The Avalanche ruined an excellent performance by goalkeeper Darcy Kumper and lost 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night. Colorado fell 4-5-1 through 10 games, with a four-day break until coming on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks in their next game.
Great effort in the net. Kumper faced 41 shots and made 38 saves. That wasn’t the problem. The AVS took a 2–1 lead in the third period for the second consecutive game against Columbus and allowed 16 shots in the final 20 minutes.
Kumper allowed a game-tying goal off Alexandre Texier from an awkward dump-in bounce into the corner with 6:23 remaining – with Texier out-skating defenseman Sam Girard securing the puck and placing it away from the far post — and the game-winner came off Cole Silinger’s deflection that Kuemper didn’t see with just 1:02 to go.
Columbus added a blank-net goal to complete the 2-0 stretch against the AVS, which fell 5-4 in overtime at the Blue Jackets at Ball Arena on Wednesday.
“Darcy was our best player,” AVS winger Mikko Rentanen said postgame. “But he needs help from us. In the third I felt that we did not have legs. We didn’t make much until they tied the match. Lots of gliding, not enough physical. very disappointing. That’s not a way to win games in the NHL.”
powerless. Colorado was 0-for-four on the power play, finishing 0-for-7 against the Blue Jackets in a two-game set, and is now 4-for-39 (10.5%, 29th in the 32-team league). . on the weather. The AVs are the Precision Stanley Cup favorites and their power play should be highly productive. But their inability to capitalize on the man-advantage is a big reason why they’re down 10 games to .500.
Burakovsky. Second-line left winger Andrei Burakovsky had two goals, both at equal-power. But he was on the ice for Columbus’s first two goals and finished with a zero rating. Burakovsky only had two shots, and he counted both, but that’s certainly part of the problem as the AVS continue to turn the puck and fail to find a coordinated two-way game.
Burakovsky made two good plays to score. But he remains a liability with the puck when he is not in the scoring areas.
“We managed the puck the wrong way,” said AVS coach Jared Bednar. “We didn’t execute on our exit.”
No excuse. The injury-plagued AVS were not a six regular in Wednesday’s OT loss, but three of them returned on Saturday. Rantenon missed three games with a lower body injury, but scored a team-high six shots. Burakovsky was back in the top six after missing Wednesday’s game. And defenseman Devon Toes began the season after off-season shoulder surgery and logged 21:08, second on the team behind teammate Bo Byram (22:24).
Nevertheless, the AVS were dismissed for the sixth time in 10 games and ended up three points outside the playoff spot.
Shots through traffic. Columbus defenseman Zack Verensky had a game-high 10 shots, and the Blue Jackets’ blueline combined for 14—seven more than the entire Avalanche defensive corps. Colorado is missing top-pair defenseman Black Capricorn and it shows. Byram and Toez are a solid first pair but they only produced one shot. Colorado’s inability to get more shots through traffic on goalkeeper Elvis Merzlikins limited its chances of a second chance.
Foot Note. AVS is expected to take Sunday off and practice at the Family Sports Center on Monday.