Over three months passed between Avalanche games within the Pepsi Center when Colorado finally returned to its house ice Tuesday night.
The welcome-back party? A powerful performance against an NHL bottom feeder that prolonged the Avs&rsquo winning streak to five matches. Goalie Philipp Grubauer has been fantastic with 34 saves in his second shutout operation this season, while forwards Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin along with Gabe Landeskog added goals in a 3-0 success.
The Avalanche (33-16-6) entered at the nighttime scoring an NHL-leading 3.65 targets per game. Tuesday’s result proved Colorado is capable of winning a scrappy competition, as it remains in 2nd position (72 points) for the Central Division race.
“It’s tough game to play after a long road trip coming home for this one, on not rest,” coach Jared Bednar stated. “But I thought our guys did a nice job tonight sticking together. ”
A mostly uninspiring first stage closed with a bang when Rantanen highlighted why he earned that creature six-year, $55.5 million contract this offseason. He received the puck and also used a twist move from the neutral zone beyond veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey for a breakaway toward the net. Then Rantanen went backhand and top-shelf ago Ottawa goalie Marcus Hoberg to give Colorado a 1-0 advantage with 41 seconds.
“I simply spun off the D-man, and there,” Rantanen said. “It gave me some space, and this time, it went . We’ll take it. It was a objective. ”
Rantanen, who missed 16 games with an ankle injury this season, has seven points (three goals) over his past eight trips. That moved Rantanen up to 38 points (18 goals) for the season.
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Following a scoreless second period, the Senators held that the shots-on-goal advantage (23-21) using Colorado failing to score on four power-play chances. The slump highlighted the value of Grubauer’s surge in drama. Even the netminder has allowed one or fewer goals in each of his last four matches. Grubauer’s.
“Even though they got a great deal of shots we stored down,” Grubauer said. “That’s what we need moving forward, which ’s a game. … I’m seeing that the puck well, due to the guys. ”
Nichushkin set the game away midway through the third stage with a power-play goal, redirecting a puck from Andre Burakovsky close to the internet to move up 2-0. Defenseman Sam Girard was also given a help.
The Avalanche persevered in its first full game without second-line center Nazem Kadri, who is out indefinitely with a lower-body accident suffered in Sunday’s triumph at the Minnesota Wild. Avs center J.T. Compher substituted Kadri on the second line. Nathan MacKinnon along with Ryan Graves were credited with assists on Rantanen’s aim.
Landeskog believed an open-net goal remaining. Even the Senators (18-27-11) have now lost six consecutive matches.
Colorado moves on to face the Washington Capitals on Thursday night as the second matchup of a five-game homestand.
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