November 19, 2015 — Game 19
Consol Energy Arena / Pittsburgh, PA


During the first period in this game, both goaltenders — Reto Berra for Colorado and Marc-Andre Fleury for Pittsburgh — were on top of their games early.  Berra fought off all 10 shots by the Penguins in the first, including two power play opportunities.  On the other hand, the Avalanche themselves had four power play opportunities in the opening frame and were finally able to break the ice on the last one, as Matt Duchene scored his ninth goal of the season at 19:34 of the first period — assisted by Jarome Iginla and Tyson Barrie — to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.

In the second period, the Penguins scored three goals — all within a two-minute and eight-second span.  David Perron scored on a four-on-four situation to tie the game up and one goal each, then Evgeni Malkin scored a power play goal to put the Penguins up 2-to-1 and then just 39 seconds later, Chris Kunitz added a third Pittsburgh goal.  In the third period at the 8:49 mark, the Avs would get back within one goal when Tyson Barrie scored his first goal of the season — assisted by Jarome Iginla.  Just a few minutes later, the Penguins gained back a two goal lead when Sidney Crosby scored the eventual game-winning goal by splitting the Colorado defense and sliding a puck in-between the legs of Reto Berra.

Matt Duchene would add a second goal of the game with 1:23 left in the third period — his 10th goal of the season, but it was too little, too late for the Avs.  Final score: Avalanche 3, Penguins 4.

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  1. Evgeni Malkin (1 goal, 2 shots)
  2. Matt Duchene (2 goals, 5 shots)
  3. Chris Kunitz (1 goal, 2 shots, 2 hits)

The play of the game tonight was Evgeni Malkin’s power play blast to put the Penguins up 2-1 — they never trailed after this goal:

Tonight’s game was turned around in the middle of the second period, when Avalanche defenseman Francois Beauchemin took a high-sticking penalty to end an Avs power play — which made it a four-on-four situation.  The Penguins’ David Perron scored a lucky deflection goal just four seconds after this penalty was called.  After the four-on-four opportunity ended, the Penguins scored the power play goal by Evgeni Malkin, and then made it 3-1 on a goal by Chris Kunitz.

This short part of the game put the Avs behind for the rest of the night, and they were never able to recover from it.

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“I can’t be happy about the call.  There’s no doubt about it, because it was the turning point of the game.”

-Head coach Patrick Roy, referring to Beauchemin’s high-sticking penalty in the second period.

This game was an important one for the Avalanche, as after losing to Toronto on Tuesday night and ending their three-game winning streak, the team couldn’t really afford to lose two games in a row again.  However, that is exactly what happened.  Colorado now sits at 7-11-1 on the season after 19 games, good enough for only 15 points.  Their current point pace puts them at around 64-65 points, which is nowhere near good enough for a spot in the playoffs.  It’s going to take multiple long winning-streaks for this team to get back in the race — but the good thing is, it’s still November, and they have 63 games left.

Up next for the Colorado Avalanche is a visit to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Captials.  The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. MT on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at Verizon Center in Washingon, D.C.

Nick Bracken

Covers DU Hockey, Colorado Avalanche and Colorado Rapids for BSNDenver. Nick can be followed @nickbracken303 on Twitter. He enjoys watching any live sports on TV and playing hockey and golf in his free-time. Chris Drury is his all-time favorite athlete.