The Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning faced off tonight at Ball Arena in downtown Denver, CO. Both teams arrived on a role and are looking to keep the good times going. Still, only one perennial contender secured two points.
The first period started with the Avalanche on the front foot. Ryan Johansen started the scoring when a Tampa Bay turnover led to a two-on-one for Colorado. Johansen broke in with Drouin and took the shot, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy. The later part of the 1st period swayed a bit toward the Lightning in terms of momentum but still ended 1-0 Avalanche.
The second period was all Colorado Avalanche after Ryan Johansen scored his second of the evening when Makar and Tatar had a two-on-one break, put one on the net, and the rebound landed right on Johansen's stick. He ripped it past Vasilevskiy, who was already sprawled out in the blue paint shortly after Cale Makar added a powerplay tally. In classic Makar fashion, in fact. His snap shot wrister found its way through traffic and found just enough space to sneak past Tampa's Russian net-minder.
2nd Period Recap: Another great period by the @Avalanche with Makar finding the back of the net and another Johansen with another goal!! Avs up 3-1 to start the 3rd. #GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/ScsDV2IJZ8— AltitudeTV (@AltitudeTV) November 28, 2023
The score was 3-0, and it appeared the period would end with that same score. But once again, the final minute of the period soured for Colorado. Anthony Cirelli scored with about thirty seconds left in the second, and the frame finished 3-1.
The feed from Hedman to Cirelli pic.twitter.com/62pFi4Ytm6— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) November 28, 2023
The Third period was hotly contested and very physical. Both teams jostled for control, but nothing was going in. That was until the Lightning were forced to pull their goalie with just over three minutes in the final frame. Valeri Nichushkin continued his point streak and has eight goals and four assists in the last eight games.
Things got a little chippy in the end here, which is to be expected. Both teams threw the body throughout and the competition level was very high. Mix in a little championship pedigree, and you have a recipe for extracurriculars.
Alexandar Georgiev was the better goalie in this game, making a whopping thirty-nine saves against a Lightning team that had plenty of opportunities. This is the sort of victory that maximizes a goalie's confidence. Hopefully, Georgie can build off of this performance.
Yall, Georgiev was so good tonight. So so good. #GoAvsGo— Mile High Hockey (@MileHighHockey) November 28, 2023
The Avalanche have won four straight games, and it's been on the back of depth contribution. Ryan Johansen is a 5-on-5 machine as of late and scored his sixth and seventh goal of the season. He is currently on pace to score 28 goals if he plays all 82 games.
What's left to say about Valeri Nichushkin? The guy has been dominant as a two-way forward and continued his point streak tonight with an empty net goal. Sure, empty netters are what they are, but Val did plenty to earn a point tonight.
How the heck does Cale Makar do what Cale Makar does? Some of his goals come from the most innocent-looking point shots. They always get through traffic and find just enough space to tickle the twine.
On Thursday, the Avalanche will head to the desert to play the Arizona Coyotes. That will be the second of a back-to-back for the Coyotes, who will play the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow night.