Mikko Rantanen scores overtime winner for Avalanche over Canadiens


To make up for their three upcoming off days, the Avs are trying to treat fans to extra hockey on a nightly basis as a holiday gift.

Stretched to overtime for the second consecutive game and fourth in the last seven, the Avalanche ended a five-game homestand with a 2-1 win over the Canadiens on Wednesday night. Artturi Lehkonen scored a game-tying goal against his former team in the third period, and fellow Finn Mikko Rantanen netted the walk-off winner with 3:09 remaining in overtime.

It was Rantanen’s 22nd goal of the season.

Colorado (18-11-2) has won five of six games and tallied a point in six of the last seven. The team is onward to Nashville on Friday before a brief holiday respite.

The Avs are having no trouble unleashing more shots on goal than their opponents lately. Making those opportunities meaningful is another conversation.

In the last four games of the homestand, they outshot opponents a combined 153-93. But they only scored seven goals during that span, good for a 4% shooting rate.

They’re still waiting for Valeri Nichushkin to score his first goal since returning from an injury. Gone is his goal-a-game pace that lasted seven games before he went out for a month (ankle). In his seventh game back, perhaps his best scoring chance yet fell at his feet … and off his feet. Rantanen threaded a beautiful pass to J.T. Compher during an Avalanche power play. The puck found its way from Compher across the crease to Nichushkin, who stood right in front of an open net.

If his stick had found it, he would’ve had an easy goal. Instead the puck ricocheted off his skate and away from the net. It was Colorado’s most enticing chance of the first two periods, which ended with a 1-0 deficit.

The Avs had gone 107 minutes, 48 seconds without a goal when Lehkonen struck. It was seven seconds into a power play and 2:16 into the third period.


Source link