DENVER — The Avalanche’s New Year’s Resolution will have to be finding a way to win games. The once-hot club from Colorado has struggled to find consistent mojo, as evidenced by Monday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings to close out 2018 on a low note.
The Avs have now lost five straight, including twice in overtime, but there seems to be some signs of life with the team.
Not content to sleepwalk into the New Year, the Avalanche decided to turn on the jets in the final frame. The team struck twice to tie the match, feeding on the energy generated by the reunited MGM line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen.
Rantanen and MacKinnon connected 32 seconds into the final frame make it 2-1, the duo finally finding a way to solve the otherwise brilliant Jonathan Quick for MacKinnon’s 24th goal of the season. Carl Soderberg followed with a tying goal after tipping a Tyson Barrie point shot with his foot.
Those flashes of brilliance were ultimately squandered, however, after Dustin Brown converted a breakaway chance 54 seconds into overtime to seal the Kings win.
Colorado is now 1-8 in overtime.
Colorado’s troubles began at the end of the first period when defenseman Tyson Barrie took a lazy tripping penalty with three seconds remaining.
The Kings had plenty of time to set up their power play, but it took Drew Doughty only 22 seconds to solve goalie Semyon Varlamov and find the back of the net on a shot from the point.
The Avs looked to surge back after a strong shift from the fourth line later in the period, but Los Angeles capitalized on some manufactured chaos to push the lead to 2-0 on the strength of a wraparound tally from Sean Walker.
The marker was Walker’s first at the NHL goal.
Bednar’s newly formed line of Tyson Jost, MacKinnon, and Rantanen was scrapped by the second period, as the team found itself down 2-0 just over the halfway mark of the game.
Notes: Former University of Denver Pioneers forward Logan O’Connor made his NHL debut in the loss. … Rantanen leads the Avalanche in assists (45) and points (62). MacKinnon tied with Landeskog for the team lead with his goal.
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News