DENVER — Devon Toews tied the game at 11:47 of the third period and Nazem Kadri beat Philipp Grubauer for the go-ahead goal in the Colorado Avalanche’s latest comeback effort, a 4-3 win over the Seattle Kraken.
The Avalanche were down a goal midway through the third period Jan. 4 in Chicago and trailed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Saturday. Both turned into overtime wins.
Kadri kept it in regulation Monday. He rushed in with Erik Johnson and Tyson Jost but held onto the puck, putting it over the familiar goalie and into the top short-side corner.
Grubauer spent the past three seasons in Colorado before leaving in free agency.
“I know some of his tendencies, for sure, but I wasn’t really thinking about that. He’s a great goaltender. He’d robbed me earlier in the game, so I think I owed him one,” Kadri said.
"I was just able to find the corner. I think he played it pretty well. Just got a little lucky.”
It’s been a rocky first season of existence for the Kraken. They’re settled in last place in the Pacific Division and second-to-last in the Western Conference.
They were able to disrupt the Avalanche through two periods at Ball Arena, however.
“They work hard. They might not have a crazy deep lineup, but they’re going to work and they’re going to make you earn everything,” Kadri said. “I think they played great tonight.”
Nicolas Aube-Kubel went in on Grubauer with Alex Newhook and Logan O’Connor in the first period. He followed up on O’Connor’s shot.
“Just had to put it in. It was pretty easy,” Aube-Kubel said.
The Kraken then scored three unanswered.
“You have to give Seattle credit. They checked hard,” coach Jared Bednar said. “But we did not do some of the things that we wanted to do, especially on our entries. We turned the puck over a lot.”
Aube-Kubel got another fortunate bounce on his second goal of the night, which made the score 3-2. He was the last to touch the puck before it went in off the skate of Seattle’s Carson Soucy.
Toews’ game-tying goal survived a brief review.
“We've got to find ways to get off to better starts, but that being said, it’s always nice to just get the job done in the end,” Kadri said.
Backup goaltender Pavel Francouz made his second start of the season. He relieved Darcy Kuemper on Saturday night with the Avalanche trailing 3-0 and picked up the win. He made 23 saves on Monday against Seattle.
“Shouldn’t be able to score from on the boards, below the hashmarks, straight in. I don’t know if he had a great look at it, but I think positioning gets that job done,” Bednar said, referring to the Kraken’s second goal.
“But he made some huge saves. Huge saves.”