The Colorado Avalanche saw a new face in the lineup in Andrew Cogliano but could not succeed in getting the win. With all the scoring coming in the final period, the Vancouver Canucks wound out on top 3-1.
It was a really frustrating game from the Avalanche’s standpoint. They put plenty of shots on Jaroslav Halak, 33 in total to be exact. However, he stood tall and the Avs couldn’t get a clean shot through into the net.
The frustration began right from the get-go. This included a really bad penalty from Nathan MacKinnon on Quinn Hughes for cross-checking. Cogliano did get active though in his first game, “fighting” Oliver Ekman-Larrson after unintentionally kneeing Vasily Podkolzin.
It was even testing to Darcy Kuemper. He was good in net to start, but he did venture out at one point. In his adventure, he almost ended up on Steve’s Dang It’s tomorrow afternoon with this near miss. Luckily, it was still 0-0 after one.
Whew close call lol #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/IYgdylGCrw— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) March 24, 2022
Things did start off with a bang when Erik Johnson laid a big hit in the opening minutes along the boards after the puck was shot on Kuemper. The frustration continued for the Avs, as Mikko Rantanen deflected a shot on the power play into the post.
The chances continued for the Avs, they had a few more power play chances which again saw Nazem Kadri hitting the post on the man advantage short-side on Halak. The chances were there for the Avs, and the refs seemed to be letting things go with the Canucks hanging on heading into the third still scoreless.
The Canucks took advantage early on, as the Avs and Josh Manson couldn’t clear the zone. It lead to Brock Boeser being all alone in the slot and beating Kuemper for the 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later, the Canucks then found themselves on a 2-on-1 with J.T. Miller being able to collect the loose puck after Kuemper couldn’t control it at the top of the crease. Miller put it into a gaping net to double the lead.
The Avs turned up the pressure from here. They knew they had to get back into it in a hurry and had the opportunity to do so after Luke Schenn tripped MacKinnon. It lead to Kadri being able to collect the rebound and into the net to get the lead back down to one.
The pressure continued to ramp up, the Avs looked to grab the equalizer. They pulled Kuemper late on and had a multitude of chances. This included a phenomenal chance in the dying seconds where Halak raised his left leg to rob the Avs of the tie.
It lead to Bo Horvat streaking down the ice and beating a couple of defenders to put the puck into an empty and win the game for the Canucks 3-1.
This was a tough one to swallow for the Avs. They had their offensive chances, but Vancouver was able to hold them at bay. Jared Bednar said in his postgame presser that on the power play “They (Vancouver) did a nice job of keeping us on the perimeter.” With the dominance of the power play as of late for the Avs, now up to the fourth-best in the league, it was a shame they could only go 1/5 on the man advantage.
It’s been a couple of games in a row now that Manson has had a rough game. With a -1, he has been having a rough transition to the backline of the defense after his first game in an Avs uniform on Friday night against the San Jose Sharks. While his Avalanche career is young, hopefully once he gets a couple of games under his belt he will be a good performer.
Despite the loss, the Avs continue to be great on the penalty kill. They have now killed off 19 consecutive penalties dating back six games. This included killing off the early MacKinnon penalty going 1/1 while having a man down. The special teams have been good for the Avs, but of course it would be better to go more than 1/5 on the power play.
The Avs wrap up their home stand Friday night during Military Appreciation night against the Philadelphia Flyers. The hockey world might’ve thought that this would’ve been Claude Giroux’s first game against his old team but alas it is not. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. MT.