The Colorado Avalanche are coming off a huge 8-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks, winning back-to-back games for the first time since the team's 6-0 start. The Avs left Ball Arena and headed on a two game divisional road swing, with the first stop being a big one: Dallas. The Dallas Stars have had to start over after missing the playoffs in that shortened 2020-21 season (following their Cup Final run in the bubble), with the following season seeing them snag a Wild Card spot, and last year saw them in the Conference Finals. Entering this weekend, the Stars and Avs are one and two in the Central Division, and this was Colorado's chances to make a dent in their small division deficit, as well as remind the Stars just who the hell this team is.
It was Alexandar Georgiev in net for the Avs against Jake Oettinger, and the start was a bit shaky. There were no shots until the near five minute mark of the game, and as the shots started to pile up, Tyler Seguin's shot managed to somehow get in up top. So Dallas was up 1-0, and afterwards, Cale Makar's shot hit the crossbar and out. The game's first power play went to Dallas, and that was a successful one. 2-0 Dallas thanks to, who else? Joe Pavelski. Seriously, the man doesn't age. There was pressing from both sides, but after 20 minutes, the Avs were down 2-0. Entering this game, the Avs were 5-5 when the opponent scores first, and 3-5 when trailing after the first.
The 2nd period was infuriating for Avs fans, as we had to watch the Stars get away with all sorts of stuff. It was bad enough that Seguin netted his second of the night, but referees refused to call anything on Dallas. Ross Colton gets held and shoved into the net? Sure, no problem! Mikko Rantanen getting mugged in front of the net? Go right ahead. But do not, and I mean do not simply stand next to a Stars player. Nathan MacKinnon did that and it earned him two minutes in the box. Even worse, Joel Kiviranta shot the puck over the glass, so that became a 5-on-3 for Dallas, which was successfully killed off. The Avs finally got on the board during the second period; Miles Wood broke away and scored while drawing a penalty, and for some reason, Peter DeBoer decided to challenge for goaltender interference. The goal ended up counting, and that resulted in a power play for the Avs. That was killed off, but Colorado got another PP shortly afterwards, and that was successful. Ryan Johansen tips in Makar's shot, and it's a one goal game.
The Avs trailed 3-2 after two periods; entering this game, Colorado was 1-5 when trailing after 40 minutes. To say this period was all Avs would be an understatement. Colorado did get a power play, but that was unsuccessful. The big push was still there, and Valeri Nichushkin tied it up early in the frame. After that, the Avs bombarded Oettinger for the rest of the period, and at 14:32, Mikko Rantanen put in his 11th of the season, and for the first time in this game, the Avs took the lead. 11 seconds later, Andrew Cogliano tapped it in after Oettinger left that puck unattended after a save. So just like that, it was 5-3 for Colorado. With just under three minutes left, Oettinger was pulled for the extra attacker, Dallas had close calls, but Colton iced with an empty netter at the final minute.
In the immortal words of Jabberjaw's BFF, Clam-Head, "Wowee wow wow!!!" This has to be our best win of the season so far! It was a 3-0 deficit and the Avs had to play against the Stars and the refs for the most part. We followed that up with six unanswered goals, with four of them occurring in the third period! Keep in mind, this was in a highly important Central Division matchup against the Dallas Stars. The scary part about this win: no points from Nathan MacKinnon. Yeah. The win over Anaheim saw no points from Rantanen, and in this victory, it was MacKinnon's turn to be shut out offensively. The Avs have won three straight, and we've scored a grand total of 19 goals in those three games: just over six goals a game!
The Avalanche will be off to Nashville on Monday, and on Thanksgiving Eve Wednesday, the team returns home to face off against the Vancouver Canucks. It's a safe bet that the Avs will be above the playoff line by Turkey Day, and that's a good sign for teams who are in that exact situation, as very few of them fall off.
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