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Avalanche Winning Streak Snapped In Sleepy 2-1 Loss To Canadiens



Avalanche Rantanen

Nathan MacKinnon extended his home streak to 35 games early on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, that was about the only good thing to happen to the Colorado Avalanche.

The Canadiens took the lead late in the first period, and never gave it up, beating the Avalanche by a score of 2-1. Tuesday night marked the first time the Avalanche had lost since March 2, and their first loss at home since Feb. 24. You win some, you lose some, but losing to a team that has no chance of making the playoffs certainly stings when you’re trying to win the division. Colorado looked like a team lacking energy after an emotional win on Sunday, and their coach said as much after the game.

MacKinnon’s 45th goal of the year was the lone bright spot offensively, but I guess you could look at Justus Annunen‘s performance in net and feel okay. He stopped 25 of 27 Montreal shots on the day he signed a two-year contract extension.

First Period

It didn’t take long for Nathan MacKinnon to extend his home point streak.

Just 43 seconds into the game, MacKinnon got on the board, and it was all started by Jonathan Drouin keeping the puck in at the offensive blueline. From there, Devon Toews hit Mikko Rantanen, who one-touched the puck over to a wide open MacKinnon for the goal. About as perfect a start as you could ask for.

That fun lasted just nine seconds, as Nick Suzuki beat Casey Mittelstadt off at the blueline for a two-on-one. Suzuki beat Annunen, who didn’t look ready for the shot, and just 52 seconds into the game, both teams had scored on their first shot.

Colorado had the only two powerplays of the period, but failed to capitalize on either of them. Not for lack of trying, though. The Avalanche did hit a few posts in the first, as both Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen struck iron.

At 14:53, Montreal broke the tie, as a point shot somehow managed to sneak through Annunen. The refs never blew the whistle, as they had the perfect view to see it had trickled behind Annunen. Joel Armia picked up the puck and wrapped it around, giving the Canadiens the 2-1 lead.

Second Period

Sleepy would be one word to describe the second period. In fact, it might be the only word to describe it. Colorado held most of the possession in the second, but a lot of it came from the outside. Their passing wasn’t particularly crisp, and that led to a lot of their possessions ending without any dangerous chances.

The two teams combined for 15 shots, but nothing went into the net, so the Canadiens carried their lead into the third.

Third Period

It really didn’t feel like the Avalanche tested Montembeault much in the third period, and they finished with just eight shots, which is a low amount for a team like this coming from behind.

A big reason why they only generated eight shots is penalties. Sean Walker spent six of the final 9 minutes in the penalty box. He was called for hooking first, as Josh Anderson snuck behind him for a mini-break, and then he high-sticked Gallagher late, which made a comeback borderline impossible.

Colorado pulled the goaltender, but really didn’t get a great shot off. The nine game winning streak officially came to an end when the clock hit zero, as the Avalanche fell to the Canadiens 2-1.

The competition will pick up a fair bit on Thursday, when the New York Rangers come to town. They became the first team to hit 100 points on Tuesday night, so the Avalanche will need their A-game, which they definitely didn’t have against the Canadiens.

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