Colorado Avalanche Vs Pittsburgh Penguins Game Observations


The Colorado Avalanche faced the Pittsburgh Penguins last night in a generally hard fought game, but they were thwarted in the third period once more.

The Colorado Avalanche went into the third period with a 2-1 lead, and surrendered it for a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night. The loss was more of the same for the Avalanche, as they gave up another third period lead and didn’t even end up with a point in the game.

First Period

The Colorado Avalanche opened with a strong first period, as Matt Duchene opened the scoring with his 15th goal of the season. Nathan MacKinnon took a shot just inside the blue line, which bounced off the Penguins’ defensemen to Duchene for the goal.

However, the Penguins quickly responded when Matt Cullen, former Minnesota Wild player, tipped a point shot in from Olli Maata.

It wasn’t long before the Colorado Avalanche responded with a goal of their own though, when Erik Johnson took it 200 feet on a give and go with Carl Soderberg. After Soderberg took a nice pass from EJ just over the blue line, he quickly returned the biscuit and Johnson roofed it on a deflection.

And so, the Colorado Avalanche went into the second period with a 2-1 lead, and the shots even for the period at ten a piece.

Second Period

More from Mile High Sticking

Well, the second period was not such a good one for the Colorado Avalanche; in fact, it was pretty hard to watch as they sloppily tossed around the puck and had turnover after turnover.

Erik Johnson over-skated the puck once, giving a Pens’ forward a wide open opportunity to walk in on Berra — luckily Berra was stable during the second.

MacKinnon also had a few timely giveaways in the neutral zone, and the top line was certainly missing the presence of Gabe Landeskog tonight — a late scratch in the game for a back injury.

Nonetheless, Reto Berra was stellar during the second period, and stopped all 13 of the shots that he faced. Marc-Andre Fleury was also stalwart, but he only had to stop 4 shots during the second period. Regardless the score was still in favor of Colorado 2-1 going into the third.

Third Period

The Colorado Avalanche actually played a better statistical period during the third than their second period performance, as they outshot Pittsburgh 12-10 during the final frame.

However, a good amount of those shots came on the man advantage. The Colorado Avalanche had an early period 5-4, that turned into a thirty-six second 5-3, and then back into a 5-4 for another 1:24. The Avs were unable to score on any of their opportunities, going 0/5 on the night.

Well, the Pens jumped on the momentum of the storm they weathered early in the period, and were able to jump out to a 4-2 lead with a little less than ten minutes left in the third. They scored three goals in the span of three minutes and twenty-four seconds to take the 4-2 lead.

More From Mile High Sticking: John Mitchell’s Game-Winning Goal

Beau Bennet scored two goals sandwiched around a fluky goal by Olli Maata that Patrick Roy challenged for goaltender interference. He was unable to convince the referees of what he clearly saw.

It did appear as though Nick Holden was pushed into Berra by Patrick Hornqvist, obstructing his view, but the refs saw it differently.

Anyway, the Colorado Avalanche again attempted to come back from a late third period deficit to no avail. Fleury fought back against the flurry of the Colorado Avalanche, and the Pens held onto a 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche.

Final Thoughts

The Colorado Avalanche just can’t seem to put any consistency together, and another loss on home ice is going to sting even more. Especially when considering the stretch of games they are about to be faced with. They play the next 3 on the road, with each opponent wearing the mark of the division.

Next: Colorado Avalanche Need to Put it All Together

Nashville will be the first stop in a back-to-back this weekend that also features St. Louis on Sunday. Then on Tuesday they’ll face the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, and the red-hot Patrick Kane.

If they come out of this stretch with a 2-1 record, that would be impressive, but don’t count on it. Nonetheless, they sport a pretty good division record so far, and this will be the first time they play any of these teams so perhaps they’ll set saddles ablaze.

Until next time folks…

What do you think Avs fans? What can this team do to turn it around? How will they fare on this upcoming road trip? Let us know in the comments!