January 16, 2016 Game 46 Nationwide Arena Columbus, OH
After a series of games against teams that value speed over brawn, the Avalanche came out a bit slow and soft against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Columbus broke out early with a goal on the team's first shot of the game. Brandon Dubinsky stood all alone just outside the crease, knocking home the puck less than a minute into the first period. The remainder of the period favored the Blue Jackets, but Colorado started the second with energy and purpose. After dominating in shots, Chris Wagner finally tied things up at 13:58 of the period, tipping in a well-placed pass from Jarome Iginla. Chris Bigras picked up his first NHL point on the goal.
A defensive breakdown during an Avalanche power play led to a breakaway with only Matt Duchene between a pair of Blue Jackets and Colorado goalie Calvin Pickard. William Karlsson got the puck in the net, but the referee immediately ruled it a no-goal due to a distinct kicking motion. Despite a review, the call on the ice stood, and the score remained tied at one.
As time wound down in the third, Pickard kept the Avalanche in it with a series of outstanding saves. Unfortunately, the Blue Jackets got the go ahead goal off an odd bounce that ricocheted off Cody McLeod's skate, giving Columbus a 2-1 win.
Within the last few minutes of the third period, Calvin Pickard made a number of big saves, none bigger than this one. Unfortunately, his heroics were for naught as an unlucky bounce resulted in the game-winning goal against.
The difference in play for the Avalanche between the first period and the second was significant. Clearly, Patrick Roy gave the team an effective speech during intermission.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"Except maybe for that first shift when they scored that first goal...we were impeccable in our end. I thought we certainly deserve more than that, but that's the way this game is. You're going to win some that you don't deserve to win, and sometimes you're going to lose some that you deserve to win. And tonight is an example." - Patrick Roy
While the team still sits in the playoffs, Nashville is right on its heels and, as of the time of this article, holding a lead against the Minnesota Wild. Either team winning makes things more difficult for Colorado, so this loss will hurt.
Colorado continues the road trip in Winnipeg, facing off against the Jets on Monday, January 18 at 6:00PM MST.