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Avalanche Score Four Straight For Comeback Win, Complete Season Sweep Of Canucks



Avalanche Canucks

Some wins feel a heck of a lot better than others, and Wednesday night’s comeback victory for the Colorado Avalanche has to feel pretty darn good.

Down three goals with 21 minutes left in the game, the Avalanche scored four unanswered goals to complete the comeback and beat the Canucks by a score of 4-3. With the win, Colorado finished off a season sweep of Vancouver, who currently lead the Western Conference with 91 points. The Avalanche now move into a tie with the Dallas Stars for first place in the Central Division, as both teams currently have 89 points.

Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon, and Ross Colton scored in regulation. In overtime, Valeri Nichushkin was the hero…or at least, his visor was, as MacKinnon’s shot bounced off his head and into the net. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 18 shots for the win.

First Period

On the second half of a back-to-back, you want to get off to a strong start so that you can aren’t chasing the game and can use your entire bench.

Two goals against on the first two shots is far from ideal.

Just 24 seconds into the game, J.T. Miller got the Canucks on the board, deflecting an Ian Cole point shot off the post and in behind Georgiev, giving Vancouver the early lead. 2:20 later, Miller set up Mikheyev, who snuck behind the Avalanche defense, for an easy goal in front. In the blink of an eye, Colorado was chasing a team that you don’t want to be chasing.

The rest of the period wasn’t so bad from a Colorado perspective, especially the mishmash second line the Avalanche put together. Casey Mittelstadt, Yakov Trenin, and Brandon Duhaime created the majority of Colorado’s best chances, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Trenin finished the period with three of Colorado’s six shots on goal. The only reason they were together is because Jonathan Drouin was a late scratch due to a lower-body injury. He rolled his ankle in the second period on Tuesday against the Flames, but finished the game.

Second Period

The sleepy game continued for most of the second period, as both teams were actually doing a pretty solid job of defending. Vancouver, in particular, got in every shooting lane, blocking a lot of what Colorado was trying to send towards Casey DeSmith.

A little under five minutes into the game, the Canucks got a goal that I’m sure Alexandar Georgiev would like back. Conor Garland chipped the puck to himself entering the zone, and carried the puck behind the net. When he got to the other side, he sent it to Nikita Zadorov at the point, who one-timed a shot past Georgiev’s glove. It wasn’t exactly a bomb, and you could tell from Georgiev’s reaction that he knew he probably should have had it.

Soon after, Zadorov and Josh Manson tussled off a face-off, likely a response to Manson’s hit on J.T. Miller late in period one. Nothing really happened in the fight, though. Zero punches were thrown, but both of them were somehow given five minutes for fighting.

It looked like the Avalanche would head to the intermission down three goals, but under three seconds left, they finally solved DeSmith. Mittelstadt threw a puck into the slot that hit no one, but a pinching Devon Toews corralled it and send it to the front of the net, where Mikko Rantanen deflected it past DeSmith, making it 3-1.

Third Period

It turns out that goals at the end of a period do help a team gain some momentum. The third period was all Colorado, despite being the team that is “supposed” to be tired. They outshot Vancouver 17-3, and kept the home team on their heels.

Just a few minutes into the period, the Canucks took a few penalties, giving the Avalanche a 41 second 5-on-3. They’ve struggled with a two-man advantage this season, but made things look easy this time.

It helps when you have Nathan MacKinnon there to fire rockets. 15 seconds into the two man advantage, MacKinnon blasted a shot over DeSmith’s shoulder, a shot so fast that the goalie never looked like he saw it. Suddenly, it was a one goal game.

Colorado kept pushing, but they did needed some help from their depth. They finally got that five minutes later, as the third line hemmed the Canucks in their zone for an extended period of time. DeSmith was scrambling in net, and stopped the wrap-around attempt from Miles Wood. However, he was so out of control that most of his body was inside the net. Ross Colton sent the rebound towards the net, and it sat on DeSmith’s pads, which were well behind the goal line. A quick video review confirmed it was a good goal, and the comeback was complete.

Alexandar Georgiev didn’t have his best game, but he did have to make a big save on Hoglander in front of the net on a late Canucks powerplay to keep the game tied. This game needed overtime, but the Avalanche entered the extra period with a powerplay, as Carson Soucy sent a puck over the glass with less than 10 seconds left in regulation.


The extra period didn’t last very long. Just 28 seconds in, a MacKinnon one-timer hit a Canucks forward, then deflected off the visor of Valeri Nichushkin in front into the back of the, giving the Avalanche the 4-3 win. With the comeback, the Avalanche tied the Dallas Stars for the most come-from-behind wins in the NHL at 21.

Colorado will get a few days off now before they head to Edmonton to take on Connor McDavid and the Oilers. That game starts at 8 PM MST on Saturday.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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