Justus Annunen didn’t quite have the type of performance to solidify his spot as the team’s permanent backup goalie. But in his 2023-24 debut, the 23-year-old stepped in on the second night of a back-to-back and put together a valiant effort to help the Avs to a 7-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

Annunen surrendered four goals on the first 22 shots he faced before shutting it down the rest of the way. He finished with 36 saves and a .900 save percentage in Colorado’s league-leading 15th come-from-behind triumph. The Avs improved to 29-13-3 overall and 2-1-0 on their five-game road trip.

Several depth skaters pitched in to help the Avs score the last five goals of the game in an 18:58 stretch. The stars again led the way as Mikko Rantanen had two goals, both of which were assisted by Nathan MacKinnon. But the Avs also had multi-point efforts from Samuel Girard (three assists) Logan O’Connor (goal, assist), Miles Wood (goal, assist) and Sam Malinski (goal, assist). Rookie forward Jason Polin also pitched in with his first career NHL goal.

The Avalanche trailed 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2 before mounting the comeback. When they were down by two goals, Malinski seemed to give them life after beating goalie Mads Sogaard. But after a successful offside challenge from Sens coach Jacques Martin, the goal was called back. It didn’t take long after that for Rantanen to score his second and make it a one-goal game, which held until the third period.

But then the onslaught began.

Wood, who returned after nearly two weeks because of an illness, scored at 4:04 to tie things up. Colorado then found itself on a power play and Malinski was able to give Colorado its first lead of the evening at 8:14. Then another tally from O’Connor made it 6-4 before Toews’ empty netter sealed the win for the Avs.

Colorado was 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off two of three penalties.