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Colorado Avalanche outlast New York Islanders 5-3

A tale of when a team is both lucky and good

New York Islanders v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche hosted an unfamiliar foe in the New York Islanders on the night of Jack Johnson’s 1000th career NHL game. A wild game with several twists and turns unfolded but ultimately resulted in a 5-3 victory and the Avalanche’s 40th win of the season.

The Game

Nathan MacKinnon opened the scoring on an exchange with Cale Makar and then he fired the puck high in the slot to beat Ilya Sorokin, who played very well and kept his team in the contest. Islanders’ Ryan Pulock responded shortly after on a long range shot right after a power play had expired and the first period ended tied 1-1.

Despite Devon Toews getting on the board against his former club to start the second frame momentum would largely go to the Islanders in this period with Jean-Gabriel Pageau scoring right after. Kyle Palmieri gave New York the lead and the period closed out 3-2 in their favor.

The Avalanche had a new determination in the third period and through the course of firing 21 shots on goal saw Gabe Landeskog cash in at the end of a power play deflecting a puck off of the back of Sorokin to tie the game. It appeared New York scored their fourth goal but it was ultimately waived off as the puck was determined to not have crossed the goal line entirely and aided by Ryan Murray’s diving stick at the last second. Andre Burakovsky then put the Avalanche ahead for good with his third game changing goal this week and Erik Johnson added the empty net goal in a 5-3 final for Colorado.

Takeaways

This game proved that a team can be both lucky and good. The volume of quality chances the Avalanche generated meant the dam would break eventually and has been the story in many recent games where the opposition can only hold up well defensively for so long. The Avalanche were fortunate to not see this game tied on several other occasions with the goal called back plus New York missing some point blank opportunities.

Val Nichushkin was a surprise scratch in this game as head coach Jared Bednar indicated he had an upper body injury which was considered day-to-day. Managing rest as well as bumps and bruises looks to be a theme as the final two months of the season progress.

Upcoming

A one game road trip to the desert to face the Arizona Coyotes at 7pm MT on Thursday, March 3rd.