Sometimes you play the right way and don't come out with a win.
That was the case for the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night at Pepsi Center. The Avs had a slow start and one mistake led to a Winnipeg Jets goal that ultimately cost the home team the game in a 1-0 decision.
It was only a matter of time before Colorado got back in the win column, and win it did on Saturday night in the second of a back-to-back set over the weekend. Matt Duchene scored two goals and Rene Bourque finished a bouncing biscuit to help the Avalanche skate away to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena in Glendale.
The consistent effort was exactly what head coach Jared Bednar wanted to see from his club.
Video: Coach Jared Bednar recaps the Avs' 3-2 win
"It was the same as last night," Bednar said after the win. "You just got to stick with it. Stick with it and try to make sure that we're building chances and eventually we're going to get a goal, and that's what happened tonight.
"We felt we played a pretty good game last night. Little bit of a slow start, but the last 40-plus minutes we were all over Winnipeg and couldn't find a way to get a goal. And then it started out kind of the same way a little bit here tonight. It was a good back-and-forth game, hard-fought battle, and then we were having trouble finding the net. Then finally we capitalized and ended up getting a big win."
It's safe to say that Duchene is feeling it right now, early in this season. The 25-year-old center now has five markers and seven points in his last four games, putting him first on the club in goals and points and second in the NHL (tied) in goalscoring.
"He was good tonight. Hard on pucks, strong on pucks, kept his feet moving down low," said Bednar. "Then he made some plays and ended up scoring a couple goals."
Duchene registered his 24th career multi-marker match in the win, but the spotlight wasn't only on him.
Video: Calvin Pickard makes 24 saves in win
Goalkeeper Calvin Pickard was also rewarded for his efforts. The 24-year-old was named third star of the game after turning aside 24 shots to scoop up his second victory of the season.
"It's a big win for us. We know we had a pretty good game last night, definitely not the result we wanted," Pickard said. "We didn't cash in on our chances, but we had another chance to get it back today and start to finish we were the better team. It was great."
Although the Avs fell behind first for the fifth time this season, Pickard admitted that there was no concern from his teammates.
"There was never any doubt in anybody on our team's mind," said the goalie. "We had that structure all the way through tonight, and we believed that we were going to win."
"It's more about playing the right way and continuing to do the things we talk about on a daily basis," Bednar said of what that structure involves. "You know what I liked about tonight's game is we had four lines going, everyone kind of buying into their specific role. [Carl] Soderberg and [Blake] Comeau for example, out first for every penalty kill and kind of doubling up on the penalty kill as a third-line role, and then they found a way to get us a big goal, too.
"So you've got guys kind of starting to buy in and things are starting to settle out exactly how we're going to use guys as we learn as a coaching staff."
Video: COL@ARI: Pickard denies Doan, Murphy
The victory was paramount in helping Colorado stop a two-game slide while also proving that hard work pays dividends.
"It was big. We played pretty well for the second half of the game [on Friday]. We just couldn't get pucks to go in," Bourque said. "Same thing tonight. We got off to a good start, they get the lead and we came back strong. Dutchy came up big with two goals and Picks played really well. So that was a good team effort."
The Avs return to action on Tuesday, taking on the Nashville Predators in their third game of the season at Pepsi Center.
BOURQUE REACHES MILESTONE
Hockey is a funny game, and sometimes rewards come in the strangest ways.
While Rene Bourque's third-period marker wasn't the weirdest thing anybody has seen in the NHL, it definitely involved a little luck.
Video: COL@ARI: Bourque grabs rebound off boards for PPG
Nathan MacKinnon fired a shot on Arizona Coyotes netminder Louis Domingue that ultimately went wide of the net. The puck hammered off the end boards, and it appeared as if Avalanche rookie Mikko Rantanen was going to take it with him as he skated behind the cage.
Instead, the biscuit bounced its way straight to Bourque, who was crashing the Coyotes' crease. The 34-year-old forward then slammed the puck into the net for the Avalanche's second marker of the evening.
"That line, they did a good job defensively," Bednar said of Comeau, Soderberg and Bourque. "They played some big minutes for us on special teams and then he gets a big goal for us, too. That's exactly what we need, different guys stepping up every night."
A bright spot in the game, the tally carried more weight for the player who scored it. Bourque's 151st career goal upped his point total to 300--which is no easy accomplishment at the top tier of the sport--in his 665th game played.
"It was nice. I think our power play was good all night. We had a lot of chances, especially in the second," Bourque said of the overall effort. "We had back-to-back power plays, and we couldn't get one to bounce but got a fortunate bounce off the end boards here. I was just ready to put it in."
Video: Rene Bourque on his first Avalanche goal