The Colorado Avalanche rallied in the third period to force overtime but ultimately fell 4-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night at Pepsi Center.
Matt Calvert tied the contest for Colorado with 31 seconds remaining in regulation after deflecting in a shot from Cale Makar, but Jared McCann gave Pittsburgh the victory after tallying at 3:19 of the OT period.
Nathan MacKinnon scored on the power play for the Avs in the first period, and Gabriel Landeskog recorded a multi-point outing with a goal and an assist. Defenseman Samuel Girard had two assists and now has 11 helpers in his last six games.
Evgeni Malkin gave the Penguins their first lead of the night with 4:17 left in the third period before the Colorado rally. Teddy Blueger and Bryan Rust also tallied for Pittsburgh.
The game was the second and final meeting of the year between the clubs. The Penguins beat the Avalanche 3-2 in overtime in the first matchup of the season on Oct. 16.
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14:38 COL (1-0) - PPG, Nathan MacKinnon unleashed a one-timer from the left circle that found twine after receiving a pass from Samuel Girard.
13:29 PIT (1-1) - Teddy Blueger scored after he knocked in the puck from a cross-ice pass.
18:20 COL (2-1) - Gabriel Landeskog flipped the puck into the air from the neutral zone and it took a weird bounce off the ice and got past goaltender Matt Murray.
1:14 PIT (2-2) - Bryan Rush tallied on a shot that went five-hole.
15:43 PIT (2-3) - Evgeni Malkin gave the Penguins their first lead of the night on a wrister from the right circle.
19:29 COL (3-3) - Cale Makar's slap shot from the high slot was deflected into the net by Matt Calvert to tie the game and force overtime.
3:19 PIT (3-4) - Jared McCann scored the game-winner from the slot.
Final: Penguins - 4 | Avalanche - 3 (overtime)
- Evgeni Malkin (PIT): Had a goal and an assist
- Jared McCann (PIT): Scored in OT
- Gabriel Landeskog (COL): Recorded a two-point night
Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Max Gluck (Lafayette Locomotive Hockey Club)
Colorado: 1 for 3
Pittsburgh: 0 for 2
Colorado: Pavel Francouz stopped 26 shots
Pittsburgh: Matt Murray made 28 saves, including 14 of 15 in the third period
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Healthy Dose of Cale: Cale Makar's assist on Matt Calvert's game-tying goal in the third period was his 24th helper of the season, tied with John-Michael Liles for the second-most assists by a rookie blueliner in franchise history. The Quebec Nordiques' Bruce Bell holds the record with 31 in 1984-85.
Samuel Girard recorded two assists and now has 11 helpers in his last six games. His nine assists since Jan. 1 are the most in the NHL. He now has 24 assists on the season, surpassing his career high set in 2018-19… Girard was playing in his 200th career NHL game... Pittsburgh scored with 3:26 remaining in the first period, but the goal was immediately waved off for goaltender interference… Gabriel Landeskog (goal and assist) registered his fourth multi-point game of the campaign… Nathan MacKinnon scored his 27th goal of the season, ranking third-most in the NHL… The Avalanche finished its season series with the Penguins with a 0-0-2 record… Colorado is now 11-4-3 against Eastern Conference teams this year… The Avs wrapped up a stretch of four straight contests against the opposing conference... Matt Calvert's goal late in the third period was the first time the Avalanche scored with its goalie pulled this season... Nathan MacKinnon finished with a team-high six shots. He now has 210 this season, tied with Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the league lead.
Defenseman Cale Makar on the Avs' rally: "Obviously we wanted to win the game. We were going into the third period up one goal and that one was lucky to go in. I mean, I just threw it on net, (Matt) Calvert made an unreal tap-in. Yeah, it's a tough way to lose in overtime. Obviously we get the one point, but we came here for two."
Video: PIT@COL: MacKinnon blasts one-timer to the twine
IMAGE OF THE GAME
Pavel Francouz started in net for the third time in the last 15 days… Mark Barberio was the team's lone healthy scratch… Colorado's line combinations were the same as they were at Thursday's practice, with Andre Burakovsky taking Joonas Donskoi's spot on a line with Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin… Vladislav Kamenev played for the second time in the last four games.
Joonas Donskoi missed his first game of the season as he is in concussion protocol, but the forward is making progress from his injury. Donskoi did an off-ice workout on Thursday and skated by himself before the team's morning skate on Friday… Colin Wilson (lower body) remains out after having surgery.
The Avs host the Dallas Stars in a Division Rivalry matchup in their next outing on Tuesday at Pepsi Center. It is the fourth and final meeting of the season between the Central Division foes and the second contest of Colorado's five-game homestand, tied for its longest of the year.
Based on the start of the game
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
95 Andre Burakovsky - 91 Nazem Kadri - 13 Valeri Nichushkin
83 Matt Nieto - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert
17 Tyson Jost - 37 J.T. Compher - 81 Vladislav Kamenev
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole
39 Pavel Francouz
31 Philipp Grubauer