After a dramatic much-needed win over the weekend the Colorado Avalanche began a big five-game homestand in hopes of picking up wins and climbing the standings before the holiday break. First up was the Philadelphia Flyers in a rematch of last week’s disappointing loss. Thankfully Colorado got their revenge and took this game in a 3-2 win.
The home team had a good amount of energy and jump in their legs but the game resembled the contest in Philadelphia. The Flyers just content to block shots and disrupt passes makes a slog of a game which is tough to execute through.
A bit of chaos ensued when the officials missed an obvious slash on Jean-Luc Foudy and then immediately the Flyers go down the ice and then Cam York converted a goal at 12:52 on a weird bouncing puck in front of Pavel Francouz that the stripes initially waived off and then announced it wasn’t really goaltender interference. Despite leading the shot battle 10-8 the Avalanche were down by one after the first period.
For the second period Colorado turned it up a notch and got their first goal of the game at 9:25 before Philadelphia even got a shot on goal in the frame. JT Compher sauced a perfect pass to Devon Toews cutting to the net and the Avalanche finally got on the board as it was a much-needed 5-on-5 tally.
The Avalanche weren’t done in the period, however. Artturi Lehkonen celebrated his second game back in the lineup with a gorgeous shorthanded goal at 15:04 and Colorado was back in control of the game with a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play.
As much as the home team was dictating play in the previous period the visitors got a push in the third. The Avalanche started holding on a little too much and let the Flyers get 16 shots on goal in the final 20 minutes of the game. But JT Compher found that all-important insurance marker at 11:33 for the team’s third goal to extend the lead.
That goal would prove to be the game winner as James van Riemsdyk scored at 16:22 just as the Flyers pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker. They had three more minutes with the extra man but couldn’t even the score and the Avalanche held on for a 3-2 win.
It was a slight surprise Pavel Francouz started back-to-back games but he rewarded Jared Bednar with his second consecutive win and the two important standings points. Francouz looked sharp and poised as he made the 26 saves and withstood the Flyers’ third period barrage in particular.
Jacob MacDonald only played 4:24 as a forward in this lineup and one has to wonder if he’s been replaced by Brad Hunt on the blueline. Is he the odd man out when Evan Rodrigues is ready to return to the lineup?
Slowly but surely the Avalanche are going back in the right direction. After picking up their second consecutive win the homestand has started off on the right foot and hopefully the next four games can continue that momentum as the Avalanche hope to climb the standings before the holiday break.
Another eastern conference foe comes to town in the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m. MT on Thursday, December 15th.