Avalanche’s winning streak ends with shootout loss to Coyotes – The Denver Post

The Avalanche’s seven-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday night against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena.

Colorado lost 5-4 in a shootout, after trailing 2-0 early and blowing a 4-2 third-period lead.

With the point, the Avs (20-8-3) obtained their 43rd point, two behind Vegas for the West Division lead.

Goalie Jonas Johansson, acquired from Buffalo on Saturday, got the start for his Avalanche debut and allowed two goals on Arizona’s first three shots and the Coyotes scored on all three attempts in the shootout. Johansson finished with 28 saves through OT.

Arizona’s Nick Schmaltz, Conor Garland, and Christian Dvorak each scored in the shootout, the latter after Avs superstar Nathan MacKinnon shot wide of the net.

Colorado defeated the Coyotes 5-1 on Monday to begin the consecutive-night series.

“I thought we battled all night,” Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. “We were down to fumes, guys were hurt, the penalty kill was good. That is a hell of a team over there and we held serve a couple times where they could’ve gotten a power-play goal.  A couple of big goals there to tie it up. I just thought we battled, everybody battled. We scraped some lines together and killed that penalty at the end. It was a great win for us.”

The Avalanche had a two-minute power play in overtime but couldn’t convert, with goalie Adin Hill stopping seven shots in the five-minute OT.

“We created some looks,” said Avs winger Gabe Landeskog, who had a goal and an assist. “Hill made an amazing stop — a two-pad stack on Cale (Makar), but no doubt, you got a two-minute power play, 4-on-3 in overtime you want to score. We wanted to score with that power play with three minutes left in the third period as well but we didn’t do that.”

MacKinnon had another three-point night for the Avs, and scored his 200th career goal at 19:49 of the second period in giving the Avs a 3-2 lead. It became 4-2 at 5:28 of the third period when winger Valeri Nichushkin redirected a shot by defenseman Ryan Graves.

But the Coyotes answered with two consecutive goals of their own, with Lawson Crouse and Phil Kessel beating Johansson at 6:38 and 8:41, respectively. Johansson, who was 0-5-1 with Buffalo this season, couldn’t close the door.

“It was a hard-fought hockey game,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “I didn’t like our start. Arizona came out hungry like we expected them to. I thought they played a real good hockey game. We fell behind early, they were winning races, winning battles.”

The Avs finished 1-of-4 on the power play and killed off all four of Arizona’s man-advantages.

“Special teams were a big part of the game for us and allowing us to get back in that game after a slow start,” Bednar said. “The power play gets us started, the penalty killing — we get caught with a couple high-sticking penalties that were accidental but we didn’t control our stick very well and caught some guys and ended up going six minutes in a row in the second. The penalty kill did an amazing job at keeping them off the board during that and helping us build the lead. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to capitalize on a couple late power plays.”

The Avalanche scored twice late in the first period to climb out of its 2-0 hole. Landeskog struck at 14:47 (power play) and Mikko Rantanen at 19:49. MacKinnon had the primary assist on both.

Arizona started strong and led 2-0 long before the Avs produced their first shot, which came 9:36 into the game. The Coyotes put pucks behind Johansson at 1:25 and 4:52, with defensemen Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski doing the honors.

Colorado got rolling in the second half of the opening frame and outshot Arizona 11-8.