The Avalanche were looking for redemption Thursday night against a Calgary Flames team that beat them earlier this month in a heartbreaking overtime finish. Instead, they got their hearts broken again, perhaps on a bigger scale, after letting a 4-1 lead going into the third period slip away as the Flames scored five goals in the final 20 minutes to hand the Avs their fourth regulation loss of the year by a 6-5 final score.
After a 0-0 first period, the Avs found their scoring touch and had a monstrous second period scoring four goals while only allowing one. The third-period meltdown, unfortunately, overshadowed the first-career goals from both Vladislav Kamenev and Sheldon Dries and the depth scoring, which has been absent as of late, was able to add to the scoresheet as well with Carl Soderberg and Colin Wilson each adding a goal of their own.
Sheldon Dries and Colin Wilson ended the night as offensive standouts for the Avalanche scoring a goal and an assist each.
As the third period began, the Avalanche were outmatched in shot attempts as Calgary attempted 42 shots to Colorado’s 20. Within 47 seconds into the period, the Flames scoring melee ensued when a Flames power-play goal scored by Elias Lindholm began the comeback and reignited his team’s confidence.
In the following 14 minutes, the Flames scored four more goals and the 6-4 game seemed to be out of reach for the Avalanche as they were not only losing the goal count but were getting dominated by a confident and offensively-talented Flames team that took over the momentum out of nowhere.
The Avs were able to muster up a late goal, credited to Gabe Landeskog for his eleventh goal of the year on a scramble around the net that was later challenged by the Flames bench for goalie interference. The goal stood with 1:03 left in the game and Calgary was penalized for the incorrect goal challenge, leaving the Avalanche with hope for a final push to force overtime.
The Avalanche fell short and their record now stands at a competitive 7-4-2 record totaling 16 points and they won’t see the Flames again until January 9.
Semyon Varlamov ended with a season-low .838 save percentage Thursday, the first time he has dipped below a .900, allowing six goals on 37 shots and will have the night off on Friday when the Avalanche head to Vancouver to face the Canucks for the first time this year.
The Avs will face some pressure as they look to avoid losing for the fourth time in five games against a Canucks team that will be seeking its third consecutive win. Puck drop will be at 8 PM MST.