October 10, 2015 Game #2
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado
Coming off a crushing collapse in the season opener, the Colorado Avalanche were looking to get off to a hot start against the visiting Dallas Stars. 20 seconds into the game, Stars forward Mattias Janmark put an end to that plan as he potted his second goal of the season.
The Avalanche would respond at the 9:06 mark as a broken play the Stars blue line ended in a beautiful tic-tac-toe goal from Nathan MacKinnon, his first of the season.
Just over one minute later, the Stars’ big guns, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn, would find a way to get the puck to Cody Eakin, somehow left alone in front of Avs goaltender Semyon Varlamov despite both Alex Tanguay and Nate Guenin being in the vicinity, and Eakin would make it count with his first goal of the season. The first period would close with a 2-1 Stars lead.
The second period didn’t start off much better for the Avalanche as Cody Eakin potted his second goal of the night to give the Stars a 3-1 lead. The Avalanche would return serve on the back of a suddenly electric power play as Erik Johnson scored on a beautiful slap shot from the point to make it 3-2 Stars. A Too Many Men on the Ice penalty would result in Jarome Iginla scoring another power play goal off a great setup from Gabriel Landeskog to tie the game at 3-3 going into the third period.
The third period would be the one the Avalanche badly needed as they unleashed a torrent of goal scoring, beginning 8:11 in as Jack Skille did a great job of beating the Stars defenseman and getting the puck deep, allowing Cody McLeod to cycle it back to Skille who then tapped it to a wide open John Mitchell that beat Niemi for his second goal of the season and a 4-3 Avalanche lead.
The Avalanche would wait a whole 47 seconds before Landeskog rocketed a shot past an increasingly helpless Niemi for his second goal of the season. Landeskog wasn’t quite down, however, as he put the icing on the cake for the evening with his second goal of the night at the 17:34 mark, bringing the game to its final tally of 6-3, Avalanche.
1. Gabriel Landeskog – 2 goals, 2 assists, 2 shots on goal, 3 hits
2. Nathan MacKinnon – 1 goal, 2 assists, 2 shots on goal, 63% faceoff win rate
3. Francois Beauchemin – 2 assists, 3 shots on goal, 8 blocked shots
Play of the Game
Jack Skille flying down the right side of the ice, entering the Stars zone and slipping the hipcheck of Stars defensemen Alex Goligoski before cycling the puck to Mcleod, whose hard work allowed him to slide the puck back to Skille, who tapped it to Mitchell for the eventual game-winning goal.
The game’s biggest turning point came after the second Stars goal when Avalanche Head Coach Patrick Roy decided he had seen enough and made sure his top pairing of Beauchemin-Johnson was consistently matched against the Tyler Seguin-led top line of the Stars. This decision plus putting Nikita Zadorov with Tyson Barrie at the start of the second allowed the Avalanche to better control the flow of the game and they began pushing the puck the other direction.
By the Numbers
Quote of the Game
“It is a bit normal when you look at what happened in the third period against Minnesota. Any team would be effected at the started of the game. In the end you need to see if your guys have character and that’s what our guys did” – Head Coach Patrick Roy
With the win, the Avalanche move to 1-1-0 on the season and grabbed their first two points. Should they consider themselves a realistic playoff contender, they are likely approximately 96 points away.
The Avalanche stay at home for their third game of the season as the Boston Bruins come to town this Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The game begins at 8:00 PM.