The key to Saturday’s road trip finale in Philadelphia could very well be starting the game on time. At least that’s the way it feels after the Avalanche again found themselves in an early deficit for the third time in four games during this five-games-in-eight-days trip.

Colorado fell to 2-2-0 on the trip following a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday. The most concerning result came within the opening five minutes of play, where the Avs trailed 2-0 before the first T.V. timeout. It’s a trend they’ll need to shake off, and quickly, if they want to continue to climb in the standings. After all, playing catch-up hockey is not quite a recipe for success — even with the ability they’ve had to climb back from multi-goal deficits. It eventually catches up to even the best teams.

Last weekend, the Avs trailed the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 after the first period. They went on to score five unanswered goals to win in regulation. Three nights later, they trailed the Ottawa Senators 4-2 before again scoring five straight to come away with another victory. But in Boston, the Avs couldn’t get more than two past young stud goalie Jeremy Swayman.

After their slow start, the Avs managed to get one past him in the first period thanks to a burst of speed from Miles Wood, who returned two nights prior from a lengthy illness and scored his second goal in as many games. But despite his goal, Colorado entered the first intermission trailing 3-1.

That’s where their habit of attempting another comeback took center stage. The Avalanche outshot the Bruins 16-8 in the second period and did everything they could to even things up before the break. But with Swayman’s strong play, the only puck they were able to get past him was a no-quit greasy goal from Nathan MacKinnon, who tapped home a rebound sitting on the doorstep behind the 25-year-old netminder.

MacKinnon increased his point streak to 10 games. He was a point in 29 of his last 30 games and is second in the NHL with 73 points.

Trailing by a goal in the final frame, Colorado struggled to gain much in terms of scoring opportunities. Swayman had to turn away just four shots in the third period, and a late penalty from Avs blueliner Josh Manson meant the Avs had to kill a penalty with just 4:35 remaining in regulation before continuing their comeback attempt. Fortunately for Boston, star forward David Pastrnak potted home a power-play goal with just one second remaining on the man advantage. His second of the evening gave the Bruins a commanding two-goal lead with 2:36 remaining in regulation.

The Avs attempted a late-game miracle with goalie Alexandar Georgiev pulled but ended up surrending another to Pastrnak, who completed the hat trick on his 29th goal of the season. Georgiev made 26 saves after having the night off in Ottawa on Tuesday.