The thing that makes avalanches so deadly is that when they start they escalate out of control extremely quickly.
It didn't take long for the Coyotes to put themselves behind the eight ball. Arizona's inability to clear the zone, plus some overly mobile goaltending from Mike McKenna left Cody McLeod with the opportunity to re-direct a bouncing puck into the net to give Colorado an early lead at just 2:54 of the first.
Nine seconds later, one of Colorado's more dynamic offensive talents took advantage of some sluggish backchecking by Andrew Campbell. Jarome Iginla would beat Campbell to the near faceoff circle and feed the puck to Matt Duchene, who scored into a gaping net to give the Avs the 2-0 lead.
Arizona would stabilize things a bit after the Duchene goal, and would even get one back off the stick of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. OEL took care of a rebound from Lucas Lessio at 9:51 of the first to cut the Avs lead in half.
Colorado would come right back and add a third goal at 14:58 on the power play, as defenseman Nick Holden fired a slapshot that went past a screened McKenna. Colorado would take that 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
It didn't get much better after that. Tyson Barrie would score a goal of his own at 7:28 of the second period, putting Arizona down by three goals with half of the game still left to play. It would get worse; Gabriel Landeskog would score at 17:18 of the second period, to give the Avalanche as many goals (5) as the Coyotes had shots (5) in the entire game to that point.
Arizona would finally break the shotless streak at 1:18 of the third period, as Brandon Gormley took a shot on Reto Berra, who replaced Varlamov in net to start the third. In retrospect, that doesn't seem like the wisest of moves, as Mark Arcobello scored his second goal in three games with Arizona at 2:37 of the period to make the score 5-2.
The Coyotes would finally crack double-digits in shots shortly after the Arcobello goal, which seemed to give them a bit more life. They would successfully kill off a Keith Yandle penalty midway through the third, but ultimately could not get another one past Berra.
Three Stars of the Game
- 3rd Star - Matt Duchene - his first period goal really sent the Coyotes scrambling. He would assist on the Holden power play goal.
- 2nd Star - Zach Redmond - two assists on the night helped Colorado spread the offense around.
- 1st Star - Jarome Iginla - he had assists on the Duchene goal and the Barrie goal. Iginla had a great game.
- For the Colorado perspective, check out Mile High Hockey.
- Arizona's shotless stretch lasted 24:03, from 17:15 in the first period to 1:18 in the third.
- Jordan Martinook recorded his first career NHL point on Arcobello's goal.
- Every Arizona skater played more than 10:00 tonight; the player with the least ice time was David Moss with 11:30.
- The Coyotes' power play went 0 for 1, while the Avs' power play went 1 for 3. The game was largely penalty free.
- Every Coyote who recorded a point tonight was 28 years old or younger. That encompasses Kyle Chipchura, Lucas Lessio, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Michael Stone, Jordan Martinook, and Mark Arcobello.
Arizona will get to sit on this loss for four days, as their next game is against Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Puck drop for that one is at 6 PM at Gila River Arena in Glendale.