You need your best players to be your best players. Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon were exactly that for the Avalanche.
It just took a minute for that scoring touch to kick in.
Down 2-0 after two periods, MacKinnon and Makar took over the game in the third period (with the help of an unsung hero) on the way to a massive 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers.
The win would end the Avalanche’s five game losing streak.
MacKinnon, Makar, and Brad Hunt scored the goals for the Avalanche. Zach Hyman was the lone goal scorer for the Oilers, notching both their goals.
The Avalanche came out really strong. In the first period, they controlled 74% of the shot attempts at even strength, but as has been the case for a lot of the year, they couldn’t finish.
They also played with fire, taking two penalties against the best powerplay in the league.
And they got burned.
On the powerplay, Draisaitl and McDavid worked some cross ice magic, and while everyone was watching McDavid carry the puck, Zach Hyman stood in front, deflecting a McDavid pass into the net to give the Oilers the lead heading into the intermission.
The second period was more of the same.
Despite controlling 70+% of the shot attempts at even strength, the Avalanche could not score, hitting a few posts along the way.
On a powerplay after a Sam Girard goaltender interference call, Zach Hyman found himself whacking at a bouncing puck that came from behind the net. He’d get enough on the puck to get it through Alexandar Georgiev’s legs to give the Oilers a two goal lead.
The Avalanche challenged the goal for goaltender interference, as Hyman appeared to get his stick on Georgiev’s leg pad and push a bit, but after a lengthy review, the goal call stood. That two goal lead for the Oilers would carry over into the third period.
MacKinnon, snakebitten through two periods, had seen enough.
After getting a pass with speed in the defensive zone early in the third, he burst through Cody Ceci and Darnell Nurse to create a breakaway for himself, before putting it glove high over Stuart Skinner.
It was the type of goal only a superstar could provide.
Moments later, an unlikely source tied it up.
Evan Rodrigues, who returned to the lineup after missing a few games, outworked two Oilers in the corner and threw it into the high slot. Brad Hunt, just off the bench, caught the puck with speed and threw it off the post and in to tie the game up, his first as a member of the team.
There were some hectic at both ends late in regulation, but the game found its way to overtime. A massive point for the Avalanche to at least salvage something.
But they wanted more.
The Oilers got the majority of the scoring chances in overtime, hitting two goal posts, but Makar got the last laugh.
He corralled a puck in the defensive zone, recognized an opening, and carried the puck past two Oilers defenders (including McDavid) before firing the puck over Skinner’s glove hand. The type of goal Avalanche fans have come accustomed too with the young defenseman.
It was a massive win for the Avalanche, one they hope turns their fortunes around, and puts the within two points of the last playoff spot.
The Avalanche now return home for one game, when they take on the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. The game starts at 7:30 PM.