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Avs come roaring back in third period, top the Wild 3-2

Cole Hamilton Avatar
November 20, 2016

 

HIGHLIGHTS





GAME RUNDOWN

With their top offensive horses out of the lineup and their depth players struggling to contribute on the scoresheet, the Colorado Avalanche flew into Minnesota absolutely starved for goals. Facing one of the hottest goalies in the NHL in Devan Dubnyk, it took 40 minutes before the Avs’ chickens would come home to roost and the team could finally bury some pucks in the back of the net.

The Avalanche, who have been stymied by bad first periods all year, followed the same script that’s seen them shutout of the first period in 9 straight games. The team played well early, took multiple penalties as they unraveled, and for the second time in as many games, surrendered the opening goal off the foot of their own defenseman.

The Avalanche began the second period with a significant offensive pushback, but still could not find the scoresheet. Their poor puck-luck, which has been a theme throughout the early part of this season, would continue in the second period. On one offensive opportunity the Avalanche found Devan Dubnyk flat on his stomach outside the net but Tyson Barrie ripped the puck off the post. On the ensuing sequence, Blake Comeau fired the puck back towards the empty net but was denied by Wild forward Nino Niederreiter, who dove back into the net on his stomach to make a goal line save.

The Wild responded quickly with a highlight reel goal by Tyler Graovac, who carried the puck down the right wing, and drove the net hard from the wall, roofing the puck past Calvin Pickard as he fell in the slot. What could have easily been a 1-1 game was suddenly 2-0 in favor of Minnesota.

The Avalanche would enter the third period down 2-0 and looked to be headed for their 5th shutout loss of the season, but the Avs would not be denied two points in Minnesota. Just 3:51 into the third period Mikko Rantanen broke Dubnyk’s 156 minute shutout streak with a quick wrist shot on the back door after a tic-tac-toe passing play from Tyson Barrie and Nathan MacKinnon.

The goal breathed new life into the Avalanche offense and Jarome Iginla drew a penalty shortly after the goal with a grinding shift down low on the top line. On the Avs’ first continuous power play of the night, Carl Soderberg would tie the game with an outstanding individual effort. The Avs center, who has struggled out of the gate, drove the crease from behind the net, collected his own rebound, and tied the game on the power play.

Halfway through the third period and looking for a decisive game winner, Nathan MacKinnon danced his way through three Minnesota defenders all alone and sniped one past Devan Dubnyk. Minnesota would get a few good chances in the latter part of the third period, but Calvin Pickard posted a solid game and held the one goal lead for an Avalanche win.

THREE STARS

1. Nathan MacKinnon: 1G, 1A, 5SOG
2. Calvin Pickard: 39 Saves, .953 SV%
3. Erik Johnson: 1 A, 24:57 TOI, 64.86% 5v5 CF%

PLAY OF THE GAME

Nathan MacKinnon’s game-winning goal put everything that makes him special on display and should be a staple of tonight’s NHL highlight reels.

TURNING POINT

Mikko Rantanen’s third period goal broke Colorado out of their slump and opened the floodgates for the Avalanche.

BY THE NUMBERS

Avs Wild CF 11/19

WHAT’S NEXT

The Avalanche conclude their three-game road trip Monday night when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets.

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