The Colorado Avalanche have fallen to the Seattle Kraken in Game 5 of their first-round series by a score of 3-2, falling behind 3-2 in the series in the process. The Avalanche were without star defenseman Cale Makar, as he served his one-game suspension for his hit on Jared McCann, who also missed this game injured as a result.
One thing that has plagued the Avalanche for the entirety of this series has been their knack for getting off to slow starts in these games, and it’s resulted in the Avs trailing in each of the previous contests in this series before the halfway mark of the opening period. Despite being outshot once again in the early going, the Avs kept most of these shots out of the high-danger areas, and in Game 5 for the first time in this series, the Avs held the Kraken off the board in the early going. The Kraken would however get the first power play opportunity of the contest after a Jack Johnson interference penalty at the 10:42 mark of the period, and despite clanking iron once, the Avs kept the game scoreless. The period rolled on, and while the Kraken was the more imposing team post-powerplay, but the Avs got a late powerplay opportunity that they would carry half of over to the second period.
The Avs came out and were pretty lethargic in period two. There was no sense of urgency from Colorado to put their stamp on the game, and eventually, a dam finally broke. Unfortunately, it was Colorado’s, as a low-quality shot turned into a rebound in the slot that Devon Toews was unable to locate, and Morgan Geekie whacked the puck home off of Toews’ skate through the pads of Alexandar Georgiev to once again break the scoreless tie.
Geeks getting his SECOND goal of the post-season!— x - Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) April 27, 2023
New Dad Powers are the best. pic.twitter.com/i9hvFHj1lL
Moments later, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon switched places from their Game 1 series opening goal, with Rantanen intercepting a Philipp Grubauer clearing attempt along the glass, before finding MacKinnon out front with a firm feed that after pinballing around the crease, finds its way to the back of the net to even the score.
Before we were interrupted...— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 27, 2023
Nate redirects home our first of the game!#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/ImUKkzwBFZ
Roughly two minutes later, a controversial non-call trip from Will Borgen on Nathan MacKinnon leads to a Seattle rush, where Tye Kartye potted his first NHL off a one-time feed from Jordan Eberle to re-claim the lead for Seattle. The Avs would come close a couple of times, the best of which came off of a MacKinnon feed to Artturi Lehkonen on the doorstep that was too hot to handle, but saw themselves trailing 2-1 going into the final frame.
WELCOME TO THE NHL, WELCOME TO THE PLAYOFFS— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) April 27, 2023
Tye Kartye's first NHL goal gives the Kraken the lead pic.twitter.com/ppB4QO1bzp
Down one goal with a powerplay entering the third period, the Avs proceeded to come out of the locker room without Josh Manson (because of course!), as well as energy. They failed to convert on the power play. 80 seconds into the frame, Yanni Gourde deflected a Justin Schultz shot through traffic, doubling up the Kraken lead on a shot Georgiev had zero chance on.
Just like they drew it up pic.twitter.com/R6Qu5gBfnp— x - Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) April 27, 2023
From there on the Kraken were content to just sit on the lead, and Colorado had a hard time generating much of anything dangerous. The team looked discombobulated on their breakouts, lost with their decision-making, and the only Av who showed signs of life was Georgiev on the multitude of odd-man rushes he had to be prepared to defend. Just under four minutes to go, Evan Rodrigues blasted a shot from the point that deflected off multiple bodies on its way past Grubauer, and at 3-2 suddenly the Avs had a pulse. With the goalie pulled the Avs pressured, but were unable to find the tying goal.
Rodrigues finds the back of the net late!— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 27, 2023
Make it happen.#GoAvsGo pic.twitter.com/GaGBuFiB5g
- This Avs team isn’t the same team when injured. Last year’s team would be struggling to navigate all of these absences to their best players as well. The nightmare has followed them into the postseason.
- Colorado still hasn’t received virtually any contributions offensively from their bottom six. Zero goals from depth won’t cut it for any Stanley Cup Contender.
- The Avalanche CAN’T afford to trail by multiple goals again this series. They haven’t inspired much faith to play from behind in this postseason, and in the third period especially Seattle has done a great job at keeping Colorado from playing the game they want to play.
- Josh Manson didn’t play in the third period because the injury he’s been dealing with was affecting him, per Jared Bednar.
- The job isn’t finished. The Avs aren’t eliminated until they’re eliminated.
Game 6 is in Seattle on Friday, April 28 at 8 p.m. MT as the Avalanche look to stave off elimination in a series for the first time since 2021.