All good things must come to an end. After winning six games in a row it was time for the Colorado Avalanche to suffer defeat and unfortunately it came at the hands of their division rival the Dallas Stars.
It didn’t take long for Dallas to get on the board as Jack Johnson forgot to cover Joe Pavelski behind the net and then Pavelski did what he does best, which is score on the Avalanche just 72 seconds into the game. Since that was his career 399th goal Pavelski decided to make it an even 400 goals only nine seconds later. A quick 2-0 lead for a team that doesn’t score a lot and can smother defensively is exactly what the home team ordered. The Avalanche received two power plays that period and still ended up in a 12-4 shot deficit after 20. Not great, Bob.
Naturally in the second period the penalty calls started going the Stars’ way. The Avalanche killed off the first two but the third which was on a Nicolas Aube-Kubel goaltender interference infraction the dam finally broke and the Stars got their third goal of the evening. Denis Gurianov chipped a shot five hole on Darcy Kuemper at 14:26 and the period ended 3-0 in Dallas’ favor.
One area of dominance continued for the Avalanche and that is their 6v5 play with the goaltender pulled for the extra attacker. Cale Makar finally broke the shutout for Dallas netminder Jake Oettinger at 16:30 for his fifth consecutive game with a goal but it wasn’t enough. The Avalanche held a 20-1 shot advantage in the third period but it was all garbage time and they could only convert the one goal for a 3-1 Dallas final.
Not a lot of say about this one. After a run of games beating up on bad teams and scoring a lot of goals it wasn’t going to last forever. What remains to be seen is of this is just one bad game or the start of another trend in the wrong direction. One game isn’t a ton to fret about, it happens. It is unfortunate that the luck had to turn around during a division portion of the schedule. On the other hand falling into a 2-0 hole 91 seconds into the game is tough against any opponent but the concerning part is the malaise lasted the entire first period with the Avalanche losing puck battles and a failure to control the puck far too often. A better effort is required against Nashville tomorrow.
Looking into the future and the long road trip to Canada and the east coast hopefully the Avalanche can get some of their wounded back, especially Nathan MacKinnon and Bowen Byram which would also help uplift the team when scoring begins to dry up like it did this evening.
Back home for the second half of a back-to-back against another division foe Nashville Predators on Saturday at 7pm MT.