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Takeaways from Colorado's overtime win against Anaheim

AJ Haefele Avatar
November 19, 2018

ANAHEIM – Colorado began their three-game road trip this week with a stop in Anaheim to take on a struggling Ducks squad. Without starting goaltender John Gibson or top defenseman Hampus Lindholm, the Avalanche were facing a suddenly-depleted Ducks team that would be starting five young defenders alongside veteran Josh Manson.

Things didn’t get off to a great start as Brandon Montour, one of those young defensemen, had a career-high three points before the halfway mark of the game. Recently benched Nikita Zadorov recreated the circumstances that led to his healthy scratch against Washington as best he could with an avoidable penalty immediately after Colorado scored that killed their momentum in the second period.

And yet those were merely speed bumps on the way to an overtime win as the Avalanche used three-point nights from Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen to complete the comeback. MacKinnon scored the game-tying goal (Note: The goal was given to Landeskog after the game ended) in the third on a feed from Rantanen and the two switched roles with Rantanen scoring the game-winner with just over one second remaining in OT.

More takeaways from the game

  • Sam Girard didn’t get rewarded for it but he made several great plays with the puck in periods one and two. His one-man show on an offensive possession in the second period where he dusted his man and then cut through the middle was a thing of beauty. It was a highlight reel goal waiting to happen until Ryan Miller ruined all the fun.
  • Vladislav Kamenev had another very strong performance tonight. He’s been doing the little things very well and he helped set up more scoring chances tonight. Of course, playing next to Marko Dano and Gabe Bourque is going to mean he needs to set up a LOT of chances before he finds his name on the score sheet, which is what happened when he helped create a scoring chance with two-thirds of the second line on the ice.
  • One of the elements of Nathan MacKinnon’s game that helped elevate him last year was his commitment to a power game when he came in on the rush and just bulldozed his way through. Remember when he worked Aaron Ekblad in Pepsi Center because he just put his head down and decided to? That’s been missing this year and he continues to pull up in the corner and look for a defenseman trailing the play but it consistently has failed to generate offense. I’d like to see him get back to attacking the net in those situations.
  • One player who consistently finds himself on the end of a steady stream of criticism is Patrik Nemeth but he really had a strong day today. He was active defensively and his willingness to attack in the offensive zone and leave the blue line led to Colorado’s first goal.
  • Neither play ended up in the net but Alexander Kerfoot made two outstanding passes in the second period to create scoring chances. The first resulted in a tipped puck that Miller just snagged a piece of and the second was through traffic to an Avs defenseman jumping onto the ice. Where Kerfoot did not continue his previous success in the faceoff circle. After winning 10 of 13 draws against Washington, he won just three of 11 tonight.
  • Not an Avalanche observation here but the Ducks do a really good job of avoiding icings by having their defensemen fire pucks right at the backs of their players breaking out. I assumed it was accidental until it happened the third time.
  • The MacKinnon line was primarily matched against Ryan Kesler and they absolutely devoured the Ducks’ primary defensive stopper. When I say devour, I mean straight annihilated that matchup. Actual shots on goal at 5v5 with MacKinnon on the ice? 21-8, advantage Colorado. Corsi was 34-13. That’s utter domination.
  • Carl Soderberg continues to be a very effective swiss army knife for the Avalanche. He had four SOG and was part of several great scoring chances in overtime. His play lately has been downright excellent.
  • Ian Cole and Tyson Barrie combined for an insane night on the shot metric side. Cole’s 5v5 Corsi: 30 for, 14 against. Barrie’s: 33 for, 11 against.
  • Philipp Grubauer was very up and down tonight. The first two goals against were pretty ugly and the third was really just a great tip. That said, he stopped two breakaways that could have put the game out of reach and he came up huge when Colorado really needed stops late. The Avalanche outplayed Anaheim by a pretty wide margin but Grubauer’s poor early play forced him to be great late. He was.

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