NEW YORK--Colorado Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said Friday that his team's upcoming game against the New York Islanders would likely end in a one-goal difference. It turned out he was correct.
The Avs fell 4-3 in overtime to the Islanders at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon, the same score as their last game on Thursday against the Washington Capitals.
"Tonight was more of a low-event game on both sides, both teams checked extremely hard, and they just don't give up much anyways," said Bednar. "We were prepared to try and play a 1-0 game, and it felt like that the whole night."
Colorado scored the first two goals of the contest, as Carl Soderberg netted his 18 tally of the campaign 10:19 into the opening frame and defenseman Erik Johnson extended the lead to two markers with a 4-on-4 goal early in the second period.
Soderberg finished with three points (one goal, two assists), matching a career high that he has reached six times previously (last on Jan. 14, 2019 at Toronto, three goals). It was the eighth time this season that the forward has registered multiple points in a contest.
Johnson notched two points (one goal, one assist), his second multi-point outing in his last three games. Johnson has four points (two goals, two assists) in four contests since he returned from a head injury on Feb. 2; he had a tally and helper on Tuesday in the Mile High City against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Video: COL@NYI: Johnson wrists one by Lehner
The Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders fought back though, and eventually took the lead on a power-play goal with a little more than six minutes remaining in regulation.
"They are in first place for a reason--throughout their lineup, they work," Bednar said of the Islanders. "Their forwards forecheck hard, they are on pucks, they are relentless and they are going to create some chances. I thought we did a really nice job throughout the game sort of suppressing the chances against and limiting our mistakes.
"The second period though, we got a little cute with the puck, we didn't keep pushing it north--the things that made us successful in the first period. We started mixing in some drop passes, and those came back on us and gave them some chances."
J.T. Compher was able to tie the game with 2:45 remaining to force the extra frame and earn the Avs a point in the standings. It was the second-straight contest that Colorado notched the game-tying goal with less than three minutes left in regulation.
Video: COL@NYI: Compher scores off defender to tie it late
"Tying it up again in the late part of the game, it was exciting," said Colin Wilson, who earned an assist on the tally. "Obviously we wanted to win it in overtime, but back-to-back games we have been resilient and tied it back up in the last five minutes, it's been good."
The overtime loss wrapped up the Avalanche's two-game season series with the Islanders. The Avs finished 0-1-1 against New York and is now 13-8-4 against Eastern Conference teams this year, including a 7-5-3 record on the road.
"I think the positive that we can take away is that this game and the way that [the Islanders] play forced us to battle," said Wilson. "Forced us to get back to our defensive mindset and to play hard in the one on one battles. I think we just need to carry that work ethic into the next game and defensive responsibility."
Video: Colin Wilson after the loss in New York
BACK-TO-BACK CONCLUDES IN BOSTON: The Avalanche finishes its eighth back-to-back set of the season on Sunday at the Boston Bruins.
Colorado will play in consecutive games 11 times this season. In the second half of these sets this year, the Avs are 3-3-1.
The outing in Boston will be Colorado's second afternoon game in a row as the outing at the Islanders started at 11 a.m. MT and the affair at the Bruins is set to start at 1 p.m. MT, the seventh of 11 day games (5 p.m. start time or earlier) for the Avalanche this year. The team is 3-2-1 so far this year in afternoon games.
"Honestly, afternoon back-to-backs are fine, they are great. You get to go get a good night rest, get to the city early," said veteran forward Colin Wilson. "I think we are looking forward to the challenge, everybody should be pretty rested after a good sleep--we are not getting in at 3 a.m. It is going to be a battle and we are a team that is looking to rise here."
The Avs won their first matchup against the Bruins this season, 6-3, at Pepsi Center on Nov. 14.
COLE OUT WITH UPPER-BODY INJURY: Defenseman Ian Cole missed the game after suffering an upper-body injury against the Washington Capitals on Thursday.
The outing at the Islanders was the first that the 29-year-old has missed this season. In his first year with the Avalanche, he has played in 53 contests and has 10 points (one goal, nine assists).