Coming off a lackluster performance against the strongly-disliked Minnesota Wild, the Colorado Avalanche were walking into a building sure to be full of energy tonight as the Wild rivalry continued on the same night the Avalanche organization was celebrating their 20th Anniversary Team.
Despite a first period full of energy and decent action both ways, the game found itself deadlocked in a scoreless tie going into the first intermission.
The Avalanche would capitalize on their strong play early in the second period as a Tyson Barrie-led breakout would result in a gorgeous tic-tac-toe goal from Barrie to Blake Comeau to Carl Soderberg back to Barrie for the tap in goal to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead 4:13 into the period. The game would slide into the second intermission at the same score.
Despite a spirited third period from the Avalanche, Zach Parise continued killing the Avalanche as he put a rebound off Semyon Varlamov into the net at 13:51 of the third period to bring the game to a 1-1 tie. That score would hold up and for just the second time this season the Avalanche would see overtime.
Despite each team having quality scoring chances, the Avalanche would ultimately make the most of theirs and cash in with John Mitchell's game-winning goal as he got Minnesota goaltender Darcy Kuemper moving left-to-right and went against the grain with the shot as it went off the post and into the net, giving Colorado the 2-1 victory.
John Mitchell's game-winning goal is the obvious choice here.
Zach Parise's third period goal would turn the tide of the game and force the Avalanche to dig deep to find a way to victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
""I tried to bring out my inner-Forsberg in overtime a bit." - John Mitchell on his game-winning goal
The Avalanche take their two points and while they only gain one on Minnesota in the standings, the impact of this victory should be significant beyond just the standings as they finally found a way to play an even game with the Wild and walk away with a victory. The psychological impact of this game could and should be more than just points in the standings.
The Avs continue their short homestand on Wednesday, December 9 against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins at 8:00PM MST.