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Avalanche Take One Point In Arizona, Fall In Overtime

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Something about the Arizona Coyotes seems to give the Colorado Avalanche some trouble. On Thursday night, that continued at Mullett Arena.

The Avalanche came back to tie the game in the third period, but couldn’t generate any momentum in overtime, and the Coyotes scored during the extra period, giving them the 4-3 victory. Colorado killed off an overtime penalty, but couldn’t quite get the game to a shootout. The game winning goal went off Cale Makar’s stick, who was trying to send it back under his goaltender for a whistle.

Makar, Miles Wood, and Nathan MacKinnon were the goalscorers for Colorado. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 28 of the 32 shots Arizona sent his way in the loss.

First Period

Based off what I saw in the arena, this was a Coyotes home game in name only. There were a heck of a lot more Avalanche jerseys than Coyotes, and when the game started, any Coyotes chant was drowned out by Colorado fans.

On the ice, it was highly entertaining hockey. Both teams came out with speed, and when it came to high-end scoring chances, the Avalanche had the better looks.

Tomas Tatar, still looking for his first goal in a Colorado uniform, had two good chances on one shift, including a one-time attempt from the slot, but he can’t buy a goal right now. Mikko Rantanen had a nice rush down the right wing, but his backhand shot was snagged by Ingram’s glove.

At the other end, Alexandar Georgiev wasn’t tested as much, but still held strong in net.

With under two minutes remaining in the first, Colorado got their first powerplay, and for the ninth straight game, they capitalized.

After working the puck around the offensive zone for over a minute, the puck came to Cale Makar at the point. He wasted no time firing the puck at the net, using Valeri Nichushkin as a screen, and beating Ingram up high. The “home” crowd went wild, and Colorado went into the first intermission up by one.

Second Period

Early in the second, the Coyotes took advantage of a tired group for the Avalanche, as the top pair and fourth line had been stuck on the ice for over a minute. A Moser point shot was deflected not once, but twice by Coyotes players, beating Georgiev on the far side, and tying the game at one.

An angry Georgiev wanted his coach to challenge the goal for goaltender interference, slamming his stick on the ice, but that didn’t happen.

That tie wouldn’t last long, as Miles Wood quickly gave Colorado the lead again.

Just a few seconds after being stopped on a 2-on-1, Wood corralled the puck off a regroup by the Avalanche. The Coyotes only had four skaters on the ice, and Wood took advantage, cutting straight to the front of the net and out-waiting Ingram, making it 2-1.

The Avalanche did get another powerplay in the second, but couldn’t solve Ingram. Their best look might have come on a Jonathan Drouin one-timer, but his shot bounced off Ingram’s head and went over the net. The final half of the second belonged to the Coyotes, who took back a lot of the momentum after the Wood goal.

With less than four minutes remaining in the second, the Coyotes got another man advantage, and it took them just 11 seconds to tie the game. Immediately off the face-off, Nick Schmaltz snuck away from all the penalty killers, and one-timed a shot past Georgiev, tying the game at two. Bednar didn’t seem happy after the goal, and after the game, he said it was because the refs moved the face-off from one side to the other after he had already put his players on the ice. If he had known the face-off was on the other side, he would have put different personnel out there.

The Coyotes nearly took the lead late, as a Makar misplay led to a brief 2-on-0 for Arizona, but Keller’s shot hit the side of the net, keeping the game tied heading into the third.

Third Period

It didn’t take long for Arizona to take the lead early in the third.

After a pass in the neutral zone went through Josh Manson’s skates, he was beat to the puck in his corner. Carcone picked up the puck and went directly for the wrap-around, beating Georgiev on the far side to give Arizona the lead. It probably wasn’t the best goal of the night for Georgiev, but Carcone was allowed to take it straight to the net without any real resistance.

Down a goal, Colorado started to push, but the big momentum swing of the period came from a massive hit.

Travis Boyd picked up the puck in the neutral zone, and Josh Manson lined him up perfectly, sending him into the boards right in front of the Coyotes bench on a very clean hit. The Coyotes, however, took exception, and Liam O’Brien challenged Manson to a fight. It’s a fight that I’d give the upper hand to Manson, but it was a double-win for Colorado, because O’Brien was given the extra two minutes for essentially instigating the fight.

On the ensuing powerplay, Nathan MacKinnon broke through for his first powerplay goal of the season. Just moments after Nichushkin couldn’t bury the puck on a tip-in near the front of the net, the puck went around the perimeter to MacKinnon, who blasted a one-timer over the shoulder of Ingram, who had no chance.

With the game now tied at three, there were some tense moments late in the period. The Coyotes had some chances, but Georgiev held strong, while Manson nearly gave the Avalanche the lead with around 30 seconds left. He picked up the puck along the wall and took it directly to the net, sending a shot right off the head of Ingram.

With neither team able to break the tie, the game headed to overtime, a first for Colorado this season.

Overtime

The Avalanche registered just one shot on goal in the extra period, as the Coyotes held most of the possession. A coverage mistake by Byram allowed his man to get behind him for a breakaway, and the young defenseman was forced to take a slashing penalty to save a goal.

Arizona pushed really hard on the 4-on-3 powerplay, but Georgiev was strong in net, making several saves off deflections. It looked like Colorado was going to escape and this game would head to a shootout, but just as Byram’s penalty ended, Bjugstad found himself all alone in front.

The lanky Coyotes forward’s shot was stopped by Georgiev, but he couldn’t corral the rebound. Makar got to it first, and looked like he was trying to give it to Georgiev to freeze. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. It’s hard to tell on the rebound exactly what happened, but it appears Bjugstad gives Makar a tap, which helps to send the puck through Georgiev’s legs and into the back of the net, giving the Coyotes the victory.

Both Makar and Toews had been on the ice for the entirety of Byram’s penalty, and they were just trying to get a whistle. An unfortunate end to an entertaining game.

With the overtime loss, the Avalanche now move to 15-6-1 on the season. They’ll fly to Anaheim tomorrow to prepare for their Saturday night game against the Ducks. That game starts at 8 PM MST.

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