After four straight losses and a slip in the standings, the Avalanche knew the team needed a win tonight. The Senators had a couple of prime opportunities early, but luck and goaltender Semyon Varlamov kept Ottawa off the board. At the 6:01 mark, Ottawa's Mark Borowiecki took a double minor high sticking penalty for clipping Andreas Martinsen and drawing blood. Colorado seemed to get more shots on net during this power play than the last ten powerplays combined, and it paid off as Jarome Iginla netted his 14th goal of the season.
Special teams continued to be the name of the game in the second as each team scored two power play goals. Nathan MacKinnon started out the scoring with a deceptively slick wrist shot a few minutes into the period. Iginla scored his second goal of the night to put the Avalanche up 3-0. However, Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman of the Senators brought their team within one as the third period began.
The third was a tightly contested chess match as the coaches worked to match lines. The score remained 3-2 until the Avalanche capitalized on an empty net (Blake Comeau) with one minute left in the period with what seemed to be a goal to secure the win. However, the Senators weren't done and got one of their own with 25 seconds left in the game (Chris Neil). Colorado was able to keep Ottawa off the board for the final seconds and took two points on the road.
Nathan MacKinnon, once again, showed everyone why he was selected first overall a few years back as he got the Avalanche's second goal of the night.
Jarome Iginla's power play goal in the first period set the tone for the remainder of the game. While the Senators would come back and challenge Colorado's lead, that goal established the Avs' attitude for the night.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"We know the power play is a big part of the game, and tonight, I thought right from the bat we would draw some. We were shooting. I was getting some great passes from (Tyson Barrie) and (Matt Duchene). I felt we got a lot of those pucks back after shooting it for the second shots after they were a little bit tired. So we got some good breaks tonight, but I thought the guys were sharp and bouncing and were all over it." - Jarome Iginla
The Avalanche moves back into the first Wild Card spot with this win, but the teams behind Colorado still have plenty of games in hand. Tonight was an important two points, but those coming up are even more so.
The Avalanche continues its road trip in Detroit, facing off against the Red Wings tomorrow night at 5:30 pm MT.