As the homestand continues the Colorado Avalanche hosted the New York Islanders in hopes of a better result than their collapse on Long Island. Goals were hard to come by in this meeting and it took a shootout to solve the game but Alexandar Georgiev was up to the task and Evan Rodrigues potted the winning goal in this 1-0 win.
After the trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs this morning the Avalanche didn’t have the services of Dryden Hunt any longer and must wait for new acquisition Denis Malgin’s work visa to get approved before he can officially join the roster. Therefore, they had to get creative with the lineup and utilized both Jacob MacDonald and recently deemed healthy Kurtis MacDermid at forward. Martin Kaut was called up from Loveland to complete the trio of the new “fourth line” on paper.
The first period was a fairly even scoreless 20 minutes but the Avalanche started finding momentum in the latter half of the frame. They did have to kill off a MacDermid penalty which was completed with relative ease. It appeared that the Avalanche would get a power play in return when Cale Makar was tripped but he told the stripes to waive it off and the period ended without much drama.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this. Cale gets the hooking call and then waves it off. Uh…ok…I guess….score was tied at 0. So…cool? pic.twitter.com/0gEv8AXZAv— Darren McKee (@DMacRadio) December 20, 2022
Both teams held serve in the second period aside from the fact that the Avalanche received two power plays but couldn’t find the back of the net. The chances were there but Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin was up to the task.
In the third frame the Avalanche turned it up a notch and took control of the game firing 19 shots on net while the Islanders were content to sit back and entirely rely on their goaltender. There were no power plays as the officials let everything go but with how much the home team was pressing they probably deserved a call.
Extra time was needed to decide a winner and it was New York’s turn to possess the puck and create the better chances in overtime. While the Avalanche had a couple looks they did well to survive to a shootout. Georgiev saved his best for last stopping all three of New York’s shooters while it only took one past Sorokin to give the Avalanche the win. Evan Rodrigues pulled out the same move he converted on against the Rangers and it worked surprising the goaltender. The result: a well-earned 1-0 final for the fans at Ball Arena.
This was a game where early on it was clear Jared Bednar was going ride his horses but they weren’t getting any more goals from it. The team is asking a lot of JT Compher lately but playing him 28 minutes is showing the limitations more than generating more offense. This is true of all the top guys as well where they weren’t able to convert on their chances with the extra ice time either, for example Mikko Rantanen set a career-high with 10 shots on goal. The push in the third period was encouraging and Sorokin is clearly a top goaltender in the league right now but there were frustrations as well.
The non-existent fourth line was a development as a result of the bench shortening, Martin Kaut in his first game back after a week in Loveland and Bednar said he had jump and was forechecking well. He was involved in several scoring chances with 99% expected goals in just over seven minutes of ice time. Something to build on for sure. Kurtis MacDermid’s triumphant return led to a little under four minutes and for some reason Jacob MacDonald was dressed to only see two shifts and 96 seconds of action. The trio was never expected to play together at the same time in a line but this type of deployment can’t continue.
Unfortunately a bit of bad news accompanied the victory as Andrew Cogliano left the game in the third period following an awkward tumble into the boards and he got up favoring his shoulder. Bednar didn’t have an update after the game other than more will be known tomorrow.
One final game at home against the plucky Montreal Canadiens at 6 p.m. MT on Wednesday, December 21st.