The Colorado Avalanche and Seattle Kraken faced tonight at Climate Pledge Arena. This is the 14th meeting between these two teams in the last 12 months, and this time, the Avalanche stole the victory. After their dismal display against the St. Louis Blues, the Avalanche were desperate to do so.
The game started rocky for the team from Denver. They gave up the game's first goal after Brandon Tanev netted a rebound for his first goal since returning from injury. It felt like the third period against the Blues never ended. The Avalanche were fortunate to get a break when it looked like they would go down 2-0 on a shorthanded goal from the Kraken. After review, the goal was overturned as Brandon Tanev had his skate in the blue and took Georgiev's left leg out. We also saw Kurtis MacDermid drop the gloves with Jamie Oleksiak just before that reversed goal, and MacDermid got the better of Oleskiak. Likely a response to the Lehkonen injury.
The second period started with the Avalanche on the powerplay for the second time, but they could not cash in. When frustration set in for the Avs, Mikko Rantanen did well to earn his 10th goal of the season. Mikko's goal tied the game at one and gave the Avalanche new life. Shortly after Mikko's goal, we saw another Avs tally from Ross Colton. His reaction and emotion following the goal reflected his team's frustration and a slight release of that tension.
Colorado took their confidence and swagger into the third period, and it didn't take long for that to show itself on the scoreboard. Cale Makar and Tomas Tatar played pitch and catch, but Makar fired a snapshot in the top corner. 3-1 Avalanche. The Avs created a few more chances following Makar's goal, but nothing went in. That is until we got a goal from Jonathan Drouin on a feed from Nathan MacKinnon. The goal was significant, not just for the contest's outcome but for Drouin's confidence. Avalanche took a 4-1 lead.
The Avalanche would add to that lead via goal on a four-on-three advantage when Valeri Nuchushkin deflected a point shot from Cale Makar into the twine. A slew of penalties, including two four-minute fouls, were handed out in the third, which was a sloppy period mainly for the Kraken. The game finished with a final score of 5-1 in favor of the Avs.
The first period was another disaster for the Avalanche. Still, it felt like something changed during the intermission before the second because the Avalanche came out looking much more eager and engaged. That's the response you want to see out of this Avalanche team.
That eagerness and engagement were rewarded, not just for the big guns like Makar, Rantanen, and MacKinnon. Well, they did all find the scoresheet, but so did Valeri Nichushkin, Jonathan Drouin, Ross Colton, and Tomas Tatar, for that matter.
I didn't talk a lot about goaltending, which is typically a good sign. As they say, no news is good news regarding netminding. Anytime you limit a team to just one goal, it's a good night. Here's to Alexandar Georgiev finding his rhythm again.
Congrats to head coach Jared Bednar who logged his 300th career win tonight!
Hopefully, this quality win can be a springboard for more in the near future. The Avalanche will match up with the Anaheim Ducks back at Ball Arena in their next contest. Can the Avalanche get a little win streak going?