MacKinnon scores in OT to cap Avalanche’s rally
DETROIT — It sure didn’t look as if the Colorado Avalanche had played less than 24 hours ago, but that was the case on Sunday.
Center Nathan MacKinnon scored 2:55 into overtime, lifting Colorado to a 4-3, come-from-behind win over the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena.
The Avalanche lost to the Predators 5-2 in Nashville on Saturday night.
“A back-to-back win is big,” MacKinnon said. “It gives us confidence.”
His game-winner came on a two-on-one rush, and he beat Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard from the left circle.
“I just saw the short side open on a two-on-one,” MacKinnon said. “I think I surprised him a little. Shot from far out, and it went in.”
MacKinnon joined defenseman Erik Johnson with a goal and an assist for the Avalanche (10-8-1). Right winger Nail Yakupov and center Carl Soderberg also scored for Colorado, which trailed 3-1 in third period. Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie had two assists, and goalie Jonathan Bernier stopped 21 shots.
“You’ve got to play the whole game, at least give yourself a chance,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “A positive sign for our team, I think.”
Forwards Justin Abdelkader and Andreas Athanasiou and defenseman Niklas Kronwall scored, and Howard made 33 saves for Detroit (10-8-3).
“We didn’t play good enough from the start,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “So we got, in my opinion, one more point than we deserved.”
Soderberg tied the game at 3 with 46 seconds left and Bernier pulled for the extra attacker. MacKinnon’s shot went in off Soderberg’s back for his third goal.
“Late we were just shooting everything six-on-five, rebounds, everything,” MacKinnon said. “And Carl did a good job deflecting it.”
Yakupov made it 3-2 with a power-play goal with 6:15 left. His shot from the right circle went in off Howard.
“It was kind of good play around the net, and I got a good bounce,” said Yakupov, who collected his sixth goal. “All I had to do was shoot.”
Athanasiou gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 57 seconds left in the second period when he scored on a breakaway. He made a couple of moves and put in a forehand shot for his fifth goal of the season.
“They were definitely skating. They came out good,” Athanasiou said. “They played last night, but no matter what, you’ve got to play 60 minutes.”
Kronwall made it 3-1 with a power-play goal with 8:53 left in the third period. He put in a one-time slap shot from the high slot for his first goal of the season.
Despite the lead, Detroit was being outplayed.
“We were in a position to steal the game,” Blashill said. “But when you don’t play well enough for 60 minutes, you put yourself in a position to lose a point.”
Detroit killed off a 47-second five-on-three disadvantage in the middle of the second period.
“We never had any forecheck pressure at all,” Blashill said. “When you don’t have forecheck pressure from the start, the whole game you’re on your heels. Just not good enough.”
Abdelkader opened the scoring with 5:59 left in the opening period when he tipped Dylan Larkin’s shot out of the air and past Bernier. It was Abdelkader’s fourth goal.
Johnson tied it with 16 seconds left in the first with a one-timer from the point in the middle of the ice. It was Johnson’s first goal of the season.
NOTE: Detroit D Danny Dekeyser returned after missing 17 games with a fractured ankle. He was paired with D Mike Green. ... The Red Wings were without RW Martin Frk because of a groin injury. ... Scratched for the Avalanche were LW Gabriel Bourque and D Andrei Mironov, who scored his first career goal Saturday night. ... LW/C Darren Helm returned for Detroit after missing a game with a lower-body injury. ... Red Wings RW/D Luke Witkowski served the second contest of a 10-game suspension for returning to the ice after receiving a game misconduct during a brawl Wednesday night in an 8-2 win against the Calgary Flames.