The third period swung the Colorado Avalanche’s way Wednesday. Cale Makar scored the team’s third power-play goal of the night, Nazem Kadri added his third point of the evening and the Avalanche (7-5-1) won their third straight.
Makar played catch with Devon Toews before ripping one in stick side for the go-ahead goal. The Vancouver Canucks pulled goaltender Thatcher Demko for the extra attacker but Gabriel Landeskog put a puck into their empty net for a 4-2 road victory.
Colorado’s Darcy Kuemper made a handful of deft saves, tracking a shot that changed direction widely. He stuck out his foot to stop that one. He then slid across and used the top of his blocker pad to send Nils Hoglander’s 2-on-1 shot safely into the netting.
“Especially in that second period, I felt like they tilted the ice a little bit,” Kadri said of the Canucks. “Kuemps made some outrageous saves for us that really picked the bench up.”
Erik Johnson made a few preemptive saves of his own on sprawling shot blocks. He was credited with a team-high five in total.
Vancouver’s Conor Garland tied the game at 1 after a lengthy scramble while the Avalanche were short a stick. Kuemper (32 saves) lost track of the puck on Tucker Poolman’s goal 1:30 into the third period.
Forty-nine seconds later, the Avalanche were back on the power play. Mikko Rantanen’s rebound shot out to Landeskog and jumped the captain’s stick. Landeskog reached back and sent the puck over to Kadri, who tapped it in and was sent into the goalpost after it face-first. Kadri appeared annoyed but unshaken and went on to assist on Makar’s goal.
“I think for us as a unit, we’re not so much worried about the statistics,” Makar said of the power play. “We just want to make sure we’re getting that chemistry back, working the puck well.”
Kadri had a goal and two assists for the second straight game and his point streak reached seven games (4 goals, 9 assists). He leads the team with 17 points (5 goals, 12 assists) through 13 games.
“As an offensive player, when you’re hot, you’re hot. I’m kind of riding that wave right now," Kadri said. "I understand it’s a bit of a roller-coaster ride in terms of production throughout an 82-game season. For now, I love where my game’s at and I’m going to continue to get better.”
Rantanen roofed a power-play shot 7:17 into the first period. Demko finished with 26 saves.
“I think we’re still moving in the right direction. We’re not quite there yet, but we are only 15 games in. This isn’t the team we’re going to be two months from now,” Kadri said.
“Now it’s time to turn it around and start putting some wins together.”