Down 1-0 and with the Kraken having appeared to score another goal, the Colorado Avalanche were reeling early Mondy night in Seattle.
But coach Jared Bednar successfully challenged the short-handed tally — a move that seemed to turn things around for Colorado, which scored the next five goals to win 5-1. Instead of losing their third straight game, the Avalanche looked like the team that rolled through the postseason in 2021-22.
They will try to build on that momentum shift when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Anaheim is on the second game of a back-to-back after rallying to win 3-2 at Nashville on Tuesday night.
Colorado still won’t have winger Artturi Lehkonen, who is on injured reserve with an upper-body injury. Center Andrew Cogliano and defensemen Samuel Girard and Josh Manson were out Monday with injuries as well, and are listed as day-to-day.
Those absences opened up opportunities for others. Defensemen Sam Malinski and Caleb Jones were inserted into the lineup, with Malinski making his NHL debut and Jones his Avalanche debut. Colorado didn’t practice Tuesday and had no additional update on the injured players.
Despite not having key components, the Avalanche played well. Jonathan Drouin, who was a healthy scratch against the Kraken last Thursday, scored his first goal of the season on Monday night.
“As a coach, you want them all to get rewarded for their hard work,” said Bednar, who got his 300th career win, all with Colorado, on Monday. “One way to get rewarded is me giving them more ice time, but the production is what they’re looking for and what you need in order to win hockey games.”
Monday was also a bounce-back game for goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, who was pulled after giving up six goals in an 8-2 loss to St. Louis on Saturday night.
“You try to build your confidence in any way now, and I made some good saves,” said Georgiev, who turned away 18 shots against Seattle.
The Ducks got off to a slow start to this season, dropping four of their first five before reeling off six straight wins and handing Vegas a rare loss. They’ve struggled recently (2-2 over their last four) and are without one of their top forwards, Trevor Zegras, who is out with a lower-body injury.
Zegras will miss his fourth straight game after the team placed him on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 10. He is eligible to play Friday against the Florida Panthers.
Zegras has gotten off to a slow start, with just one goal and an assist through 12 games, but Frank Vatrano has made up for it with 11 goals in 15 games, including two hat tricks. Vatrano was on a four-game goal drought before getting two against San Jose on Sunday night.
“Frankie is an easy guy to coach because he’s a high-energy guy. He’s got a very high standard for self-accountability, so when you’re trying to coach players to a level they’re not comfortable playing at, he’s an easy guy to push himself to those zones,” Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said. “Frankie’s DNA is to play at that level all the time.”
The Ducks have won eight of their last 10.
–Field Level Media
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