Pepsi Center woes continue for Avalanche in discouraging home loss

AJ Haefele Avatar
November 27, 2016

 

HIGHLIGHTS

GAME RUNDOWN

The early-game problems for the Colorado Avalanche have been well-documented coming into tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks. The promise from several Avs players to correct the early-game issues must have been intended for another game because they certainly didn’t correct anything tonight.

After a productive two shifts from their top lines, Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov took the exact kind of lazy penalty that saw him benched recently. Colorado’s porous penalty kill continued its woeful ways as Loui Eriksson scored on the power play and just 3:46 into the game the Avalanche found themselves losing at home to one of the NHL’s worst teams.

A back-and-forth first period would produce no more goals as both goaltenders, Jacob Markstrom for Vancouver and Calvin Pickard for Colorado, stood tall and denied all oncoming pucks.

The second period was more of the same frustration for Colorado as they failed on several power play chances, generating little to no substantial offense along the way and drawing the ire of a restless Pepsi Center crowd.

Then a broken play in front of Markstrom, sparked by a pass from Carl Soderberg, was deflected by Matt Duchene into the air and Mikhail Grigorenko swatted the puck out of the air and into the net, tying the game at 1-1 with just under nine minutes remaining in the second period. Neither team would find the net the rest of the period despite each registering high-quality scoring chances.

For the second straight game, the Avalanche entered the third with a resounding thud, this time allowing Alex Burrows to score just 1:26 into the period and give Vancouver a 2-1 lead.

The Avalanche didn’t take long to respond as a Jarome Iginla wrist shot was deflected by John Mitchell at 3:56 of the period, tying the game and bringing much-needed life back to an increasingly apathetic crowd.

The game eventually found its way into overtime where the Avalanche dominated play throughout, producing a number of excellent scoring chances. Between hitting posts and spectacular saves by Markstrom, the Canucks held on for dear life before ultimately prevailing 1-0 in the shootout on the back of a Markus Granlund goal.

THREE STARS

1. Jacob Markstrom
2. Calvin Pickard
3. Fedor Tyutin

PLAY OF THE GAME

The Grigorenko goal started out ugly but finished as a thing of beauty. A slow-developing Avalanche attack seemed innocuous enough until

TURNING POINT

Markstrom made a remarkable glove save on a Duchene breakaway in overtime that would’ve won it for the Avalanche. That stop helped propel the game into the shootout where Markstrom didn’t even have to do anything to get the win.

BY THE NUMBERS

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WHAT’S NEXT

The Avalanche continue their season-high five-game homestand on Tuesday night when the Nashville Predators come to town.

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