4 Takeaways from the Avalanche’s Overtime Win Against the Bruins – 1/26/22

The Colorado Avalanche hosted the Boston Bruins for the first time since October 2019 on Wednesday and came away with a hard-fought, 4-3 victory in overtime. After taking an early 1-0 lead, the Avalanche surrendered three unanswered goals in the second period, as the Bruins took control of the game. But they scored twice in the third, including the equalizer 37 seconds before the final horn to force overtime. After Boston defenseman Mike Reilly received a two-minute penalty for tripping Valeri Nichushkin, Cale Makar scored the overtime-winner to secure the victory.

This was the Avalanche’s 17th straight home win and 13th win in their last 14 games. They are now tied with the Florida Panthers for the league-lead with 63 points and lead the NHL with a .768 win percentage. The contest was full of storylines, so we’re breaking the mould of three takeaways from the game and presenting four instead:

Putting Colorado’s Win Streak into Perspective

With the victory over the Bruins, the Avs extended their win streak at home to 17 games, the longest in franchise history and the fifth-longest in NHL history; it was also their eighth consecutive win. They have now scored at least one point in each of their last 14 games, tying them with the 2002-03 Avalanche for the third-longest streak in franchise history.

Colorado Avalanche Gabriel Landeskog Samuel Girard Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog celebrates with Samuel Girard and Nathan MacKinnon after scoring the winning goal. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The last time Colorado lost on home ice was Nov. 3 versus the Columbus Blue Jackets, and they are now six home victories shy of tying the NHL record of 23 wins, set by the 2011-12 Detroit Red Wings. Barring any schedule changes, their next six home opponents are the Buffalo Sabres (Jan. 30), Arizona Coyotes (Feb. 1), Tampa Bay Lightning (Feb. 10), Dallas Stars (Feb. 15), Winnipeg Jets (Feb. 25), and the New York Islanders (March 1).

MacKinnon Injury Energizes Team

Boston forward Taylor Hall used his shoulder to lay an open-ice hit on Nathan MacKinnon just 2:22 into the game. Unfortunately, MacKinnon, in an effort to skate around Hall, had his stick high up, squarely between Hall’s shoulder and his face. The Avalanche superstar went down hard with blood gushing from his nose. He was escorted off the ice by the team’s trainer and did not return. On-ice officials initially called a five-minute major penalty on Hall, but after review, reduced it to a two-minute minor for interference.

Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog immediately went after Hall, checking him into the Bruins bench. “It wasn’t about me trying to go after Hall because I thought I it was a dirty hit,” Landeskog said in a postgame interview on TNT. “I actually looked at it after, and it’s kind of unfortunate what happens, and Nate’s stick comes up. But you know, in my opinion, it’s not about if it was dirty or not, it’s about sending a message, about if they’re going to step up on our best player, they’re going to have to answer to somebody.”

Kurtis MacDermid, who scored the first goal of the game, and his first goal of the season, tried to engage Hall numerous times, and Erik Johnson repeatedly cross-checked the Boston forward, resulting in a five-on-three advantage for the Bruins. The Avalanche were determined to send a message, even if it put the team in a precarious position to win the game.

Landeskog Continues Career Season

After a hustle play in which Nichushkin kept the puck in the offensive zone with less than a minute to go in the third period, Landeskog scored the game-tying goal on a brilliant pass from Nazem Kadri. He also assisted on Makar’s overtime-winner. It was Landeskog’s 16th goal and 25th assist of the season, giving him an average of 1.24 points per game, the highest mark of his career.

As he does night in and night out, Landeskog impacted the game in myriad other ways. Not only did he come to his teammate’s defense, a recurring theme for him, but he also screened Boston goaltender Linus Ullmark to help set up Makar’s game-winning goal. His 26:23 of ice time (TOI) was the most he’s played this season and the most TOI he’s had in three years. The Stockholm, Sweden native, whose dream is to bring the Stanley Cup back to Denver, has played like a man on a mission this season.

Related: Avalanche’s Landeskog Can Become an All-Time Great Captain

Avalanche Defensive Onslaught Continues

Three of Colorado’s four goals were scored by defensemen. MacDermid, Samuel Girard, and Makar accounted for 75% of the team’s scoring. The defense now has 42 goals on the season to lead the league by a wide margin.

Cale Makar Colorado Avalanche
Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Makar, who also had an assist in the contest, scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season and his second in overtime. The former Calder Trophy-winner has now notched 11 multi-point games this season, and his 17 goals lead all NHL defensemen.

Game Notes and Up Next

Nazem Kadri had three assists in the game, raising his season total to 39 assists and 55 points. It was also his 17th multi-point game, and his 1.45 points-per-game average is the best on the team and ranks fourth in the league.

The Avalanche continue to struggle in the faceoff circle, winning only 42 percent of their draws. It’s a small weakness on an otherwise formidable team, but it could haunt them in the playoffs.

Colorado is back in action Friday night when the team travels to Chicago to face the Blackhawks.

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