DENVER — The right things are being said, but the words aren’t translating to on-ice performance. That might be the simplest way to describe the Avalanche’s sluggish Friday night performance.

The Avs lost 3-2 to the Seattle Kraken at Ball Arena. Despite fighting back from a two-goal deficit for the second consecutive game, the result was the same. This time in regulation.

“Sloppy, poor execution. Really the whole night,” head coach Jared Bednar said.

Colorado was outshot 38-20 and had just one shot the rest of the way after giving up the go-ahead goal with 7:54 remaining. Whatever is lacking from the Stanley Cup champions — that ingredient that makes them one of the best — is something they’re still trying to figure out themselves.

“(The players) are saying the right things. We are, as a group,” Bednar said. “But it’s not translating. So sometimes you gotta keep going over things.”

With the game tied at 2-2, Colorado seemed to catch a break when Kraken goalie Philipp Grubauer had to get pulled for an injury. He was replaced by backup Martin Jones, who played 9:43 and faced a single shot. The go-ahead goal from Kraken forward Karson Kuhlman came just moments after Jones entered the game.

The Avs were outshot 14-5 in the third period.

“Tough to get shots when you can’t execute and can’t make decisions,” Bednar said. “Sloppy. spent the whole night defending.”

At the other end, Pavel Francouz started his second game of the season for Colorado and dropped to 0-2 on the season. Francouz kept the Avs in it for most of the night, making 35 saves.

“We hung him out to dry there late but he was really good,” Newhook said of Francouz. “He made some big saves and kept us in the game. A game we should have won.”

The teams entered the second period scoreless. Both had opportunities in the first but it was a relatively quiet start. The Kraken stormed out the gate in the middle frame, scoring two quick goals within the first two minutes.

From there, it was catch-up hockey once again for Colorado.

The Avs eventually pulled within a goal thanks to a tally from Evan Rodrigues. His first of the season was a crucial goal in giving the home team life.

Forward Alex Newhook and Rodrigues had easily their strongest performances of the season. Newhook had ample opportunity to find the back of the net but couldn’t beat Grubauer. In the first period, he dipsy-doodled past the defender on the rush and was stopped on a backhand opportunity by Grubauer’s pad.

And in the second, Newhook took a pass from Cale Makar on the power play and was alone in front of Grubauer but was once again stopped. He also set up Rodrigues for a big chance in the early stages of the game that also was stopped.

“It’s definitely coming a little bit more,” Newhook said of his chemistry with Rodrigues. “But at the end of the day, our secondary offense still has to produce a little more and it’s coming but we gotta find it.”

Rodrigues and Newhook started the evening with Andrew Cogliano on the third line but were eventually paired with Valeri Nichushkin as the game progressed. Bednar said they had a strong start to the game and earned second-line minutes, but is still looking for a 60-minute effort from the pair.

Nichushkin’s assist to Rodrigues was his first of two spectacular feeds. On Colorado’s second goal — a shorthanded tally from defenseman Bowen Byram – Nichushkin was also the set-up man.

Nichushkin started the shorthanded rush up the ice and found a trailing Byram for a one-timer past Grubauer.

Grubauer was in discomfort after the goal and skated directly to his bench to have a conversation with a trainer. At the next commercial break, he was replaced by Jones.

The goal from Byram was the last good opportunity the Avalanche had.

“We’re definitely lacking a bit of that compete and that little bit of a want and a need to win that we had all of last year,” Newhook said.

Without Devon Toews, who missed the game with an injury that Bednar called day-to-day, Colorado elevated Byram to the top pair to play alongside Makar. Byram played 25:42 and was a plus-2, scoring on one of his two shots.

Samuel Girard was elevated to the second pair and Kurtis MacDermid drew in as the sixth defenseman just two games after playing as a forward on the fourth line.

In the first period, MacDermid dropped the gloves with towering defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Both exchanged jabs with Colorado’s heavyweight getting the better of the tilt.

It was the Avs’ second fighting major of the season and MacDermid’s first.

Aarif Deen is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.