Comeback Complete: Avalanche Fight Back in Wild 6-5 Overtime Win
There’s never a dull moment when the Colorado Avalanche and Edmonton Oilers play.
Sunday was no exception.
Down 3-0 halfway through the game, the Avalanche found a way to fight back, beating the Oilers in overtime by a score of 6-5. The Avalanche scored two late goals to tie the game, before Mikko Rantanen finished the game off in overtime. It was a huge character victory for the Avalanche, down Cale Makar and having played just 24 hours earlier in another city.
J.T. Compher, Nathan MacKinnon, Valeri Nichushkin, Logan O’Connor, and Arturri Lehkonen scored in regulation for the Avalanche. In overtime, the hero was Rantanen. Compher added three assists for a four point night. MacKinnon and Sam Girard also added two assists.
Alexandar Georgiev stopped 35 of the 40 shots he faced.
For Edmonton, Warren Foegele scored twice, with Tyson Barrie and Leon Draisaitl scoring the other goals.
The start was not pretty for the Avalanche.
They had every opportunity in the first period to find the scoresheet. Unfortunately, they failed to connect on three powerplay chances, and really didn’t get that close to scoring.
The Oilers, however, did find the back of the net.
After some broken coverage by the Avalanche, the Oilers found themselves with a two on one down low in front of Georgiev. Matthias Janmark was left alone with nothing but time, and hit Warren Foegele on the backdoor for the easy goal. Josh Manson, who did not play yesterday, failed to cover the pass. The goal gave the Oilers the early lead, a lead they carried into the intermission.
The second period was a wild one, but it started horrendously for the Avalanche.
The Oilers spent the first 1:14 of the period in the Avalanche zone, wearing down the Avalanche. It ended with Foegele scoring his second of the game. The forward was left all alone in the slot by tired Avalanche defenders.
Just six minutes later, Draisaitl extended the lead to three. The goal came just moments after the Oilers killed off their fourth penalty of the game.
The Avalanche finally got some momentum going a minute after Draisaitl’s goal. And to the surprise of no one, it was MacKinnon who got them going.
After taking a pass from Sam Girard, MacKinnon circled into the high slot and beat Jack Campbell low to get the Avalanche on the board. The goal later was changed to Compher, as it hit his body and went in.
Just four minutes later, Nichushkin cut the lead to one. Upon entering the zone, MacKinnon dropped it to Nichushkin on the wall. Nichushkin’s pass to Matt Nieto backdoor hit the skate of Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci and went into the back of the net.
In the span of just a few minutes, the Avalanche had cut the Oilers lead down to one. But the Oilers got one back before the end of the period.
After some sloppy play from the Avalanche, a Barrie point shot found it’s way through traffic, beating Georgiev up high. The Oilers had gotten their two goal lead back, and carried that lead into the third period.
The second period was wild. The rest of the game? Well, insane might be a better word to describe that.
Just 26 seconds into the period, MacKinnon took a pass from Josh Manson and fired it high blocker on Campbell. The Oilers lead was again down to one.
But nothing in this game came easy for the Avalanche.
At 3:58, a defensive breakdown led to Janmark finding himself all alone in the high slot. He would up and fired a slapper past Georgiev to restore the two goal lead.
Down two, and on the second half of a back to back, the Avalanche could have quit.
That’s not what happened.
The spark may have come from their goaltender. With the score 5-3, Georgiev made a huge breakaway save on Kailer Yamamoto to keep the Avalanche within two.
Just what they needed.
O’Connor cut the deficit to one (again) halfway through the period. After a hard working shift, he jammed at a loose puck near the post. The puck barely squeaked over the goal line for his seventh goal of the season.
And with less than five minutes left, the Avalanche found a way to tie it.
Off an offensive zone face-off win, Girard sent the puck to Compher at the center blueline. Compher wired a wrist shot low, and Lehkonen deflected it past Campbell.
After an insane 56 minutes of hockey, the Avalanche had evened things up.
The insanity didn’t end there, as the game went to overtime.
After tons of back and forth action, and big saves from both Campbell and Georgiev, the game needed a hero.
Enter Mikko Rantanen.
Yet another offensive zone face-off victory from Compher led to possession for the Avalanche. The puck found it’s way to Rantanen, who cut to the middle of the ice. Campbell, thinking Rantanen was going to shoot, got a little too aggressive, and the big Finnish winger went around him to bury the game winning goal.
Exhausted and tired, the Avalanche completed their comeback with a 6-5 overtime win. Dating back to the postseason, that makes it six straight victories for the Avalanche over the Oilers.
The Avalanche will now get a bit of a break. They’re off until Friday, when they face the team directly in front of them in the standings, the Winnipeg Jets. The game starts at 6 PM MST.