AVALANCHE

Avalanche suffer a brutal loss and suddenly can’t win on the road

Feb 22, 2024, 7:49 PM

A tough 1-4-1 road trip for the Colorado Avalanche after the All-Star break is still apparently an issue.

The Avs couldn’t keep their momentum from a couple of wins at Ball Arena rolling on Thursday night, losing to the Red Wings 2-1 in overtime in Detroit. Colorado is now 13-13-5 on the road this season, still not getting above .500 if you count the games they earned points in.

Nathan MacKinnon scored the first goal of the night on a beautiful pass from Mikko Rantanen to put the Avalanche up 1-0 in the second period. Colorado had been dominating the action, and MacKinnon was rewarded with his 34th tally of the year.

Backup goalie Justus Annunen was really solid in net, saving 30 pucks and playing his best game of the season. With the trade-deadline looming in early March, it was the kind of performance that makes Avs president Joe Sakic and general manager Chris MacFarland know they can trust Annunen behind Alexandar Georgiev.

But it wasn’t enough. Detroit tied the game 1-1 with 7:58 to go in the third period and then veteran Patrick Kane won it with a slick shot in overtime. Annunen couldn’t do much on either goal, and walked away a hard-luck loser.

After the brutal swing out East following the break, the Avalanche got two big wins at home. They took down Arizona 4-3 and then Vancouver 3-1, the team everyone is chasing in the Western Conference. This was a setback in a contest that looked like it’d go their way.

The Avs will return home for two games against Toronto and Dallas before heading back on the road. The game against the Stars will be huge, with Colorado now one point back of them in Central Division. Dallas fell to Ottawa on Thursday night, but still leads the way with 76 points. The Avalanche have 75.

The stretch after the break wasn’t fun, but it appeared like the Avs had things back on track. Instead, this group is seemingly good enough to win on the road, but they couldn’t earn a big victory against the Red Wings with a timely goal, despite the solid goaltending.

It’s something they’ll need to figure out. And do it fast.

Avalanche

Alexandar Georgiev...

Will Petersen

Alexandar Georgiev shouldn’t play another game for the Avalanche

If Justus Annunen is still sick, it's time to switch to Ivan Prosvetov; if he has an NHL jersey, he can't be worse than Alexandar Georgiev

53 minutes ago

...

Rachel Vigil

What went wrong for the Avalanche against the Jets?

Mike Evans reacts to the shocking loss against the Winnipeg Jets and takes a look at what elements of the team, such as the Avs' goaltending, are to blame for their loss.

9 hours ago

Alexandar Georgiev...

Will Petersen

Alexandar Georgiev has another bad night, Avalanche lose Game 1

Avalanche goalie Alexandar Georgiev gave up four goals on the first 10 shots of the game he faced on Sunday, and things didn't get better

1 day ago

Jonathan Drouin Avalanche Jets...

Will Petersen

Ahead of the Jets series, Avalanche get absolutely brutal news

The team announced that forward Jonathan Drouin will miss the entire Round 1 Avalanche and Jets series with a "lower-body injury"

3 days ago

Pavel Francouz...

Will Petersen

Avs Stanley Cup hero Pavel Francouz officially calls it a career

Pavel Francouz was awesome for the Avalanche in the 2022 playoffs, relieving starter Darcy Kuemper after he suffered a nasty eye injury

4 days ago

Avalanche Jets schedule...

Will Petersen

Here’s the full schedule for the Avalanche and Jets in the first round

When do you need to be locked into your TV or headed downtown to catch the game? Here's the schedule between the Avalanche and Jets

4 days ago

Avalanche suffer a brutal loss and suddenly can’t win on the road