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Recap: Avalanche turn 51-shot effort into 6-3 win over Flyers

Kurtis MacDermid also scored a goal on his birthday.

Philadelphia Flyers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

A flurry of goals cascaded through this loose and entertaining match between the Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers. Colorado would ultimately prevail in a 6-3 victory on the back of a two-goal performance from Cale Makar.

The Game

After a disappointing finish to their previous game the Avalanche needed to get out to a strong start and that’s exactly what they conjured up when Nazem Kadri got the home team on the board first at 7:20. It was a fantastic individual effort and shot for his 25th goal of the season.

Unfortunately the Avalanche gave that lead away not even five minutes later as James Van Riemsdyk got past some very lax coverage and put a rebound past Pavel Francouz. The Avalanche netminder had just stopped a breakaway prior to that so the tying goal felt inevitable.

Cale Makar who had very loudly hit the post just before the Avalanche received their first power play of the game was clearly on a mission to score. It took only five seconds for Makar to find pay dirt as he rifled the puck in the net at 13:46.

The fireworks were only getting started as they found two more goals before the first period ended. One from JT Compher at 16:17 as he bounced the puck off of Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart’s mask and then back. And finally the fourth goal from Mikko Rantanen as he tried a cross ice pass which was tipped by a Flyer and into his own net.

The most anticipated goal of the game occurred in the second period at 12:19 as — on his birthday no less — a Kurtis MacDermid shot found the back of the net for his second on the year due to another own goal tip by Philadelphia.

Not to be outdone by his enforcer counterpart Zach MacEwan also scored his second goal of the season to put Philadelphia back within three with just 32 seconds left in the second frame. Still, the Avalanche had a commanding 5-2 lead at that point.

If the Avalanche wanted to just run out the clock in the third period the Flyers had other plans as Max Willman converted at 8:44 to give their team a spark of life. However, Makar wasn’t having any of that and quickly snuffed out and inkling that the Avalanche would let this game slip away when less than a minute later he cut into the slot and fired his second goal of the evening over Hart’s shoulder.

Nazem Kadri would add a brief fight with Joel Farabee to his resume in the final minutes of the contest for the Gordie Howe hat trick and the game finally concluded in a 51-31 shot advantage and 6-3 final for the Avalanche.

Takeaways

Cale Makar is truly a special player among elite talents on this Avalanche squad. Tonight with his 24th goal on the season he breaks the franchise record for goals in a season from defensemen. His ability to change the game in an instant with either his skating ability and lethal wrist shot is a sight to behold and there are numerous occasions already in his young career where he’s been the catalyst and game changer. Two key goals in this game will probably get lost in his gaudy totals but Makar was very much deserving of first star honors among other big performances in this game.

Yet to make an appearance is Artturi Lehkonen who is still waiting for his immigration paperwork to get resolved before he can get into a game. All the new players have had some nice moments and plays but with Lehkonen’s insertion into the lineup will really give an idea of what this team’s forward depth could accomplish.

Upcoming

The first of a two-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, March 27th at 4 p.m. MT.