Avs rally to earn a point, but lose third consecutive overtime game

Mar 8, 2018; Columbus, OH, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) attempts to clear the puck away from goaltender Semyon Varlamov (1) against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche have become very good at finding ways to get a point lately. It would nice if they could find a way to pick up two.

For the third consecutive game, the Avs failed to pick up the extra point in overtime, this time falling 5-4 to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Unlike the previous two games, the Avs were lucky to even get this one to the extra period, as they struggled for the majority of the game, and created very little offense at even strength.

The game started out great for the Avs. Only seven minutes in, Tyson Barrie jumped into the play, and just out waited Columbus goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to give the Avs the early lead. Just 12 seconds latee, Carl Soderberg would take a Blake Comeau feed in the slot and would add to that lead. The two-goal advantage would not last long, however. Trying to carry the puck out of his own end, Tyson Barrie somehow managed to skate directly into his defensive partner, Nikita Zadorov, which caused a turnover right in the slot. Boone Jenner would rifle a shot glove-side on Semyon Varlamov to cut the lead to 2-1, and it would stay that way into the second period.

The second period would be an utter disaster for the Avs. Just over a minute in, Thomas Vanek would outmuscle Patrik Nemeth in front to tie the game. Later, on the Blue Jackets’ third power play of the period, Zach Werenski would wire a one-timer over Varlamov’s glove. Before the second period was over, Vanek would add another, and the Avs, who brought a one-goal lead into the period, would enter the third down by two.

The majority of the third period did not belong to the Avs. Columbus had several great chances to finish off the Avs, but were never able to get it done, even hitting the post twice. At the thirteen-minute mark, the Avs would get a power play, and after extended zone time, Mikko Rantanen would find Gabriel Landeskog on the side of the net, and he would wire the puck in to cut the lead to one. With less than four minutes to go, Carl Soderberg would take a low-percentage shot from the corner through bodies that somehow found its way into the back of the net. Despite being outplayed the entire game, the Avs had found a way to get it tied up and were able to get the game into overtime.

Unfortunately, the recent struggles of the team in overtime would continue. Nathan MacKinnon would miss on an early chance, and 59 seconds into the extra period, the Blue Jackets found themselves with a 3-on-1 down low on the Avs. Pierre Luc-Dubois would hit Seth Jones on the back door and Jones would finish the game off, giving the Blue Jackets the 5-4 victory in overtime. Unlike the previous two games, the Avs will probably take the extra point this time and be happy with it, given the way they played.

The Avs now head home for a very important afternoon affair with the Arizona Coyotes, who have been playing much better of late. The game starts Saturday afternoon at 1 PM MST.

Five Observations:

  • If the Avs are going to make it into the playoffs, they need Nikita Zadorov to be a little more predictable and consistent. He really struggled tonight.
  • The Avs took Gabriel Landeskog off the top line most of the night, and the resulting line of Landeskog-Kerfoot-Compher was all but invisible.
  • Sven Andrighetto returned to the lineup after missing 28 games, and had some jump. They need some scoring depth down the stretch and he can provide it.
  • Semyon Varlamov is starting to look a little worn down, and it was a surprise to see him get the start. While he made 39 saves, he’d cetrainly like to take the Blue Jackets’ soft fourth goal back.
  • J.T. Compher is now on a 14-game pointless streak, and didn’t even register a shot on goal tonight in 17 minutes of ice time.
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