DENVER - Avalanche center Nazem Kadri was the final player sent out for the shootout Friday at Ball Arena and the only one to convert his chance, beating Arizona Coyotes goaltender Ivan Prosvetov for a 4-3 decision.
Kadri swung the puck around Prosvetov’s outstretched foot to clinch the extra standings point for Colorado. The NHL’s fifth-leading scorer wasn't selected for the All-Star Game the previous day.
“You just look at that shootout move, the patience he has with the puck, and the skill and the poise – it's pretty outstanding,” teammate Tyson Jost said. “He does that on a daily basis, every night.”
Pavel Francouz made three saves in overtime. He said he asked Darcy Kuemper about his former teammates, mostly joking, and the goaltender acquired from Arizona this past offseason shook his head.
“If you get a tip from someone and the guy doesn’t do the move, then it’s really tough,” Francouz said. “It’s a little bit better to know nothing and just try to read the situation.”
The Avalanche are now 23-8-3 and the Coyotes almost a mirror-image 8-23-4. It was still a close game.
Mikko Rantanen handed the puck off at the blue line and got it back three seconds later, depositing a Devon Toews rebound to make it 1-0.
Mikhail Maltsev then dug for the puck along the boards. Kurtis MacDermid took it over and attempted a wraparound. His bid found a leg pad but Jost was in perfect position to put back the rebound.
It was Jost’s first goal since Dec. 6. Later he drew a penalty that led to a shorthanded goal against. Clayton Keller poke-checked and pushed his way past Toews and went in, scoring under pressure from the Avalanche defenseman.
The Coyotes sprayed passes all over the ice and Johan Larsson came up with the puck to the side of Francouz, beating the goaltender short side to erase the 2-0 Colorado lead.
Cale Makar had his helmet knocked off near the Colorado bench and MacDermid took exception, though dropping the gloves was a non-event. MacDermid threw Ilya Lyubushkin to the ice immediately. A slew of penalties followed, including unsportsmanlike conduct and roughing to MacDermid, but the period ended without a scoring change.
The Avalanche penalty kill, which sits fourth-to-last (73.1%) in the NHL, was 4-for-4.
“I think we were more aggressive. That’s something we stressed yesterday in practice, too, kind of the little triggers and where we can go and where we can apply pressure," Jost said.
“Tonight was outstanding. I think it’s a little boost of confidence for us and it shows that we have been doing the right things.”
As soon as play picked back up, the goals arrived. Arizona’s Shayne Gostisbehere and Colorado’s Andre Burakovsky scored 29 seconds apart in the first 1:08 of the third period.
“It's really tough when you don’t get a lot of shots and you’re kind of waiting for every save,” Francouz (23 saves) said. “I really wish I could have that third goal back because I think that should be a save.
“Thank God guys bailed me out with the goal in a couple seconds. So we started over.”
The Avalanche controlled possession for much of the third period and outshot Arizona 11-3.
Defenseman Ryan Murray (upper-body) left the game late. Coach Jared Bednar said he thinks captain Gabriel Landeskog (COVID-19 protocol) will rejoin the team for Saturday’s rematch in Arizona and MacDermid will move back to his natural position on defense.