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Game 2 Recap: Second Period Fallout
By Richard Gonzalez
The Colorado Avalanche looked for some redemption after their game one loss to the Dallas Stars. The Avalanche would be without goaltender, Philipp Grubauer, defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Matt Calvert. The Avalanche would make a statement by heavily outshooting the Stars and taking a two-goal lead in the first period, but the Stars would find success on a five-on-three power play to tie the game up and would use that momentum to cruise to a 5-2 win.
The Avalanche dominated the first period outshooting the Stars 20-6 and scored a power-play goal by Nathan Mackinnon. Mikko Rantanen to give their team a two-goal lead when he scored on the power play in the second period. The Stars would convert twice on a five-on-three advantage to tie the game up. A lucky bounce and a questionable goal would give the Stars a two-goal lead to end the second. The Avalanche would not come back and even allowed an empty-net goal in the third to put the nail in the coffin for game three. The Avalanche only scored two goals out of ten power play opportunities. The did get out hit 60-29, by the Stars.
MacKinnon extended his point streak to ten consecutive games with his goal and assist. His ten-game point streak has him tied for first in franchise history. Marian Stastny (10) and Joe Sakic (10) are the other leaders for the longest point streak. MacKinnon’s 16 points also leads the league in points. Rantanen also had a goal and assist. Cale Makar and Gabriel Landeskog each had an assist. Makar played 27:48 of the game, Mackinnon had eight shots and Valeri Nichushkin had eight hits. Kevin Connauton would make his Stanley Cup appearance replacing Johnson.
Quote Of The Game:
“I don’t know how they’re going to explain this one,” Landeskog said via Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic regarding the controversy about the Stars’ fourth goal.
NHL’s Three Stars:
1. Radek Faksa, power-play tying goal.
2. Nathan MacKinnon, a goal and assist.
3. Anton Khudobin, 39 saves on 41 shots.
Coach Bednar called out his team and they responded quickly, especially in the first where they controlled the entire period. Mackinnon had more shots on goal than the entire Stars’ players. The refs did screw up a lot too. Mackinnon was intentionally speared, which should have been a game misconducted, but only a minor slash was called. A scrum happened in front of the Avalanche net and Sam Girard is the only one called on the penalty. Then Esa Lindell pushed the puck and Pavel Francouz for the Stars fourth goal, but there was not a definite view that shows the puck cross the line and not to mention the goalie interference.
Regardless of how you want to interpret this, the thing is the Avalanche left their hearts in the locker room and could not respond to the Stars’ five unanswered goals. They had ten power play opportunities and only scored two goals. Once the Stars got the lead, the Avalanche just shut down and already felt defeated. The third period was some of the worst hockey I have seen so far from the Avalanche and if they cannot respond to adversity then they have no business competing for the Stanley Cup. The need to forget about this game and get ready for game three. They need to play a speedy and more physical game three. This team is better than the two games they played so they must go and find their game or be ready to head home.
Due to Grubauer being out indefinitely, the Avalanche have recalled goaltender Hunter Miska to the Western bubble.
Game three will be played on Aug 26, 2020, at 8:30 (MT) at Rogers Arena, Edmonton, Alberta. The Avalanche will be the “away” team and the Stars will be the “home” team.
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August 25th, 2020