The Colorado Avalanche fought back from a 4-2 deficit on Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets to extend the game past regulation and gain a point in the standings.
Colorado scored twice in the closing minutes of the third period but ultimately fell 5-4 in overtime to the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
The Avs had a favorable start to the game and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission after all three goals in the opening period were scored within a 53-second stretch of time.
"Great start, then it was very average for me," said Colorado head coach Jared Bednar afterward. "Big game, a couple points on the line and I just thought that we were a little slow, a little lackadaisical. We got outworked in some areas tonight. You got to give [Columbus] credit, they are a hardworking team.
"They came after our D and we had a tough time handling it at times, but good start to build the lead. It dwindles away, and we fall behind. You got to give our guys credit for coming back in the third, we find a way. Big power-play goal and then get a goal late, so we will take the point."
The Blue Jackets had four power-play opportunities in the second period, including 10 seconds of 5-on-3, and the Avs' penalty kill only allowed one man-advantage goal.
However, because it needed to defend so many short-handed situations, Colorado did not have many scoring chances in the middle stanza and had to fight back in the third frame.
"I think we had five penalties in a row, so we are killing the whole time and half of our bench is just sitting there and they aren't getting an opportunity to go on the ice," said Bednar. "At times, [our top line] was sitting there for eight minutes at a time so it makes it tough to get in and go offensively. Coming out of that, we knew we were rested and you got to lay it all on the line down two [goals].
"That's what I give our guys credit for tonight, we found a way to carve out a point but we need to get some more pucks and traffic to the net. We did that late in the game, and we ended up getting rewarded for it."
Gabriel Landeskog capitalized on the power-play for Colorado with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation and Carl Soderberg scored his second goal of the game to tie it up and help Colorado earn a point in Columbus.
"When you are one point out or [tied] with the second wild-card spot, you play for your life and making the playoffs," said Rantanen. "That's our goal and to get a late goal like that and tie the game, it's huge for us but it's disappointing we couldn't get the win there."
CARL'S MULTI-GOAL GAME
For the third time this season, veteran forward Carl Soderberg scored twice for Colorado, his eighth multi-point game of the campaign and third multi-goal game of his career.
His first tally came 12 seconds after Tyson Barrie found the back of the net for the first goal of the game.
Video: COL@CBJ: Soderberg wires a wrister past Korpisalo
"We are solid in the D-zone and created some offense too," Soderberg said of his line with wingers Blake Comeau and Matt Nieto. "Nice to get on the board here again."
He has six points (three goals, three assists) in his last six contests and 31 points (14 goals, 17 assists) in 64 outings in 2017-18.
Gabriel Landeskog's third period, power-play goal marked the sixth game in a row that Colorado has converted on the man advantage. The last time the Avalanche scored a power-play tally in six straight contests was from Nov. 25 to Dec. 3, 2009.
Nathan MacKinnon assisted on the goal to extend his point streak to seven games. The 22-year-old center has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) during the stretch.
Defenseman Tyson Barrie opened the scoring for the Avalanche and lengthened his point streak to five games, one shy of tying his career best that he set earlier this season (Oct. 11-24). He has collected seven points (three goals, four assists) in his last five outings and 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his previous nine contests.
Video: COL@CBJ: Landeskog buries Rantanen's feed for a PPG
EAST SIDE STORY
The Avalanche's contests against Columbus marked the last time it will visit an Eastern Conference opponent in 2017-18.
The Avs play two more games against eastern teams this season and both will be at Pepsi Center. The Avalanche hosts the Detroit Red Wings on March 18 and the Philadelphia Flyers on March 28.
Colorado improved its record this campaign versus the Eastern Conference to 18-10-2.
AVS HEAD HOME FOR ONE
Colorado heads back to Pepsi Center for one game against the Arizona Coyotes before hitting the road for two more outings.
"It's a must-win, and I think we have to have that mentality," said Rantanen. "The way we play at home, we have to keep playing like that. I think the road games we have to find a way to win those, that's what is going to get us into the playoffs. Just keep playing the same way we did at home."
Colorado is 13-1-1 in its last 15 games in the Mile High City and is 23-8-2 on home ice this season, tied for the fifth-most wins in the NHL. The Avs average 3.64 goals per game at home, which ties them for third in the league.