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WHERE/WHEN

March 16, 2016 Game 71
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

HIGHLIGHTS

The Avalanche entered tonight’s game with a do or die attitude. The first 12 minutes reflected that. With multiple shots on net and solid possession, it wasn’t surprising when Nathan MacKinnon wristed what seemed to be a sure fire goal. Lady luck had a different plan, though, as the puck pinged off both posts before careening out of the net, never having crossed the goal line. The Canucks took the momentum from that moment and created opportunities for themselves. Henrik Sedin capitalized on a strong shift to put Vancouver up 1-0. Shortly thereafter, Avalanche goaltender Semyon Varlamov made a superb save to preserve the single goal differential. Finally, Colorado’s effort paid off as Mikkel Boedker snapped a shot home with assists going to Matt Duchene and Jarome Iginla. The period ended with the Avs on a power play, commanding a 18-10 shot advantage.

While the second period went scoreless, both teams had their chances. Fans were treated to the classic goaltender duel as Varlamov and Vancouver’s Ryan Miller came up big for their respective clubs, keeping the teams tied at one. Colorado continued its barrage of shots, though, closing out the middle frame with a 27-19 shot advantage.

37 seconds into the third period, Boedker got his second of the night—and eventual game winner—on a beautiful play in which he slipped the defenseman, chipped the puck under his stick, and flipped a forehander past Miller. MacKinnon got his 30th assist of the season on the goal. Five minutes later, Andreas Martinsen gave the Avalanche a cushion goal after he powered his way to the net and roofed the puck home. Colorado nearly cashed in again, but a goal-line save by Miller kept the score 3-1. Despite sitting back on the lead and giving Vancouver some good looks, the Avalanche preserved the lead and came away with an important two points.

THREE STARS

  1. Mikkel Boedker (2 goals, 3 shots, 20:13 TOI)
  2. Nathan MacKinnon (1 assist, 3 shots, 2 hits)
  3. Bo Horvat (7 shots, 1 hit)

PLAY OF THE GAME

Andreas Martinsen showed off some skills as he bullied his way to the net and slipped one past Ryan Miller.

TURNING POINT

Mikkel Boedker’s second goal opened up play for the Avalanche and gave the team some energy that culminated in Andreas Martinsen’s goal. It was a beauty of a goal, as well.

BY THE NUMBERS

Shot Attempts COL VAN 3-16-16

Scoring Chances COL VAN 3-16-16

LASTING IMPACT

The Avalanche pull back into the playoff picture, one point ahead of the Minnesota Wild. While Minnesota has a game in hand, the playoffs are completely in Colorado’s hands now. The team controls its own destiny.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Avalanche is back at it on Friday, visiting the Calgary Flames. Like all games for the remainder of the season, this is a must win. Puck drops at 7 pm MST.

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Cheryl Bradley

Prior to joining BSN, Cheryl was the managing editor for Mile High Hockey. She began writing about hockey in 2009, contributing to both MHH and her own blog, Avalanche Breakaway. Her articles include editorials, breaking news coverage, game and player analysis, and player bios. She covers the NHL and its affiliated leagues, as well as world competitions and feeder leagues.