Whenever you can get that man advantage in a hockey game, it is always important to make the most of those chances. The Colorado Avalanche did exactly that and a little bit more.
The Avalanche scored on the power play two out of four times, which included a game-winning goal under a minute left in overtime to lead to a statement win over the Chicago Blackhawks, a big divisional rival. The win put the Avalanche in prime position to a foot race for the Central Division once the Olympic break concludes and allowed them to gain some ground. Despite being outshot by an almost two to one margin, the Avalanche took advantage of their opportunities and Semyon Varlamov made sure that he made enough saves to keep his team in it by recording 46 saves.
Not only did the power play work for the Avalanche, they also did a great job on the penalty kill. Five times they were shorthanded and they did not allow a single goal during the 10 minutes they were short one man. The Avalanche might have found, at least for one game, another tactic that they can exploit. As long as they start creating better chances on both sides of the special teams advantages and disadvantages they will be in good shape.
Tyson Barrie has also developed into quite the play maker lately as he has scored the game winning goal in the last two games that required overtime to complete for the Avalanche. With a win against the current Stanley Cup Champions, this will give the Avalanche quite a confidence boost going forward. Let’s see how they respond off of a signature win against a formidable opponent.