Do the Colorado Avalanche have their mojo back? It sure looks like it.
A few days after dropping seven goals, they took it to the Detroit Red Wings, scoring the first five goals on their way to a 6-3 victory. That’s now two straight home victories, but perhaps more importantly, they looked like the Avalanche of old. A good sign moving forward.
Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon scored two goals each to lead the way for the Avalanche. Artturi Lehkonen and J.T Compher added goals of their own. Evan Rodrigues added two assists, extending his point streak to nine games.
Andrew Copp, Ben Chiarot, and Moritz Seider scored the goals for the Red Wings.
For the second straight game, the Avalanche got off to a hot start.
Five minutes in, Lehkonen was the beneficiary of some poor defensive coverage by the Red Wings. After Devon Toews and Makar spread the defense out, finding Lehkonen all alone in the high slot. His wrist shot beat Ville Husso on the blocker side, but not without controversy.
MacKinnon, while crashing the net, bumped into Husso and took him out. After a challenge by the Red Wings, the goal stood, with Husso’s positioning out of the crease being the main reasoning.
With less than two minutes remaining in the first, the Avalanche finally cashed in on their third powerplay. A faceoff win ended up on Makar’s stick, and the defender put a shot through traffic that trickled through Husso’s arm.
That made it two straight games where the Avalanche entered the first intermission with a two goal lead.
The second period was pure domination for the home team.
Just three minutes in, Makar and MacKinnon worked a pick play to their advantage, giving Makar all the space he needed to cut to the net and beat Husso for his second of the game.
A little over 10 minutes into the period, the second powerplay unit got on the board.
More broken coverage by the Red Wings left Compher all alone in front. Rodrigues had a wide open lane, hitting Compher for an easy tap in. The rout was on.
Five minutes later, Rodrigues and MacKinnon worked a give and go, with Rodrigues hitting the superstar in the slot for another easy goal.
The Red Wings added a goal late in the period, but the period belonged to the Avalanche, who carried a four goal lead into the third.
Chiarot scored early in the third on a clean shot Pavel Francouz probably wants back. The lead was down to three.
MacKinnon ended any comeback thoughts the Red Wings may have had.
Less than two minutes later, the star stole the puck from Copp at the defensive blueline, giving himself a clean breakaway. Magnus Hellberg, who replaced Husso to start the third, was no match, getting beat high glove. The lead had returned to four.
Seider scored late for the Red Wings, but it did not matter, with the Avalanche winning by a score of 6-3.
The Avalanche now head out on a three game road trip, facing off against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday. The game starts at 7:30 MST.