Things were going great for the Colorado Avalanche.
Until they weren’t.
A dominant first two periods were wasted, as the Avalanche could not capitalize on all their chances. They sat back in the third period, and it cost them.
The Penguins scored late in the third and again in overtime to send the Avalanche to only their second loss in 10 games.
Nathan MacKinnon scored the lone goal for the Avalanche.
Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins in regulation, and Kris Letang scored the winner in overtime.
The Avalanche came out flying to start the game.
In the first ten minutes, Cale Makar missed an empty net, and MacKinnon hit a crossbar. They ended the period with a 13-6 shot advantage.
Alas, the advantage in play for the Avalanche did not lead to an advantage on the scoreboard, as neither team found the back of the net.
The dominance continued into the second period.
After multiple great chances, MacKinnon finally broke through.
Penalties on both sides brought on 4 on 4 hockey halfway through the period. After a face-off win, the puck came to MacKinnon along the right wall. He carried the puck past the defender, around the net, and into the slot on the other side before firing the puck past Casey Desmith.
The Avalanche carried that one goal lead into the third period.
Things got scary in the third period, as Cale Makar took a shot to the head from Jeff Carter in front of his own net. Concussion spotters removed Makar from the game, but he returned with under five minutes remaining.
Things got scarier moments later.
Jason Zucker found himself alone in the slot, and Francouz went for a poke check to get the puck away from him. Unfortunately, he didn’t get all of it. Zucker sent the puck through the crease, and right on the stick of Malkin. Malkin banked the puck off J.T. Compher from behind the net in, tying it up.
That goal sent the game into overtime.
The Avalanche did get a powerplay, but were unable to beat Desmith. A common theme on the evening.
Moments after the Penguins killed the penalty, all their stars came on the ice and finished the game.
Sidney Crosby sent the puck from behind the net to a wide open Letang, who fired the puck over a scrambling Francouz, giving the Penguins the 2-1 victory.
A tough way to start the second half after the break for the Avalanche, given how they controlled the first two periods. Third periods continue to be an issue for the team of late.
The Avalanche will stay on the east coast when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday evening. It will be the first matchup between the teams since the Stanley Cup Finals. The game starts at 5 PM MST.