Following a less-exciting-than-expected trade deadline, the Colorado Avalanche were free to get back to focusing on just playing hockey and trying to scrape out some positivity in this lost season. On the road against the Ottawa Senators, the Avs looked like the same broken, overmatched squad they have for most of the season.
Penalties early on dominated the first period as Colorado gave Ottawa three power plays, one shortened by a Senators penalty just seconds in, but the Senators saw their big deadline acquisition, Alexandre Burrows, contribute immediately when he broke in one-on-one against Patrick Wiercioch. The Colorado defenseman forced Burrows wide and did everything he should have but a Burrows wrist shot caught the toe of his stick and snuck into the short side past goaltender Calvin Pickard, making it 1-0.
The lead held through the remainder of the first and into the second period when Mike Hoffman made a pass to a wide open Burrows and he buried the puck on a good shot that Pickard won’t lose any sleep over not getting and just like that it was 2-0. The Avalanche put up a decent effort in the first but pulled their routine no-show act in the second period, getting outshot 17-5 while also digging the two-goal deficit on the scoreboard.
The third period was more of the same but the Avalanche actually found the back of the net when Tyson Barrie pinched in to stop a Senators clearing attempt, moved the puck to Nathan MacKinnon, who corralled the puck and found Rene Bourque. Bourque then took the puck and fired it off the post and in past former Av Craig Anderson to cut the lead in half and give the Avalanche a little late life.
The Avalanche tried to mount a comeback and Ottawa’s inability to finish kept them in it but ultimately it proved to be too little too late.
1. Alex Burrows
2. Mike Hoffman
3. Calvin Pickard
PLAY OF THE GAME
Bourque’s goal was just great team hockey, from Barrie making a perfect read to jump into the play, MacKinnon taking a tough pass in his skates and Bourque getting a shot off in tight space. An excellent all-around play that is too frequently lacking from this punchless offense.
The second Burrows goal proved too much for Colorado to overcome as a whopping two-goal lead has consistently been insurmountable for this Avalanche squad.
BY THE NUMBERS
Colorado finishes their three-game road trip Saturday night in Winnipeg as they take on the Jets.