DENVER (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog circled around before scoring on a wrist shot 4:22 into overtime, Philipp Grubauer wasn’t called on often but made 13 timely stops and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Landeskog patiently waited for an opening and whizzed a shot between defenders and over Antti Raanta for the winner in a back-and-forth, up-and-down-the-ice overtime session.
The Avalanche went 1-1 during the two-game series with Arizona in Denver even though they outshot the Coyotes by an 81-28 margin.
Colorado limited the Coyotes to 14 shots on Wednesday. It’s the 14th straight game the Avalanche have allowed fewer than 30 shots, which tied a franchise record.
“Going into the third you feel like you should be up three or four goals, but when you look at the scoreboard it’s tied,” said Landeskog, who notched his sixth career regular season OT goal. “Raanta had a good night. He was seeing everything, and they’re a competitive team.
“I’m proud of the way we worked tonight and stuck with it.”
Brandon Saad scored 1:23 into the game, but Raanta settled in and was difficult to solve. He made 44 saves.
Colorado had Nathan MacKinnon back after he missed three games due to a hit near his head a week ago in San Jose. He almost had as many shots on goal (10) as Arizona.
“He was dominating every time he was on the ice,” Landeskog said. “It’s good to have him back.”
Tyler Pitlick scored for the Coyotes, who saw their five-game road winning streak halted. Raanta stepped in for an injured Darcy Kuemper, who left Monday’s 3-2 win against Colorado early in the third period with a lower-body injury.
It was a productive trip to town as the Coyotes picked up three of four points.
“We don’t get any points without Raants,” Pitlick said. “Raants played unbelievable for us. He made a lot of huge saves.”
Grubauer made his biggest save midway through the third period on a breakaway by Clayton Keller. Later, a stop of Nick Schmaltz down low.
Raanta turned in one sensational save after another, including on a wide open Valeri Nichushkin with just under four minutes remaining.
“(Raanta) was great tonight. He was awesome,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “I’ve seen him do it before, and he did it tonight for us.”
Pitlick tied the game at 1 with 1:55 left in the second period and on just the ninth shot on goal by Arizona.
Saad opened the scoring when he lined an early shot past Raanta. Saad ranks second on the team with nine goals.
“We did a good job of sticking with it and not getting too frustrated and getting the win,” Saad said.
Tocchet said Kuemper’s injury was a “week-to-week thing.” Kuemper missed a few games earlier this season with an injury.
“He’s a guy that will take a negative situation and be positive about it. He has to,” Tocchet said. “He can’t be down in the dumps. Our team can’t be down in the dumps. We don’t have time for that. He was gingerly walking around, but he didn’t have his head down. He was trying to show the players, ‘Yeah, you guys can still do this.’ I like that about him.”
Captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson interjected his thoughts during a team meeting designed around getting the team to play more of a complete game. He even interrupted his coach to do so.
It’s exactly what Tocchet wanted.
“When we get quiet on the ice and we don’t talk and nobody wants the puck and we swing away from checks, like he said, we’re not good. We’re not a good team,” Tocchet recounted. “I didn’t have to tell him to say it. He said it. I thought that was a great segue for me to shut up. Because he said it. I was about to say something, but I said, ‘That’s enough said’ and we walked out of the meeting. That was good for ‘O’ to step up and say that, because it’s true.”
Coyotes: Begin three straight games at Minnesota on Friday.
Avalanche: Will host the Los Angeles Kings on Friday and Sunday.
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