start say Tyler Bertuzzi score just two minutes into the contest. The rest of the period followed with copious amounts of special teams time including a double minor for each team but the score was 1-0 Detroit at the end of one.
Finally the power play broke through when one minute into the second period Cale Makar took matters into his own hands and created a shot which Nazem Kadri deflected.
Just under two minutes later Makar showed off his wizardry again and feathered a perfect pass to Nathan MacKinnon waiting at the back door of the net. The 2-1 score would hold for the rest of the period.
Finally the Avalanche met expectations and pulled away in the third period. Kadri converted his second goal of the game at 4:19 and then Matt Nieto made the score 4-1 one minute later.
Now firmly in garbage time the teams would trade goals with Dylan Larkin getting on the board at 7:02, then Ryan Graves answered back at 13:59, Givani Smith got a third for Detroit at 17:57 and then MacKinnon into the empty net with one minute remaining. 6-3 final for the home team.
Pavel Francouz got the start and was excellent in the first and second period in particular stopping several dangerous shots and preventing Detroit from taking hold of the game. Francouz now has a 12-4-2 record on the season.
Most of the Avalanche’s best chances in this game were at the hand of Tyson Jost who was finally rewarded with an assist on a great feed from behind the net on Nieto’s goal. He had five shots on goal in 12 minutes of ice time in what was easily his best performance in quite a while.
Again for the second consecutive game it was Makar who was the catalyst for changing the game to the Avalanche’s favor with his dynamic talents. He also had several other looks as he picked apart Detroit’s defense but the plays he was able to convert won this game.
A period of rest until a trip to visit the Philadelphia Flyers on February 1st at 5pm MT.