PITTSBURGH--The Colorado Avalanche extended its point streak to six games but lost 3-2 in overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena. The Avs and Buffalo Sabres are the only clubs in the NHL without a regulation loss in the 2019-20 campaign.
Matt Calvert opened the game's scoring with his first goal of the year early in the first period, and Nathan MacKinnon extended his season-opening point streak to six games with his third tally of the campaign. MacKinnon, who has nine points (three goals, six assists) on the season, buried a slick wrist shot on a 2-on-1 rush early in the third period to tie the contest at 2-2.
Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer started his fifth game of the season and finished with 30 saves. Colorado's Ian Cole, Matt Nieto and Mikko Rantanen added an assist each on the scoresheet.
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel found the back of the net in regulation before Brandon Tanev scored the game-winner in overtime after the Avs couldn't corral a bouncing puck near the goal line. Crosby also had an assist in the game.
The teams meet again for the second and final time this season on Jan. 10 in Denver. The Avalanche continues its six-game road trip at the Florida Panthers on Friday.
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3:16 COL (1-0) - Matt Nieto's centering pass was redirected to the middle slot where Matt Calvert fired a hard shot for his first goal of the season.
17:22 PIT (1-1) - Sidney Crosby skated through the slot, stickhandled the puck and scored on a backhand shot that slid low on the ice during 4-on-4 play.
15:30 PIT (1-2) - Jake Guentzel took a pass from Sidney Crosby, drove to the net and lifted a wrist shot over the short-side shoulder of goaltender Philipp Grubauer.
2:56 COL (2-2) - On a 2-on-1, Nathan MacKinnon took a pass from Mikko Rantanen and lifted the puck into the top of the net on a play that developed into a breakaway.
3:54 PIT (2-3) - SHG, Brandon Tanev scored to end the contest after the Avalanche couldn't contain a bouncing puck near the goal line.
Final: Penguins - 3 | Avalanche - 2 (Overtime)
- Brandon Tanev (PIT): Got credit for the game-winning goal in overtime
- Sidney Crosby (PIT): Had a game-high two points (one goal, one assist)
- Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Scored to tie the game at 2-2 in the third period
Selected by Pittsburgh media
Colorado: 0 for 3
Pittsburgh: 0 for 3
Colorado: Philipp Grubauer stopped 30 of the 33 shots he faced and has yet to lose a game in regulation this year (4-0-1).
Pittsburgh: Matt Murray finished the contest with 26-of-28 saves in the overtime win.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each extended their season-opening point streaks to six games. MacKinnon has three goals and six assists, while Rantanen leads the team in scoring with 10 points (four goals, six assists).
MacKinnon and Rantanen each tallied points in Colorado's first nine games of the 2018-19 campaign (Oct. 4-22, 2018), tying the Avalanche record for longest point streak to begin a season (John-Michael Liles, 2010-11).
The Avalanche has picked up points in each game it has played this season (5-0-1), the first time it has done that through the first six contests since 2013-14 (6-0-0)… Matt Calvert scored his first goal of the season while Ian Cole picked up his first point of the campaign with an assist on the tally… The Avalanche scored in the first six minutes of the game for the fourth time this season… Cale Makar's point streak ended at five games, tied for the second-longest by a rookie defenseman to begin their career in NHL history… Colorado's 42 hits are its most since Dec. 11, 2016 at Toronto (also 42)… Gabriel Landeskog recorded a team-high seven hits, while Ryan Graves registered six, a career high… Linesman Michel Cormier was injured 1:50 into the second period and did not return due to precautionary reasons, according to NHL PR. The remaining three on-ice officials were used for the rest of the game.
Goaltender Philipp Grubauer on the overtime loss: "I don't think we're happy with the outcome or how we played. I said it a couple games ago, we weren't playing great, but we found a way to get two points. Maybe today was a little bit of a reality check. Got to move on, the next game is coming quick, we got a back-to-back coming up against two strong teams. We got to make sure we don't make the same mistakes on the weekend."
Video: COL@PIT: Grubauer uses glove to thwart Tanev
IMAGE OF THE GAME
Nathan MacKinnon of the Avalanche and Sidney Crosby of the Penguins, both from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, get ready for the game's opening faceoff.
J.T. Compher was activated from injured reserve and returned to the lineup after missing the past three games with a lower-body injury… Mark Barberio played his third game of the season after being scratched on Monday at Washington… Defenseman Kevin Connauton was reassigned to the American Hockey League's Colorado Eagles prior to the game… Vladislav Kamenev, Valeri Nichushkin and Nikita Zadorov were the healthy scratches.
The Avalanche entered the game completely healthy for the first time this season with Compher returning from his injury.
Colorado's season-long road trip continues in the Sunshine State as it faces the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday. It is the first half of a back-to-back set for the Avs as they'll play at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Based on start of the game
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
72 Joonas Donskoi - 91 Nazem Kadri - 95 Andre Burakovsky
37 J.T. Compher - 17 Tyson Jost - 22 Colin Wilson
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
28 Ian Cole - 8 Cale Makar
27 Ryan Graves - 44 Mark Barberio
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz