The Colorado Avalanche lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-3 in overtime. Find out why they dropped their third game in a row.
The Colorado Avalanche dropped tonight’s game to the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime, 4-3. They’ve now lost three games in a row, with the first two being in regulation.
Andre Burakovsky opened the scoring in the first period, with assists from Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. The next three goals were all from Tampa Bay, all in the second period. Then Nathan MacKinnon (Gabriel Landeskog, Erik Johnson) cut the lead to one with a late-period goal.
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The score of 3-3 took the Avalanche and Lightning into overtime. Bolts forward Nikita Kucherov scored with just under two minutes left.
So, that’s how it happened. Let’s look at why it happened.
Struggling Power Play
The Colorado Avalanche scored on one of their four power plays, putting them at 25%. So, it seems a little odd to blame the power play for the loss.
However, the Avalanche’s power play goal came in the first period — Burakovsky’s tally. The next three power plays were all at important times. One came after the loss of Rantanen (more in a moment), another came after a scrum, and the last would have let them win the game.
More to the point, only the first power play looked any good. For a team that has as much firepower as Colorado does, they should at least look dominant with the man-advantage.
Puck Possession in Overtime
Tampa Bay won in overtime. Though Colorado won the first faceoff of overtime, and had the first few chances. Tampa controlled the play for much of the three minutes the two teams played.
The Avalanche spent the majority of overtime chasing after the puck. In the end, when they finally got it, they turned the puck over in their offensive zone.
Nikita Kucherov picked it up and was off on a breakaway. He scored.
Mikko Rantanen Injured
Midway through the second period, Erik Cernak tripped Mikko Rantanen near the boards. Rantanen fell awkwardly into the boards and immediately started clutching his left shoulder. He got up right away, but skated immediately for the bench without retrieving his stick — always a sign of a skater in distress.
He headed straight down the tunnel to the locker room, and that was it for Rantanen for the night.
The loss of Rantanen didn’t necessarily cost the Colorado Avalanche the game on the scoreboard. However, it’s a big loss. In a deviation from the norm, the coaching staff announced already after the game that Rantanen would miss “weeks.”
Side note: Early in the season the Colorado Avalanche suffered a spate of injuries. Fans and pundits alike commented, “At least we’re getting them out of the way early” as if there was some finite amount of injuries a team could suffer. I pointed out then that there was not.
I hate to be right in this instance.
Quick shoutout to Ryan Graves. The game started getting chippy. At one point, superstar Nathan MacKinnon laid a clean hit on a Bolts player. Tampa’s Anthony Cirelli took exception to the check and went after MacKinnon in an attempt to get him to fight — as if Nate hadn’t been getting run all night.
Graves immediately skated over to Cirelli to get in his face. He overskated, so Cirelli went after MacKinnon again. Graves got all 6-foot-5, 220 pounds of his body in Cirelli’s way and refused to let him — and two other Bolts — make an issue with our superstar. Props, Gravy.
With this latest injury, the Colorado Avalanche now have the following players on IR:
- Mikko Rantanen (week to week)
- Goalie Philipp Grubauer (day to day)
- Forward Matt Calvert (week to week)
- Forward Nazem Kadri (week to week)
- Forward Colin Wilson (indefinite)
Colorado will likely make a callup from the Eagles — they already have forward TJ Tynan and goalie Hunter Miska. However, those injuries when the Avalanche are poised to make a deep playoff run may make for a more active trade deadline than usual.
The Colorado Avalanche next play on Wednesday February 19 when they host the New York Islanders.