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Colorado Avalanche

Perfect Road Trip: Avalanche Beat Down Wings, Win 5-1



Avalanche Toews

Do Colorado Avalanche fans still enjoy watching them beat down the Detroit Red Wings?

Yes. Yes they do.

The Avalanche went into the Motor City and recovered from a slow start, taking down their old rivals by a score of 5-1. They may not be in the same conference anymore, but Avalanche fans will always have a place in their hearts for a good beating of the team in Detroit.

Alexandar Georgiev kept the Avalanche in the game early, and in the second half of the game, the stars took over. The win was the fourth straight for the Avalanche, who temporarily move into a tie with the Minnesota Wild for second place in the Central Division.

Sloppy First Period

The Red Wings came out and outplayed the Avalanche in the first period, holding the shot advantage 16-6.

But it was the Avalanche who got on the board first.

After a nice zone-entry by Denis Malgin, he dropped the puck off to Cale Makar. The defenseman hit his partner Devon Toews at the point, who fed Compher at the circle. Compher sent it back to Toews, who wired a one-timer through traffic, beating Ville Husso, and giving the Avalanche the early 1-0 lead.

The rest of the period, however, was not very kind to the Avalanche. They spent most of the time stuck in their own end, with the Red Wings out-attempting the Avalanche 21-10.

The Red Wings tied the game up a few minutes after Toews’ opening goal. Sam Girard fired a clearing attempt up the boards, but it was picked off by Pius Suter. He played give and go with Dylan Larkin, and after getting the puck back, fired a laser over Georgiev’s right shoulder, tying the game at one.

The Avalanche killed off two Red Wings powerplays, and after a tough first period, should have just been happy to get to the intermission tied. Georgiev kept them in it, stopping 15 of the 16 shots he faced.

Superstar Second

Jared Bednar must have had some words for his team in the dressing room, because the Avalanche came out with much more energy to start the second period.

And they were led by their superstars.

Nathan MacKinnon put the Avalanche ahead 7:24 into the period, scoring his 30th goal of the year. It all started with Makar behind his own net, as he sent a 90 foot pass out to Denis Malgin at center ice. Malgin hesitated, and waited just long enough to hit MacKinnon as he came flying by with speed. The superstar weaved through the remaining Red Wings defenders, and ripped a shot past Husso’s blocker.

The tally sent MacKinnon to the 30 goal mark for the fifth time in his career.

And 10 minutes later, the Avalanche extended the lead to two.

With Rantanen in the box serving matching minors with Jake Walman, Bowen Byram took his place on the powerplay. A MacKinnon one-time shot broke the stick of Moritz Seider, leaving the Red Wings in even more trouble already down a man. Maatta turned the puck over to MacKinnon, who sent it to Makar up top. Makar put the Red Wings forward in a spin cycle, before sending the puck to Byram at the right circle. Byram didn’t get everything on his one-timer, and that fooled Husso, as the puck fluttered past him to give the Avalanche the 3-1 lead.

The Avalanche flipped the switch in the second, out-attempting the Red Wings 14-8 at 5-on-5. They carried that two goal lead into the final period.

Stepping on the Throat

The Red Wings came out with a little bit of energy to start the third, and got an early powerplay. Georgiev, however, didn’t give them a chance to get back in the game, stopping everything they threw his way.

And on the penalty kill, Lars Eller ended any chance the Red Wings had.

After tripping over the puck in the neutral zone, Eller stayed with it, and whacked it over to Nichushkin while laying on his stomach. Nichushkin went in and had his shot blocked, but Eller picked up the rebound and fired it over Husso’s glove, making it 4-1. It was Eller’s second goal in two games.

And less than a minute later, the Avalanche stepped on the throats of the Red Wings.

A great passing play by the top line resulted in Mikko Rantanen scoring his team leading 46th goal of the season. He took a nice pass from Evan Rodrigues and put it in the back of the net.

The rest of the game was just a matter of playing out the time remaining. Eventually, the clock hit zero, and the Avalanche walked out of the Motor City with a 5-1 victory.

The win sends the Avalanche home with a perfect 4-0 record on their road trip, and puts them within one point of the division leading Dallas Stars.

They’ll now stay home at Ball Arena for three games, starting with a Monday night matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks. The game starts at 7 PM MST.

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