Power play struggles as Avalanche fall 3-1 to Vancouver

Andrew Cogliano (11) of the Colorado ...

A two-minute lull and mostly struggling power play were too much for the Avalanche to overcome as it saw its four-game winning streak end Wednesday night with a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Avalanche, which entered 15-1-1 against the Pacific Division, outshot the Canucks 33-27, but were 1 of 5 with the man advantage and unable to score the tying marker after cutting the deficit in half with 13:45 remaining.

Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller scored 1:52 apart early in the third and Bo Horvat scored an empty-net goal with 17.6 seconds remaining. Nazem Kadri scored the only Avalanche goal.

After a scoreless opening two periods, Vancouver quickly took a 2-0 lead. On the first goal, Avs defenseman Josh Manson turned it over along the right half wall to Elias Petterson, who quickly fed Boeser between the circles for a wrist shot to beat Darcy Kuemper. On the second goal, the Canucks cashed in on a 2-on-1 break when Tanner Pearson’s initial shot was stopped by Kuemper, but J.T. Miller slammed home the rebound.

The Avs cut the lead on Kadri’s power-play goal when he scored off a rebound. It was his second goal in three games after a 10-game scoring drought.

The Avs’ final chance came when Nathan MacKinnon drew a tripping penalty with 8:48 remaining. But the best chance during the power play was by Vancouver — a breakaway by Petterson.

A key sequence during the opening two periods came in the second when Vancouver’s Quinn Hughes was called for two slashing penalties. Kadri hit the post from the top of the crease and the second man advantage had three shots on goal, but no Grade A chances.

Debuting for the Avalanche was Andrew Cogliano, who skated as the fourth-line left wing with center Darren Helm and right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

Nine hours before his 1,123rd career regular season game, Cogliano was the first skater on the ice, perhaps a signal of his excitement about joining a Stanley Cup contender, his usual routine or both.

It’s hard to blame Cogliano; his former team, San Jose, ranks 22nd in the NHL standings and when he was acquired by the Avalanche on Monday, he jumped to the top spot.

“(The Sharks) mentioned Colorado (as a possibility) and from my perspective, that was basically the best option I think in terms of fit and opportunity,” Cogliano said after his first practice and ahead of his debut against Vancouver.

The opportunity is enormous: Cogliano, 34, has a chance to win his first Cup in a 15-year career. He will be expected to play a third- or fourth-line and penalty killing role with the Avalanche.

“I’m a small piece of the puzzle,” he said. “To have success, I think you’re going to need different pieces and people and personalities and that’s usually how winning teams work so I’m hoping I can bring that to this team.”

AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver PostAndrew Cogliano (11) of the Colorado Avalanche patrols during the first period against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

Avs coach Jared Bednar …read more

Source:: The Denver Post – Sports


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