In their sixth matchup this season the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche managed to each gain a two goal lead over the other. However both teams managed to come back up and tie leading to a shootout game.
Arizona took the quick and early lead with two goals by Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski in the first. Chychrun managed to put the puck under new goaltender Jonas Johansson, while Goligoski put it in from behind as Johansson was stuck to the far post after being caught up by a play with Phil Kessel. Arizona was allowed these goals due to Colorado taking a slow start to the game. In fact, Colorado didn’t have a single shot on net for about nine minutes into the game. It wasn’t until late into the first that Gabriel Landeskog managed to get the Avalanche within one. A minute later Mikko Rantanen lifted the puck over the shoulder of Adin Hill to tie at two. The momentum continued as Colorado scored another two unanswered goals between the second and third period to create a 4-2 game, one of which being Nathan MacKinnon’s 200th career goal.
MacKinnon took the one-timer off a pass from defenseman Samuel Girard. Through traffic, the puck then flew in right under the glove of Hill and into the back of the net. This marked a 3-2 lead for the Avalanche and was a turning point in them taking charge in the second.
The Avalanche lost their two goal lead just as fast as they gained it by giving Arizona the room to attack once more. Lawson Crouse and Phil Kessel both scored in the third finishing out the game at 4-4. Crouse was a force for the Coyotes last night as he seemed to be right on top of the net as well as, breaking up passes such as one on MacKinnon late into the third. This ultimately cost them as the game went into a shootout where Arizona converted on all three attempts finishing with three goals for them and one goal for Colorado. Game concluded with the Coyotes winning with a score of 5-4.
With that, this shows that Johansson needs room to grow between the posts. The Avalanche have four goaltenders at their disposal with Philipp Grubauer showing huge potential with a .930% save percentage. The Avalanche may look next game against Vegas to put in Grubauer who has won each of his last five games in net and with playing such a strong team, he may be Colorado’s best bet with Adam Werner placed as backup goaltender. Grubauer has faced the Knights many times this season and has the experience behind him to give him both confidence and expertise going into the game.
Looking towards Thursday night’s game against Vegas, the Colorado Avalanche should look to stay out of the box more having faced four penalty kills last night. They didn’t allow too many giveaways especially since Arizona had twelve to their four throughout the entire game. Therefore you can expect to see strong puck possession by the Avalanche one more. If they can come into the matchup with a strong start rather than finding their momentum later on into the first period then they may be able to get a jump on the Vegas Golden Knights to help get them a victory. This was a challenge for them just last month they had lost 0-3 against them on February 22.