Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015, Game 16
TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
The Boston Bruins launched into the first period, putting a lot of pressure on the Colorado Avalanche top line. Boston capitalized on defenseman Nick Holden’s broken stick with captain Zdeno Chara scoring a little over a minute into the contest. The Avalanche challenged the goal for goaltender interference and it appeared from overhead camera shots Bruins forward Brett Connolly remained in the paint, blocking goalie Reto Berra. However, the referee’s ruled it a goal and the Avalanche forfeited their time out.
It looked like it was going to be a long night for Avalanche fans when Bruins forward Ryan Spooner redirected a great pass from fellow forward Patrice Bergeron into the net, leading the game two to zero less than six minutes into the period. However, Blake Comeau chased down the puck into the Boston zone and fed former Bruin Carl Soderberg with a great pass and Soderberg blew it past goaltender Tuukka Rask. With thirty seconds left in the period, forward Matt Duchene won an offensive zone faceoff back to Erik Johnson, who fed it to Francois Beauchemin, whose shot deflected off a Bruins skate and over Rask's glove.
Penalties defined the second period. Berra came up big early and the Avalanche seemed to be getting into the Bruins heads as they played more physical hockey. Nearly six minutes into the period, team captain Gabriel Landeskog launched himself at Bruins forward Brad Marchand, missing the shoulder pad by a couple of inches and getting his head, leaving Marchand sprawled on the ice. As the referees came over, Marchand stood up with his glove still on, and punched Landeskog in the face. Landeskog received a five minute major for hitting Marchand’s head and Marchand received a two minute minor for the gloved hit. With the call, Landeskog was out for the rest of the game.
The Avalanche dominated the subsequent four on four play, with a flurry of shots on net, yet came away without a goal. Boston managed five shots in the remaining three minutes of their power play but also failed to score. The Bruins continued with the chippy play and the Avalanche failed to score on two additional power play opportunities. Berra played strong in net and they finished the second still tied at two goals apiece.
Patrick Roy rolled out mix and match lines throughout the third period to cover for the loss of Landeskog. Berra continued to play well. Mikhail Grigorenko won a battle along the wall and found some open space, making a perfect pass for a one-touch Duchene goal. Comeau came up big in the last seconds of the game, winning three faceoffs against Bergeron, Boston's top faceoff man, and the Avalanche skated away with a 3-2 win.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Matt Duchene, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, 5 shots
Patrice Bergeron, 1 assist, 1 point, 5 shots
Francois Beauchemin, 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 point, 3 shots
PLAY OF THE GAME
Duchene scoring the go ahead goal in the third period to secure the win for the Avalanche stands out as the play of the game.
When Soderberg scored the Avalanche’s first goal after being down two to nothing, the atmosphere changed, and the Avalanche play kicked up another notch.
“We didn’t give up… I didn’t have any feeling that we were panicking out there. I thought we were under control.” Head Coach Patrick Roy on being down two goals six minutes into the first period.
The Avalanche won two games in a row for the first time this season. The team found a way to win, instead of a way to lose, and battled back from a two goal deficit by scoring three unanswered goals. The biggest concern for the team rests with whether Landeskog will be suspended for the hit on Marchand. Soderberg, Comeau, and Iginla played a great game as the second line, which will help alleviate pressure on the first line.
The Avalanche are still in last place in the Central Division with 13 points, 13 points behind the division leading Dallas Stars.
The Colorado Avalanche head to Canada to continue their East Coast swing when they take on the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015 at 5:00 pm MST.