All good things come to an end.
For the Colorado Avalanche, the end of their six game winning streak was not pretty.
Up two goals, the Avalanche gave up four unanswered to the lowly Anaheim Ducks, on their way to a 5-3 loss. The loss ended their six game winning streak. They still hold the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference with one game remaining before the All-Star break.
Mikko Rantanen scored two goals for the Avalanche, and Sam Girard added the other. Girard also added an assist.
Frank Vatrano led the way for the Ducks, scoring three goals. Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish added the other goals. Cam Fowler contributed two assists.
Both teams found their way onto the scoresheet in the opening period, but it was the Avalanche who struck pay dirt first just 3:56 in.
A dominant shift with lots of puck possession would pay off. After hitting two goal posts, the puck bounced off the crossbar right to Rantanen, who disposed of it into an empty net, giving the Avalanche the early lead.
Despite the Avalanche controlling the majority of the play in the period, the Ducks did find the net. An initial Vatrano shot bounced off Pavel Francouz’s glove right into the slot, where Vatrano fired his own rebound past the Avalanche goaltender. The game was now tied at one.
It stayed that way to end the period, mostly due to John Gibson. He made 17 saves in the first period to hold the Avalanche at bay as much as he could.
The Avalanche continued to carry the play in the second period, but couldn’t completely pull away, although it looked like they might early.
Just 1:13 in, Girard snuck in behind the Anaheim defense. Nathan MacKinnon drew all the attention of the Ducks defenders, and hit a wide open Girard backdoor. The 24 year old defenseman deposited the puck into the empty net, and the Avalanche had their one goal lead back.
15 minutes later, Rantanen found the scoresheet again, this time on the powerplay. He took a pass from Girard and one-timed it over Gibson’s glove. The Avalanche lead was now two.
With less than two minutes left in the period, the Ducks made it a game again.
After a lengthy shift in the offensive zone, Vatrano snuck his second behind Francouz to cut the lead to one again. The period ended that way, but the Ducks hanging around came back to haunt the Avalanche.
After dominating the start of the third period, the Ducks tied it up 9:42 in. Troy Terry made an impressive play off the boards to feed Henrique in front, who beat Francouz glove side.
24 seconds later, the Ducks took the lead.
McTavish came in one on one against Cale Makar and fired a shot clean past Francouz. The Avalanche went from leading to trailing in the blink of an eye.
And they couldn’t find their way back.
Gibson made some big saves down the stretch, with a little help from the goal post, to hold the Avalanche off.
Vatrano added an empty net goal to complete the hat trick, giving the Ducks the 5-3 victory.
The Avalanche now head into their final game before the extended All-Star break. They play the St. Louis Blues on Saturday afternoon. The game starts at 1 PM MST.