And just like that, the Colorado Avalanche are on the brink of elimination.
Just as they did in Game One, the Seattle Kraken came into Colorado and gave the Avalanche no room to work with, slowing them down and dominating the puck all night long. On the other side of the ice, Colorado looked slow, weak, and played with zero intensity on their way to a 3-2 loss in front of a Ball Arena crowd that was given very little to cheer for. As they’ve had to do all series, the Avalanche relied on their top guns to carry them offensively, but all of them looked exhausted by the final horn.
Now the series turns to Seattle. Colorado will get Cale Makar back, but if they play with the same intensity they did on Wednesday night, there won’t be a Game Seven back here in Denver.
The good news? Colorado managed to get through the entire first period without giving up a goal to the Kraken. Seattle hit two posts, but did not register a single high-danger scoring chance at even strength.
The bad news? Neither did the Avalanche. They came out slow and Seattle held them completely to the outside, but they at least did a good job keeping the Kraken out of the scoring areas. I certainly expected more jump from them, but the Kraken deserve credit, as they didn’t allow Colorado to gain any speed in the neutral zone.
Neither team registered a high-danger scoring chance at even strength. pic.twitter.com/NrpDZBjwUb
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) April 27, 2023
Colorado did draw their first penalty of the period at 19:03, and carried that powerplay over into the second period.
The rest of that powerplay brought nothing, and soon after, Logan O’Connor took an interference penalty. Colorado managed to kill off that penalty, but it didn’t take long for the Kraken to get on the scoreboard first. Again.
Alexandar Georgiev stopped the original shot by Jaden Schwartz, but lost the rebound. He wasn’t the only one, as Devon Toews couldn’t find it either. The only player who could find it was Morgan Geekie, who shoved the rebound through Georgiev, giving the Kraken the 1-0 lead. For the fifth straight game, the Kraken had scored first.
But Philipp Grubauer must have been in a giving mood, because he gave one right back to Colorado. Off a dump-in, he fired it up the wall, right to Mikko Rantanen. The big Finnish winger just ripped it towards the net, and it bounced off Nathan MacKinnon and in, tying the game.
Not long after, the Kraken took the lead again, but not without controversy.
In the offensive zone, Nathan MacKinnon had the puck along the boards, and tried to spin away from Will Borgen. It sure looked like Borgen tripped MacKinnon, causing him to fall over and lose the puck. The ref, staring right at it, let it go, and the Kraken carried the puck the other way. MacKinnon smashed his stick on the boards and left the ice, leaving the Avalanche shorthanded on the back check.
Jordan Eberle carried the puck around the Avalanche net, and sent it out front to a wide-open Tye Kartye, who wired it into the net, giving the Kraken the 2-1 lead. J.T. Compher, who replaced MacKinnon, wasn’t able to get back in time.
Just like they did at the end of the first, the Avalanche would carry over a powerplay into the third period.
But just like the second period, the Avalanche got nothing out of their powerplay to start the period. They passed the puck around the perimeter and the only shot attempt by Mikko Rantanen was easily blocked for a clear, ending the powerplay.
And it didn’t take long for the Kraken to extend their lead.
As they have done most of the series, they outworked the Avalanche along the boards, before sending the puck to Carson Soucy at the point. His shot was deflected in front by Yanni Gourde and past Georgiev, giving the Kraken the two goal lead.
Colorado would push, but not as much as you would expect from a team fighting for their playoff lives. The Kraken kept them to the outside of the most part, and generated several odd-man rushes the other way. Georgiev stood tall to keep the game somewhat close.
With just under four minutes remaining, Evan Rodrigues scored a flukey goal that bounced off two Kraken players and in, but that was as close as the team got. Just as they did in game one, the Kraken held the Avalanche to limited chances offensively, walking away with a 3-2 win.
With their season on the line, the Avalanche now have to go into Seattle and win just to extend the series. Game Six takes place Friday night, and starts at 8 PM MST.