The Colorado Avalanche came out against the Edmonton Oilers just 24 hours after facing off against the Winnipeg Jets. They would come out with the same result, winning 2-1 after the extra frame and the shootout.
Both goals would come from Nathan MacKinnon in the third period and in the shootout to carry the team to victory. His goals along with the stellar performance of Darcy Kuemper would lead the way to give the Avs another win.
The game started out pretty lackluster. So much so that much of nothing happened at all in the period, with probably most people’s attention in the Denver-Metro area focused on another hockey game occurring across the country involving Sean Behrens and the DU Pioneers.
Regardless, in Edmonton, the Avs would find the post to Mikko Koskinen’s right that wouldn’t bounce the right way across the line from both J.T. Compher and Bowen Byram. The Oilers had chances themselves with the Avs having trouble with the puck giving chances to Leon Draisaitl and Jesse Puljujarvi but it was knotted at zero.
The second period was much of the same for the Avalanche and Oilers, as they continued to butt heads and not connect often. It was very clunky hockey with plenty of turnovers from both sides.
The referees also let things go and play out, not calling any penalties or stopping play. They let things go for both sides to naturally get this hockey game going except for one power play for each side that came to nothing. Unfortunately for the Avs, the big-name guys just could not get anything going and we headed scoreless into the final period.
Things got started off poorly for the Avs as Darnell Nurse would release one from the point that was deflected by Warren Foegele past Kuemper to make it 1-0.
The Oilers didn’t look back from here, looking to close it out for good. They wanted to keep their win streak alive and were on track to do so. The Avs couldn’t connect anything together at all and looked to be going nowhere.
MacKinnon finally had other ideas, as he lifted a backhander over Mikko Koskinen and into the top of the net to draw level at one. They had one final chance with Evan Bouchard going to the box for interference but could not convert and headed to OT.
Edmonton dominated the extra period of hockey, having possession nearly the entire time. This included when MacKinnon took a bad slashing penalty that was an easy call to make. However, McDavid could’ve easily been holding his stick tighter to not cause that collision to happen.
Kuemper was spectacular, making numerous saves time and time again to keep the Oilers out of the net on the man advantage. It would carry the Avs into the shootout with a chance to steal it.
EDM: Connor McDavid: kicked wide by Kuemper
COL: Nathan MacKinnon: backhand goal over Koskinen
EDM: Leon Draisaitl: slapshot saved by Kuemper
COL: Mikko Rantanen: saved five-hole by Koskinen
EDM: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: saved by the pad of Kuemper, Avs win!
This game was extremely slow and painstaking. It did not help when the Avs were on the second of a back-to-back. There are still two more back-to-backs to come this season that they need to be prepared for. However, the road trip was a success as they come out with nine out of a possible nine points. Even if the big names were absent for the majority of the game, it would be MacKinnon who would lead the way.
With the return of Samuel Girard to the lineup, we saw Erik Johnson get scratched from the side tonight. It was also brought up by Peter Baugh before the game began that Johnson may have been dealing with some nagging injuries which is something to keep an eye on. It does bring up an interesting point though of what the defensive pairings will be if everyone’s healthy.
For what it’s worth on the Erik Johnson scratch: He’s dealing with a few nagging injuries so coach Jared Bednar decided to give him the night off on the back-to-back.— Peter Baugh (@Peter_Baugh) April 10, 2022
With the win tonight, the Avs get up to 110 points and 52 wins on the year. This sets a franchise record for the number of wins in a season. This team just continues to find ways to win, even on nights like tonight when they were not at the top of their game.
The Avs get a wonderful three days off before their next game at home on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. MT on TNT.