The Colorado Avalanche made a move earlier this week to bolster their goaltending depth. The jury is still out on whether or not it was a good move, but the early returns looked awfully familiar.
Jonas Johansson came over in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres and got his first start in a Colorado sweater on Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes. Johansson gave up two goals on the first three shots he faced, and the Coyotes overcame a two-goal deficit in the third to earn a 5-4 shootout victory. All three Arizona shooters scored in the shootout.
Here’s three takeaways from Tuesday’s Avalanche loss, which snapped a seven-game winning streak:
MacKinnon Hits Milestone
Nathan MacKinnon extended his point streak to seven games, scoring his 200th career goal in the process.
Colorado fell behind 2-0 early, but MacKinnon notched a pair of assists on goals by Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog to tie the game 2-2 going at the end of the first.
He tallied his milestone goal with just 11 seconds left in the second period on a sweet pass from Samuel Girard. The goal was MacKinnon’s 10th on the season, and gave him 35 points on the year.
It was the ninth multi-point game of the season for MacKinnon, and he’s played in 27 games. While his point streak hit seven consecutive contests, he has multiple points in three of the last four. During the point streak, he has racked up five goals and eight assists.
Through 10 games in March, MacKinnon has failed to tally a point in only one – a 2-1 win over Arizona back on March 10. He’s the eighth player in franchise history to reach 200 career goals.
The late goal in the second period helped the Avalanche reach a franchise milestone of their own.
With at least a goal in all three periods on Tuesday, Colorado has scored a goal in 20 consecutive periods, setting a franchise record. The previous record was set between October 8-21, 1992, when the Quebec Nordiques scored in 18 consecutive periods. The Avalanche equaled that mark, scoring in 18 straight periods from Nov. 6-16, 1996.
Johansson Struggles in Debut
The start wasn’t good, and the finish wasn’t anything to write home about either.
Jacob Chychrun whipped a soft goal past Johansson to start the scoring on the first shot of the game. Then, a few minutes later, Alex Goligoski scored his first of the year, which made it 2-0 less than five minutes into the contest.
Johansson rebounded nicely, stopping the next 17 shots he faced while Colorado scored the next four goals of the game – starting with Rantanen’s 19th of the season.
But the wheels fell off for Johansson over a span of 2:03 in the third period. Just 70 seconds after Valeri Nichushkin gave the Avs a 4-2 lead, Lawson Crouse sliced it to one goal, and Phil Kessel tied it up with a shot from an impossible angle roughly a couple of minutes later. Johansson made the initial save on Kessel’s try, but lost track of the rebound before the Coyotes star slid in his 10th of the year off Johansson’s skate.
Once in a shootout, all three skaters scored for the Coyotes to seal the win.
The team traded for Johanssen earlier this week to give starter Philipp Grubauer some relief after the recent struggles of Hunter Miska. But the result was all too familiar.
Colorado has won just one game this season – a 3-2 decision over Arizona on Feb. 26 – when Grubauer didn’t take the ice. In those five games, the Avalanche have scored 16 goals, and lost three of them in overtime or a shootout.
Coyotes Finally Solve Avs’ Second Line
Colorado’s second line of Nazem Kadri, Brandon Saad and Andre Burakovsky had done a number on the Coyotes this season, but couldn’t muster anything on Tuesday.
Entering Tuesday’s game, that trio had piled up five goals and seven assists in five games against the Coyotes this season. They were kept off the scoresheet on Tuesday, mustering just five shots on goal combined in the loss.
It was the first time this season that one of those three didn’t score a point in a game against the Coyotes. Colorado is still 4-1-1 against Arizona on the season.
Colorado returns home on Thursday to host the West Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights for a pair of contests.
Lifelong storyteller and experienced hockey reporter that has covered everything from major juniors to the NHL. Worked for various newspapers across Minnesota and North Dakota, and now covering the Colorado Avalanche for THW.