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Makar Exits Early In Shootout Loss For The Avalanche



Avalanche Ducks

If Cale Makar is forced to exit a game, does it matter what happens the rest of the night to the Colorado Avalanche?

Well, kind of.

Makar left the game just prior to the end of regulation, and did not skate in overtime for his team. The Avalanche, meanwhile, could not solve John Gibson after the first period, and fell 4-3 in a shootout to the Anaheim Ducks. However, the greater concern is the health of Makar. After the game, Jared Bednar said that Makar was dealing with something, and wasn’t available to play in overtime. Not much information, but you usually don’t get much in postgame. With Colorado back in action in less than 24 hours, Makar’s status for the next game is now in question.

Bowen Byram scored two goals for the Avalanche, while Devon Toews added the other. Ivan Prosvetov was strong in net, stopping 34 of 37 shots.

First Period

Hard to find a more chaotic start to a hockey game than the one this one had.

20 seconds in, Bowen Byram got caught on a cross-over in the neutral zone, giving way to a breakaway for Brett Leason. Ivan Prosvetov was ready, as he bailed out the young defenseman with a left toe save. The play wasn’t over, though.

The Ducks pinched in at the blueline, giving the Avalanche a 2-on-1. It was turned into a 3-on-1 by Byram, who jumped into the play. Miles Wood hit him with a drop pass, and Byram beat John Gibson low to give Colorado the early lead. What could have been a disastrous start turned into a great one for the road team.

Colorado was pretty sloppy most of the first period, struggling to string together multiple passes in a row. Luckily for them, Prosvetov played really strong, and his play allowed the Avalanche to keep the lead.

Eight minutes later, another bad pinch by the Ducks gave Colorado another odd-man rush. Byram pinched in again, this time carrying the puck down the wing. I’m not so sure he even entertained the idea of a pass, as he let an absolute rocket go over Gibson’s shoulder, giving the Avalanche the two goal lead. The shot looked like it had some real anger behind it.

Anaheim scored on their first powerplay opportunity, as Adam Henrique was left alone at the side of the net for an easy backdoor goal.

With under a minute remaining, Colorado got more offense from the blueline, this time coming from Devon Toews. Mikko Rantanen made a nice move at the offensive blueline to create some space, and hit Toews cutting across the zone. Toews labeled the puck into nearly the exact same spot Byram had just ten minutes earlier, giving Colorado the two goal lead heading into the intermission.

Second Period

Colorado played the first period with some bad habits. Those bad habits were still evident in the second period.

About three minutes into the second, the Colorado’s rush defense was broken down pretty easily. Alex Killorn carried the puck in on his backhand. He got past Fredrik Olofsson, and that forced Byram to come his way, leaving Leo Carlsson open in front. Killorn hit Carlsson, who sent the puck off the cross-bar and into the back of the net.

Eight minutes later, the Ducks tied the game up on their second powerplay of the game. With only a few seconds remaining in the powerplay, Killorn sent a puck to the net, and it squeezed through Prosvetov, tying the game. Up until that point, Prosvetov had played quite well, but he probably wants that one back.

The Avalanche received a late powerplay, but nothing came of it, sending the game into the third tied at three.

Third Period

The third period was easily Colorado’s best of the evening, but Gibson, who was leaky in the first period, suddenly became a brick wall.

Ross Colton, fresh out of the penalty box, looked to have Gibson beat on a breakaway, but the goaltender got his right toe on the puck, keeping it out of the net. Moments later, Miles Wood had a mini-break, but Gibson stood tall, making the save. Gibson stopped all 12 shots Colorado sent his way in the third.

At the other end, Prosvetov held his own, stopping all eight Ducks shots, sending the game into overtime.


Overtime began, but there was a familiar face missing – Cale Makar.

The top scorer on the Avalanche took his final shift of the game with just under three minutes remaining in the third, and didn’t skate in overtime. After the game, Jared Bednar said he was dealing with something, and was not available to play. We’ll monitor his status for tomorrow’s game.

In overtime, both goalies stayed on their game. Gibson made some flashy glove saves, including one on Byram, who was looking for the Hat Trick. At the other end, Prosvetov did his part, stopping the five shots the Ducks attempted. That meant the game needed a shootout to settle everything.

In the shootout, only one player found the back of the net, and that was Carlsson on the Ducks. He put a beautiful move on Prosvetov, using his reach to his advantage, and beating him on the far side. His goal gave the Ducks the victory, as Drouin, MacKinnon, and Rantanen failed to score on Gibson.

With back-to-back losses after regulation, the Avalanche will look to salvage a bit of this road trip on Sunday evening, but it won’t be easy. They’ll take on the red-hot Los Angeles Kings before flying back to Denver. Even if Makar is not able to go, Colorado’s big guns played a ton on Saturday, so they won’t have much time to rest before hitting the ice again.

Sunday’s game starts at 6 PM MST.

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