Avalanche squeak out of Edmonton with a point in overtime loss to Oilers

Feb 22, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) and Colorado Avalanche defensemen Duncan Siemens (15) battle for a loose puck during the third period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Just four days after what was perhaps the most heart-breaking loss of the season, the Avalanche had a chance at revenge against the Edmonton Oilers — this time in their barn. Redemption was almost achieved, but the Avs ultimately fell to the Oilers by the score of 3-2 in overtime.

Last time the Avalanche were on the ice they won the game in dramatic fashion coming from behind to beat the Vancouver Canucks. Thursday night’s matchup in Edmonton was nearly the same story. The Avs displayed their resilience once more, coming back from a 2-0 deficit in a game that looked to have been lost early from Colorado’s standpoint.

To no one’s surprise, the first period ended in a 0-0 tie as the Avalanche seemingly do more often than not. In fact, the Avs have allowed the fewest first-period goals in the NHL. Unfortunately, however, they are also at the bottom of the league in scoring first-period goals — 25th out of 31 — so for the 19th time this season they would head into the second period notched at zero.

Two Edmonton goals in the second period left the Avs trailing and looking defeated as they were behind in the shot count 32-19. Then, on Colorado’s final shot of the period, Sam Girard got one past Edmonton’s Cam Talbot from the point with 19 seconds on the clock, breathing some life into the Avs heading into the third. The goal was Girard’s second goal and 14th point in an Avalanche sweater.

The momentum from Girard’s goal carried over into the third period when the Avalanche tied the game at two on a Collin Wilson goal 50 seconds in — his sixth of the year.

Frustrated by his team’s effort, coach Jared Bednar shook up his line combinations and played a majority of the third period with a scrambled lineup, and shortened a few players’ time on ice for the night — namely Nikita Zadorov who was benched due to his performance.

The rest of the period featured some back-and-forth five-on-five hockey as there were no penalties called and each team would get its fair share of chances. The shot count at the end of regulation was 43-29 in Edmonton’s favor.

Overtime began with somewhat of an obscure line from coach Bednar as he threw Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Nieto, and Tyson Barrie out to start the three-on-three.

The Avalanche were only capable of one shot on net in overtime when Connor McDavid scored his sixth goal in three games against Colorado this year at 2:19 into extra time.

The Avalanche were lucky to get out of Edmonton with a point and will look ahead to the final game of their three-game Canadian road trip when they head to Calgary to face the Flames this Saturday in a matinee. Puck drop is a 2 PM MST.

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