DENVER (AP) — Cale Makar scored at 1:38 of overtime, Nathan MacKinnon ran his franchise-record home goals streak to nine games and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Saturday.
MacKinnon also extended his home points streak to 16 games. Denis Malgin opened the scoring for Colorado in the first period, Alexandar Georgiev made 18 saves and Mikko Rantanen had two assists.
“I felt like their guy was going for the change or the middle of the ice,” Makar said about the overtime goal, the defenseman’s 15th of the season. “I felt like I could get enough speed to go around the outside. It was kind of a good spot and a good pick by Mikko there. It worked out.”
Jack McBain and Clayton Keller scored for Arizona in the first period, with Keller giving the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with his team-best 27th goal.
Connor Ingram made 41 saves in his first game back in Denver since he stopped 49 shots last year while a member of the Nashville Predators in a 2-1 overtime loss in the first round of the playoffs.
“I got out too far,” Ingram said of Makar’s winner. “I jumped out. I didn’t think he would shoot the puck. He cut to the middle, he lost it for a second, which made it even worse, and then it ends up in his hands. It’s a tough bounce.”
Arizona was outshot 44-20 margin and didn’t record a shot on net in the third period and overtime.
“It was just smart, hard-working hockey and playing to our identity,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “It looked like we got stronger as the game went on because we were doing things right. It’s an easier game. You’re playing with the puck the whole time and you’re trying to create scoring chances. There was good hunger there to win it in regulation. We had a bunch of really good chances and just couldn’t capitalize, so we stuck with it and got it done in overtime. To me, it’s strictly about the commitment and determination we play with.”
The Avalanche entered the game in a rut, with a 1-3-1 record in March after going 7-1-2 in February and beginning to look the part of a team that could successfully defend its Stanley Cup title.
“I think there’s no reason to doubt it,” MacKinnon said. “We’ve made the playoffs five, six years in a row. We’ve gotten better every season. Obviously, this hasn’t been our best season by any means, but I truly believe if we were healthy for the whole year, we’d be five, 10 points up in the west and looking at a different mentality right now. We have to keep that in mind.”