The Colorado Avalanche entered this new week coming off a very awful home loss to the St. Louis Blues, and now, the team looked to make up for their defeat while returning to the road to face off against a very familiar foe: the Seattle Kraken. This is the last meeting of the season between these two clubs; with the teams splitting the first two games. Not only were the Avs looking to win the season series against Seattle, they were also looking to do something that hadn't been done in weeks: score a goal on the road.
The goalie matchup was Alexandar Georgiev vs Joey Daccord, the latter being Seattle's backup goalie. Seattle had the first shots, and then...they scored first. Again. Brandon Tanev, in his first game back, put one in, and for the 10th straight meeting, the Kraken led 1-0 over the Avalanche. Seriously, this needs to stop. First power play went to the Avalanche, but it was nearly disastrous. Seattle had a 2-on-1 breakaway, and Alex Wennberg made it 2-0 after repeated shot attempts. At least that's what was believed. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar challenged for goaltender interference, and it was shown that Tanev shoved Georgiev's left pad. Goal was disallowed, but the rest of the Avs PP ended up killed.
The Avs trailed 1-0 after 20, but started the 2nd on the power play thanks to Tanev tripping Mikko Rantanen with 0.3 left in the 1st. It became 4-on-4 after Valeri Nichushkin's penalty, then Seattle got another power play, which was killed off. Even so, the Avs created a myriad of chances, and finally, at 12:05, it paid off. Rantanen scored his 10th of the season to tie it up, with the assists coming from Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews. Shortly after that goal, Colorado received a power play, and that paid off as well. Ross Colton gave the Avs the lead for the first time, with Toews and Tomas Tatar assisting. Avs continued pressing, though Seattle made their attempts to tie the game as well. With 1:03 left in the frame, Seattle went back on the power play, though after 40, the Avs led 2-1.
The rest of the power play was killed off, and regarding the Avs, Cale Makar netted his fourth of the season to make it 3-1. Tatar picked up his second assist of the game, while the secondary assist went to Caleb Jones, who was called up from the minors. Seattle was looking to catch up, but the Avs were still on the attack. Then, at 9:09, Jonathan Drouin finally scored his first Avs goal, and I was so happy for him, as I had been a fan of his back when he was with the Canadiens. The assists came from MacKinnon and Rantanen, and that made it 4-1. The game was out of reach for the Kraken, and Vince Dunn knew it, as he let the officials have it after he was called for a penalty. So he got four minutes, but the power play became a 4-on-4 after Droun committed his own infraction. A Seattle penalty turned this whole thing into a 4-on-3 for the Avs, and it was Valeri Nichushkin with the goal to seal it even tighter.
We needed this one...badly! Rantanen's goal was the our first road goal since the 7-4 win over the New York Islanders. Also, the 5-1 win locks up the season series over the Kraken, taking it 2-1, with both wins coming on the road. This was quite a special win. Jonathan Drouin finally scored his first Avs goal, and actually has points in two straight games. Nathan MacKinnon had three points (all helpers), Devon Toews and Tomas Tatar had two points each, and we got to see Caleb Jones in action for the first time. Caleb Jones is the younger brother of Seth Jones, and they are both the sons of NBA legend Popeye Jones. He was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers, but spent the last two seasons playing alongside his brother with the Chicago Blackhawks. Not only the younger Jones make his Avs debut in this game, he had an assist as well. Very awesome.
I have to mention this. Remember this guy, Avs fans? That's Joel Kiviranta, who was officially signed by the Avs one day before this game was played. Kiviranta is quite infamous to us Avs fans; in the 2020 bubble, Kiviranta was part of the Dallas Stars, and he had a hat trick in Game Seven of the West Semis against the Avs, including an overtime winner. Our knack for signing Avs killers continues; first Andrew Brunette (the final player to score on Patrick Roy), and now Kiviranta. I'm honestly surprised (and a bit disappointed) that we haven't had Nino Niederreiter, though watch Oliver Bjorkstrand end up in an Avs jersey in due time.
Next up, the Avalanche will return home to face the Anaheim Ducks, but after that, it's a highly important Central Division meeting with the Dallas Stars. That will be off the chain, no doubt.
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