The Colorado Avalanche have had trouble with allowing late goals all season long and Sunday night against the Winnipeg Jets was no different.
Blake Wheeler beat Semyon Varlamov with just under one second left in overtime to hand the Avalanche their fourth straight loss, with three of the four coming in either a shootout or overtime.
Despite the late goal Varlamov was spectacular between the pipes shutting the door on 35 Winnipeg shots. The Russian net minder kept the Avalanche within striking distance all night despite facing several quality shots.
Al Montoya shined in net for the Jets with a 33 save effort of his own, including several key saves in the third period and into overtime.
The game was scoreless well into the third period until Andrew Ladd found himself wide open in the slot in front of Varlamov and wristed a shot into the net giving the Jets the 1-0 lead.
That goal seemed to awake the Avalanche because just 29 seconds later Colorado tied the game thanks to a lucky bounce. Nathan MacKinnon tried to center a pass down the middle to Gabriel Landeskog, however the puck hit the skate of a Jets defenseman then off of the goal stick of Montoya into the net to tie the game.
“It definitely (stinks) especially with that second goal in OT or whatever.” said Landeskog after the game. “At least if we get it to a shootout it feels like a coin toss and we know that we are strong in shootouts. It is what it is. I think we stayed patient throughout the whole game. We were having trouble putting pucks at Montoya, having trouble testing him it felt like but when they got their goal, we bounced right back and didn’t quit and at least we got one point.”
Both teams were shutout on the power play with Winnipeg going 0 for 2, and Colorado 0 for 1.
Colorado did lose P.A. Parenteau early in the second period to a knee injury, and the forward did not return leaving the Avalanche shorthanded forcing head coach Patrick Roy to juggle his lines.
Sunday nights game was the first of a season long seven game home stand, and could prove to be an important stretch to the season. During the home stand the Avalanche will only face two teams that are currently in the playoffs under the current standings.
The Avalanche return to the ice Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
THREE STARS OF THE GAME
Semyon Varlamov – 35 saves
Blake Wheeler – 1 goal, 1 assist
Al Montoya – 33 saves
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