Avalanche take final Frozen Fury with OT winner

Andi Duroux Avatar
October 9, 2016

 

After 18 years and 15 meetings, tonight marked the final Frozen Fury between the Avalanche and the Kings.  The T-Mobile Arena will have its own NHL team by this time next year, so while this might not be the Avs last preseason game in Vegas, it’s likely the last against Los Angeles.

The first period was marked with a good pace from both teams.  Apart from a hooking penalty by Ben Smith around the midpoint of the period and another penalty by LA’s Dustin Brown with 53 seconds remaining in the frame, the hockey was back and forth.  Varlamov dropped his stick a number of times, but nothing resulted of it, as both goalies stopped all the pucks they faced.  The Avs aggressive forecheck kept the pace very high, and shots were 11-10 with the Avs on top at first intermission.

Although the team wasn’t able to score on the truncated powerplay to start the second, they did generate 2 shots on goal.  The club parlayed that pressure into a Cody McLeod ping and a drawn penalty against Alex Martinez (interference) with 17:13 left.  Despite a few good looks, the Avs were unable to score.

After the kill, the Kings managed to slow the game down slightly, which tipped the ice in their favor.  They created a number of good chances, but Varlamov was able to shut the door.  With 8:55 remaining, Devin Setoguchi‘s stick was lifted by Gabriel Bourque‘s, but the refs still called the high stick penalty.  Vogelhuber face was slightly bloodied, so the Avs were granted a 4 minute power play.

Even with good movement and a shot by Soderberg that rang off the post, the Kings were able to kill the penalty and generate a Toffolli shorthanded breakaway in the process.  Avs managed 2 shots total on the double power play.

Minutes later, Jeff Carter snuck a puck past Varlamov off a wrister high in the crease.  Varlamov was screened by Zadorov, but the shot went top corner and the Kings took the lead 1-0 at 18:01.

Shots were 19-16 LAK at the end of the second.  LA also lead in scoring chances 13-9 and blocks 3-4, but COL managed the edge in hits 6-4.

The final period started largely in the Kings’ zone with the Avs pressing the pace.  Colorado even managed to generate an exciting 3-on-2, but the opportunity ended with a poke check.  The Avs’ forecheck created a large amount of pressure, preventing the Kings from leaving the zone for prolonged portions of the first 10 minutes of the period.

Shortly after, the ice slowly tipped back to the Kings side, then Matt Duchene elbowed Muzzin while he was in the offensive zone.  Avs headed to the PK with 6 minutes left.  The team killed it, keeping them perfect on the preseason.

With 2:10 left, Varlamov headed to the bench for the extra attacker.  Just under a minute later, Mikhail Grigorenko netted an Avalanche goal from the right faceoff dot.  The shot nipped twine behind the top, short side corner.  Duchene’s cross ice pass was the primary assist. 1-1 all.

Varlamov made another stop to send the game into overtime.

The Avs quickly won the draw during the bonus minutes, and 37 seconds into the extra frame, Gabe Landeskog dangled around a defenseman and Quick took the bait.  The Captain slid a backhander into the empty net, and the Avs won the game to remained undefeated under Jared Bednar.  Final score, 2-1.

LINES

Landeskog – MacKinnon – R. Bourque
Soderberg – Grigorenko – Duchene
Smith – Colborne – Martinsen
McLeod – Vogelhuber – G. Bourque

Zadorov – Johnson
Beauchemin – Barrie
Tyutin – Wiercioch

Varlamov

THREE STARS

  1. Landeskog – GWG
  2. Grigorenko – game tying goal with 1:14 left in the game
  3. Varlamov – stopped all but one shot

PLAY OF THE GAME

Landeskog’s nifty game winner is the easy choice.

 

TURNING POINT

Grigorenko’s 6v5 goal tied the game to send it into overtime.

 

BY THE NUMBERS

As this was not an NHL arena (yet), stats were not officially kept.

QUOTE OF THE GAME

“This Colorado team looks like they’re having fun out there. They’re loose, they’re talking out there.” -LA Broadcaster during the 3rd period as the Avs forecheck dominated the game.

WHAT’S NEXT

The regular season!  The Avs open at home against Dallas a week from today at 7 PM MT.

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