The Avalanche, after falling behind early, come back from 2-0 down to shoot down the Ducks with a 3-2 victory. Even with a short-handed squad missing big names like Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Bowen Byram, the Avalanche fought hard to give the good guys the two points.
With the absence of big names, lots of guys stepped up to fill in the space. Valeri Nichushkin stepped up big with two goals, including the game-winner in OT. Tyson Jost, Jacob MacDonald, and Dan Renouf stepped up in a big way as well, all playing a well-fought game to earn the victory for the Avs.
The Avalanche win their second straight game, and have started their nine game home stand with a great victory. The team will be looking to continue this momentum and gain some more points at home.
1st Period: The Avalanche came out flying with a lot of great chances early getting behind the D-men of the Ducks. The Ducks had their chances too, with a wraparound chance barely saved by the stick of Samuel Girard.
The Avalanche scored after Nazem Kadri decided to kick off the upcoming baseball season with a miraculous home run into net past Gibson with just over five minutes left. However, it was deemed a high-stick and the goal was disallowed.
This would hurt the Avs before the end of the period. With only 9.4 seconds left in the frame, Adam Henrique snapped a shot between the circles past Phillip Grubauer to give the Ducks the lead into the room.
2nd Period: The Avs came out unlucky after Nichushkin rang it off both posts early in the frame. It would again bite the Avs again as Jakob Silverberg would sling a perfect shot over the glove of Grubauer to make it 2-0.
This would make the next goal in the game extremely crucial, to get the Avs back in the game or let the Ducks pull away. Just after a holding penalty on Cam Fowler expired, Brandon Saad would get the puck to Joonas Donskoi down low. He then flipped it to Nichushkin in front who snuck it past Gibson to make it 2-1 with 5:14 left in the frame.
The Avs would continue their momentum from the goal, creating chance after chance. It eventually paid off, after a scramble in the crease saw Saad poke the puck over the line to tie the game at 2-2 with 2:37 left, with assists from Jost and Renouf.
It saw Renouf score his first points of the season, and he ended the frame with a big hit in front of the benches. This set the tone for the third period, which was all up for grabs after an action-packed second period.
3rd Period: The Avalanche came out flying, with Kadri again having a great chance saved by Gibson. The best chance of the period for the Avalanche came when the puck squirted behind Gibson, but Donskoi missed the shoveling effort into the back of a gaping net.
There were lots of turnovers by both teams could not be capitalized. Gibson stood on his head in the period through multiple turnovers by his D-men, and Grubauer did the same when he needed to. A late power play for the Avs was killed off, sending the game to OT.
Overtime: With possession in the extra frame key, the Avs turned over their face-off win early, giving the Ducks a phenomenal chance at the side of the crease which was skied over the roof of the net. The Avalanche would be sure to not make this mistake again, as Big Val swept through the slot, passing all three Duck defenders and slotting it five-hole past Gibson to give the Avalanche a hard-fought 3-2 come-from-behind victory.
The Avalanche obviously struggled missing their big-name players, falling behind before the halfway mark of the game. With the uncertainties surrounding the status of some guys injuries, the Avalanche will need to look to get ahead in games before falling behind in them like they did tonight.
Brandon Saad continues to be a quiet assassin, with a goal and two assists tonight. He is now fully settled in as a member of the Avalanche and continues to prove he was worth the trade value with the Chicago Blackhawks and Nikita Zadorov.
Even with young defensemen out and injured tonight, their replacements in Jacob MacDonald and Dan Renouf played marvelously tonight. Not just them, but all of the D-men for the Avs were jumping into the play looking to get the Avs going offensively. They are making names for themselves and should give fans some excitement if the defense is ever having injury issues in the back.
The Avalanche will be back at it tomorrow night against the Ducks once again at Ball Arena, game two of the nine-game home stand. Puck drop is set for 6 PM MT.