The Colorado Avalanche suffered a 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night at Ball Arena, which snapped their win streak at six games. Colorado is now 26-18-3 on the season.
For the Avalanche, Mikko Rantanen scored twice – including once on the power play – while Samuel Girard (1G, 1A) also found the back of the net. in Colorado’s net, Pavel Françouz turned aside 27 of the 31 shots.
Matt Nieto, who played the Avalanche via trade on Tuesday night in his first game since 2020 for the club after spending the past three seasons in San Jose. Cale Makar also returned to the lineup after being sidelined for four-straight games, Denis Malgin also played in his first game since Jan. 5 after suffering an upper-body injury, meanwhile Valery Nikhushkin missed the game due to an upper-body injury. The Avalanche utilized a lineup of 11 forwards and seven defensemen for the seventh-straight game.
For the Ducks, Frank Vatrano scored a hat trick, while Adam Henrique and Mason McTavish also scored. Between the pipes, John Gibson made 40 saves on 43 shots.
3:56 – COL 1, ANA 0 – As the Avalanche cycled the puck around the zone, a Makar shot created a net front scramble. The puck popped out to the backdoor and Rantanen skated in and buried it into the open net to give Colorado a 1-0 lead.
9:46 – COL 1, ANA 1 – On a transition play, Vatrano fired a shot from distance out past the faceoff circles, Francouz made the stop, but Vatrano followed the rebound and capitalized on his second chance to tie the score 1-1 .
1:13 – COL 2, ANA 1 – From the right faceoff circle, Nathan MacKinnon charged towards the net and sent a cross-ice pass across the slot to Girard, who released a wrist shot into the net before Gibson could slide over to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead.
16:09 – COL 3, ANA 1, PPG – Colorado’s power play unit zipped the puck across the zone as Girard threaded a pass to Rantanen atop the right faceoff circle. The Finnish winger unleashed a rocket of a one-timer past Gibson’s glove for his second goal of the game to extend the Avalanche’s lead 3-1.
18:37 – COL 3, ANA 2 – After being denied by Francouz on back-to-back chances, Vatrano curled around the net and jammed the puck past the post for his second goal of the contest to trim Anaheim’s deficit down 3-2 late in the second period.
9:42 – COL 3, ANA 3 – Troy Terry drove to the net, stickhandled and sent a late pass to the net front where Henrique lofted his shot past Francouz for the equalizer.
10:06 – ANA 4, COL 3 – For the first time in the game, Anaheim held the lead. After collecting the puck along the wall, the Ducks countered up ice with McTavish going one-on-one against Makar. The Anaheim forward quickly fired a shot from atop the left faceoff circle that wrung off the far post and past Francouz.
19:10 – ANA 5, COL 3 – Vatrano secured the hat trick as he buried the puck into the empty net to also seal the victory for Anaheim.
- Rantanen recorded his team-leading 33rd and 34th goals of the season as well as his seventh power-play goal.
- Girard (1G, 1A) buried his fourth goal of the season.
- Makar returned to the lineup after being sidelined for four-straight games due to injury. The blueliner totaled a game-high of 26:12 minutes (including 3:13 on the power play and 2:18 shorthanded), was paired with Devon Toewsrecorded an assist, fired two shots, blocked one shot, and was minus two.
- Malign skated alongside Ben Meyers and Matt Nieto. The Swiss winger logged 8:03 minutes, posted an assist on Rantanen’s power-play strike, took one shot, threw one hit, blocked one shot and was minus-one.
- Nieto played on a line next to Rantanen and JT Compher, while also taking shifts with Meyers and Malgin. He clocked 13:51 minutes, which was plus-one, took one penalty, fired off two shots and had one block.
- Francouz made his 14th start of the season while his record dropped to 7-7-0.
- Colorado finished the game 1-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill.
- Darren Helm (lower body) and Nichushkin (upper body) were scratches for the Avalanche.
The Avalanche conclude their three-game homestand leading up to the All-Star break as they host St. Louis on Saturday for a matinee matchup. The puck drops between the Avs and Blues at 1:00 pm MT.