Makar, Avalanche Keep Pushing, Win 3-2 in Overtime over Coyotes
Once the Colorado Avalanche decided to start checking, the ice was tilted in their favor.
It turns out, playing the right way pays off.
The Avalanche outshot the Coyotes 32-8 in the final 41:38 of the game, dominating the puck and giving the Coyotes zero room. Cale Makar’s beautiful overtime winner sent the Avalanche faithful home happy, as the home team came out on top by a score of 3-2.
The win now puts the Avalanche in an even more comfortable playoff position, as they sit seven points ahead of Calgary, who is on the outside looking in.
Makar, Denis Malgin, and Nathan MacKinnon were the goalscorers for the Avalanche. Mikko Rantanen chipped in with two assists.
Alexandar Georgiev played well in net, stopping 18 of the 20 shots he faced.
Jack McBain and Clayton Keller scored for the Coyotes.
One of the hottest players on the team got things started early for the Avalanche.
Denis Malgin, who came into the game with two goals in his last three games, flashed his speed and skill two minutes into the game. After a defensive zone face-off win, Brad Hunt flipped the puck down the ice. Malgin beat his man to the puck, and then beat his man to the net. He skated in on Connor Ingram, and beat him with a backhand, giving the Avalanche the early one goal lead.
The rest of the period, however, was full of defensive mistakes from Colorado.
At 6:50 of the first, Bowen Byram fell over at the defensive blueline. While falling, he tried to clear the puck, but gave it right back to the Coyotes. Lawson Crouse got behind Byram, and took the puck to the net. His initial shot was stopped, but McBain smacked home the rebound to tie the game at one.
Alexander Georgiev made sure the game stayed tied with a ridiculous skate save on Laurent Dauphin, but the Coyotes managed to take the lead a few minutes later. And they did so on another defensive breakdown from Colorado.
All three Avalanche skaters in the defensive zone lost track of Keller behind them, leaving the Coyotes leading scorer all alone. He got the puck and sent it right through Georgiev’s legs, giving the Coyotes the 2-1 lead heading into the intermission.
The second period was a much better effort from the Avalanche, as they only allowed four even strength shots for the Coyotes.
After another Malgin goal was disallowed due to a hand pass, the Avalanche powerplay took advantage of their third opportunity.
And for the ninth straight game, it was Nathan MacKinnon finding the back of the net.
After some extended zone time, Mikko Rantanen sent the puck to MacKinnon at the right circle. The star center used Rantanen as a screen, and fired home the tying goal. Ingram could do nothing about it, because he couldn’t see past the 6’5″ Finn.
Georgiev made another big save late in the second, robbing Nick Schmaltz on a breakaway, keeping the score tied at two. It stayed that way until the end of the period.
That Schmaltz save might have been the last time Georgiev broke a sweat. That’s because the Coyotes failed to register a single shot on net after the second period.
The Avalanche dominated in the third, outshooting the Coyotes 18-0. They just failed to find the back of the net. Ingram did just enough to get the game to overtime for his team.
That domination from the Avalanche continued in overtime, and it finally paid off.
After controlling the play for the first 1:38 of the extra period, Makar ended it. He took a drop pass from MacKinnon in the neutral zone, and went to work. The superstar defender cut to the middle past defenseman J.J. Moser, and beat Ingram with a backhand shot, giving the Avalanche the 3-2 overtime victory.
The win salvages the homestand for the Avalanche, as they had lost two of their last three games at Ball Arena. They now head out on a four game road trip, all against Eastern Conference teams.
On Monday, they will be in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. The game starts at 5:30 PM MST.