Avalanche fall to Flyers in first game after bye week

Feb 1, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Kevin Hayes (13) scores a shorthanded goal against Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) and goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche returned from their bye week and lost their first of a five-game homestand against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Colorado started strong but exited the first period down two goals before falling 6-3 a frustrating defeat.

Trailing 2-0, the Avs began to claw back in the second period. Defenseman Nikita Zadorov got on the board, scoring his third of the season. But after the Flyers regained their two-goal lead, winger Mikko Rantanen scored on the power play to make it 3-2 before the break.

Colorado’s frustrating night continued as the Flyers took a 4-2 lead as forward Joel Farabee scored his second of the game. The eventual game-winner came with just over 12 minutes remaining after a turnover by the Avs in the defensive zone. Colorado answered back once more but a shorthanded goal from Philadelphia and an empty-netter sealed the win for the home team.

Takeaways

Grubauer struggled in his return from the 10-day break. After winning his last two games before the All-Star break, Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer struggled, surrendering two goals in the first period despite Colorado outshooting the Flyers 11-7. Grubauer finishing the evening with 23 saves on 28 shots.

Colorado could not overcome its first-period deficit. And what makes it more frustrating is that the Flyers’ second goal came with just 4.5 seconds remaining in the opening frame. Had the Avs kept it a one-goal game, perhaps the outcome would have been different. But Colorado was unable to fight back, constantly allowing a goal after scoring one.

Burakovsky and Nichushkin were strong on the second line. Despite the return of Joonas Donskoi, forward Valeri Nichushkin remaining on Colorado’s second line alongside Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri. The Russian forward assisted on Burakovsky’s goal, who finished with two points. Donskoi played on a line with Tyson Jost and Matt Nieto.

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