The Colorado Avalanche not only outshot (45-24), outscored (9-4) and outplayed the Nashville Predators on Nov. 7, they set some records too. They scored six goals in eight minutes, which is a franchise record for the club. Joonas Donskoi scored his first career NHL hat trick. T.J. Tynan notched his first NHL assist.
It was a wild game, to say the least.
This injury-riddled team came out on fire and kept the inferno blazing throughout the game.
Head coach Jared Bednar changed up lines again, but something sparked in this game. “We were on pucks early, good intensity, playing the right way, real purpose to our game, and the next line followed it up,” Bednar told NHL.com correspondent Rick Sadowski. “I liked our first period and I liked our second period. Third period, it’s tough to stay on the gas.”
Six Goals in Eight Minutes
The Donskoi-Nathan MacKinnon-Matt Calvert line scored at 5:26 into the second period to tie the game up on Donskoi’s first goal assisted by his fellow linemates.
“We’ve been talking about scoring more goals,” Donskoi told Sadowski after the game. “We’ve been struggling the last couple of games finding the back of the net. So that was the main focus for tonight, getting more guys to the net and for our [defensemen] to find the lanes to get the pucks to the net.”
What happened after that was epic. 20 seconds later, Ryan Graves slapped a wrister from the point past Rinne.
1:11 after that, Andre Burakovsky wristed a shot over Rinne’s right shoulder to make the score 5-3. Rinne was then pulled from the game and backup goaltender Juuse Saros relieved him in net.
Less than a minute later, J.T. Compher poked a rebound free from Filip Forsberg, rushed down ice, and passed to Nieto, who scored a short-handed goal to make it a 6-3 game. 2:14 later, Calvert punched in a rebound from MacKinnon’s shot to make it 7-3.
At this point in the game, the Predators were clearly defeated but the Avalanche continued to elevate their game. At 13:26 in the second, Donskoi tipped in a shot by Erik Johnson to increase the Avalanche lead to 8-3.
Bednar sent Jason Megna back to the Colorado Eagles and called up T.J. Tynan prior to the matchup. Megna only played 4:54 in the Dallas Stars game with one hit and one block in the game. Nothing to write home about. Tynan, however, was on the ice for some power-play time and able to assist on Donskoi’s third goal of the game in the third period to solidify the 9-4 final.
What Changed and What to Expect Next?
What changed from the previous loss in Dallas to this record-setting win at home against the Predators? “I think everyone was good today, everyone was on their toes. Everyone was doing the dirty work, everyone was putting in the work. We just cleaned up things and it worked and good things happened,” Burakovsky told NHL.com correspondent Rick Sadowski after the win. “We were talking about we had to bounce back after having a dry streak for a bit (two goals in previous three games). We had a meeting after the last game and I just think we all came together as a group.”
As if the addition of goaltender Philipp Grubauer’s lower-body injury wasn’t enough, the Avalanche got another scare with MacKinnon and Nikita Zadorov exiting the game after the second period. Luckily, MacKinnon’s retreat was precautionary and he is set to play in their next contest. Unfortunately, Zadorov took a puck to the face and is out week-to-week. He had surgery on a broken jaw and will hopefully recover quickly. (from ‘Nikita Zadorov had surgery to repair broken jaw, out “week-to-week” for the Avalanche,’ Denver Post, 11/9/2019)
If the Avalanche keep up this fluid level of play, injuries or no injuries, they’ll continue to win games. Was this a fluke or a shot of adrenaline? As Bednar said, they gassed out in the third. They need to play a complete 60 minutes to find out. Let’s see how they play in the next few games.