DENVER — Erasing multiple two-goal leads should’ve been enough to at least get the Avalanche to overtime. But a late goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand with 32 seconds remaining in regulation on Thursday gave the Avs its first loss on home ice — a 4-3 defeat at the hands of the Seattle Kraken.

Colorado trailed 2-0 and 3-1 before fighting back to tie it up at 3-3 in the third period. But it wasn’t enough. The Kraken took advantage of a broken defensive play by the home team, pinning them in their zone for a lengthy shift before a rebound was left for Bjorkstrand to give them another lead. The Avs dropped to 8-4-0 on the season, suffering its last two losses at Ball Arena to Seattle dating back to last season’s playoff series.

“The compete is there, the effort is there,” veteran forward Andrew Cogliano said. “Obviously sometimes there are mistakes made but at the end of the day, I think to a man our hearts are in the right spot. Tough one to swallow but we’ll regroup and get going again.”

Bowen Byram, Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin scored for the Avalanche, who played with a shortened bench for the second half of the game after an unfortunate collision along the boards knocked forward Artturi Lehkonen out of the game.

Battling for the puck with towering defenseman Jamie Oleksiak, the pair collided, sending Colorado’s winger head-first into the boards. He was bleeding as he was helped off the ice and did not return.

The team later announced that Lehkonen was alert, responsive and had full movement but was being taken to a local hospital as a precaution for further evaluation. Lehkonen had an assist in 9:01 of ice time. Despite the nasty result of the battle, head coach Jared Bednar didn’t feel it was a dirty play from Oleksiak.

“When I first glanced at it, I’m not sure it was a penalty,” Bednar said. “I just think it was where they made contact and the way he went in. Oleksiak’s a big man and he just kind of got his foot tangled and went in head first.”

The Avalanche were trailing 3-1 at the time of Lehkonen’s injury. MacKinnon’s tally to pull within a goal came just a few minutes later after he received a pass from Cale Makar and was all alone in front of goalie Philipp Grubauer for the open shot. MacKinnon’s sixth of the season was also his second point. Earlier in the frame, he set up Bowen Byram on a two-on-one play, helping the young blueliner score his third of the season.

Byram was also involved in a tussle late in the third.

With the game tied at 3-3, Cogliano was sent into the boards from behind by defenseman Vince Dunn. Byram quickly responded by dropping his gloves and going after Dunn. The short-lived bout resulted in a takedown for Dunn and a power play for the Kraken. Byram was given four minutes for roughing and Dunn received two. The Avs successfully killed off that power play, finishing the evening 3-for-4 on the penalty kill. They also failed to score on three power-play opportunities.

“I think it’s a check from behind,” Bednar said. “It’s simple. You can’t hit him from behind. It’s a check from behind.”

Cogliano added: “I don’t know if I had the puck. I thought I maybe just touched the puck but I thought it was a little early. So yeah, it’s a pretty hard hit.

“Bo stood up [for me] and it’s obviously a huge play for him to do that as a teammate.”

It was the second meeting between the two clubs, who met in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Avalanche were victorious in the first meeting on Oct. 17 at Climate Pledge Arena and will also play the third and final meeting between the two there on Monday.