Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Game 8
BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
The Colorado Avalanche appeared to celebrate Halloween early with a Jekyll/Hyde game against the surging Florida Panthers. They started the first period with energy, battling well for the puck. Three of their four offensive lines generated good pressure on the Panthers. The Matt Duchene line was the only line struggling to get the puck out of their defensive end. Nikita Zadorov showed his skills maintaining puck possession while being double teamed and Avalanche goaltender Reto Berra showed up with a sharp glove save six minutes into the game.
Iginla drew a penalty from the Panthers center Dave Bolland nine minutes into the contest and the future looked bright. However, the Avalanche seemed content to pass to each other without pushing into the crease in front of the net, not getting their first shot until over a minute into the power play. Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who entered the game 13-1-2 lifetime against the Avalanche, stopped shots and prevented rebounds. The Avs managed to draw another penalty by Alex Petrovic less than a minute after the first one expired, yet continued to pass the puck around the perimeter, never really putting any sustained pressure on Luongo.
For the two power plays, they garnered six shots on goal, one miss, and two blocks. Alex Tanguay made a bad play and ended up in the penalty box for hooking with a minute, 20 seconds left in the period. The Avalanche penalty killing, ranked fifth in the league going into the game, surrendered a goal a minute into the penalty by Vincent Trochek.
The Avalanche and Panthers started the second period battling for the puck and the Avs drew another Panther penalty only a minute into the period. 1:08 into the first penalty, Petrovic earned a delay of game penalty, giving the Avalance 52 seconds of five on three play. They failed to convert yet again, despite getting four scoring shots, two of which were quality chances. Halfway through the period, the Avalanche began to dominate the play, moving up and down the ice with skill and speed. They looked ready to score at any moment yet finished the period without a goal as Luongo held his ground.
Less than three minutes into the third period, Avs defenseman Francois Beauchemin was sent to the penalty box leading to yet another goal by Trochek of the Panthers just fourteen seconds into the power play. Five minutes later, Beauchemin was sent to the box for cross checking and the Panthers again capitalized on the opportunity. The Avs got another power play opportunity with nearly eight minutes left in the game only to turn it over, giving the Panthers a short-handed goal. Down 4-0 with only six minutes left, the Avalanche continued to push and Gabriel Landeskog earned a last minute goal, assisted by Zadorov, to finish the game 4-1 in favor of the Panthers.
While they played well at even strength, the Avalanche went scoreless on five power plays and allowed a goal on each penalty kill.
3 STARS OF THE GAME
- Vincent Trocheck, 2 goals, 1 assist
- Roberto Luongo, 31 saves on 32 shots, .969 SV%
- Brian Campbell, 1 goal, 2 assists
PLAY OF THE GAME
The Avalanche failed to score on a five-on-three power play in the second period, which would have tied the game and changed the complexion of the third period.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“…Tonight our five-on-five does well and then our (penalty kill) and our power play does not. We just need to put everything together. That’s what we are missing right now.” -Head Coach Patrick Roy
The Avalanche have yet to put a complete game together, where they play well at even strength, on the power play, the penalty kill and through all three periods. Erik Johnson called the game ‘crucial’ during the second intermission. They need to dig deep to find a way to score, and win, before the rest of the conference leaves them behind. They remain in last place in the Central Division, sitting six points behind sixth place Winnipeg and nine behind division-leading Dallas.
The Colorado Avalanche continue their swing through Florida on Thursday, October 29, Game 9, at 5:30 pm MST, facing the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.