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Colorado Avalanche

Avalanche Lose 4-1 To Lowly Blue Jackets, Fall Behind In Race For Division




If the Colorado Avalanche don’t win the Central Division, it might be because they lost to the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets down the stretch.


The Avalanche peppered Daniil Tarasov with shots, especially in the third period, but could only beat him once. That wasn’t good enough, as they were a little too sloppy with the puck in the second period, leading to three Columbus goals. Cole Sillinger scored an empty net goal to send the Avalanche home with a 4-1 loss to Columbus. This was Colorado’s game in hand on Dallas, who now have a three point lead for the top spot in the Central Division. Colorado owns the tiebreaker against Dallas, but they no longer control their own destiny.

Chris Wagner scored the only goal for the Avalanche, while Justus Annunen stopped 21 shots in the loss.

First Period

Period one was not a memorable one, so if you missed it, you didn’t miss a whole lot.

Colorado had the majority of the scoring chances, which you would expect given their opponent, but couldn’t beat Tarasov. Perhaps their best chance came just seconds into the game, as a turnover in front of the Columbus net gave Lehkonen a great look. His shot snuck through Tarasov, but didn’t quite get over the goal line. A few minutes later, Cale Makar hit a post, but that was as close as they’d get.

Both teams got late powerplays but neither team was able to capitalize.

Second Period

Even at their worst, the Avalanche are talented enough to create scoring chances, and they did plenty of that on Monday night, but everything felt a little too easy. Tarasov was seeing everything, and at the other end, the Avalanche were making life far too easy for the Blue Jackets.

Columbus got the opening goal of the game on what looked like a pretty harmless rush, led by…Erik Gubrandson? The veteran defenseman, not known for his offense, hit Marchenko in the slot. The Russian winger tipped a puck right through Annunen, making it 1-0 on a goal the Avalanche netminder probably wants back.

The Avalanche could have used the next goal, and it looked like they’d get a nice opportunity after Gaudreau turned it over in his own zone, but instead, Josh Manson gave it right back to the Blue Jackets. That created a rush the other way and a chance for Alex Nylander. The Swedish winger came down the right wing, got to the circle, and labeled a shot over the glove of Annunen, making it 2-0.

A two goal deficit is nothing for this Avalanche squad, so no time to panic. However, Colorado’s powerplay just a minute after the Nylander goal didn’t exactly inspire confidence or create momentum.

With just under two minutes remaining in the second, Nylander struck again, this time corralling a puck that had been stuck in Sean Walker’s pants to make it 3-0.

The Avalanche can come back from any deficit, but doing it over and over again is not a recipe for success.

Third Period

Colorado did come out with a lot more energy in the third period, and you’d hope so given what the score was. The man advantage is what did them in, but not for lack of trying. The Avalanche peppered Tarasov with shots, but couldn’t beat him on two third period powerplays.

Chris Wagner, called up to replace Yakov Trenin, gave the Avalanche a brief spark, as he tipped home a Walker shot to end the shutout bid, but that was all Colorado would get on the night. Seconds after MacKinnon hit the post with the net empty, Cole Sillinger sealed the game for the Blue Jackets.

Colorado now will have a few days off before a back-to-back on Thursday and Friday against the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers.

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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