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Summary: Avs beats Dallas 3-1

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With the calendar rolling into October and with it the second week of the practice schedule, the Colorado Avalanche decided it was time to get serious about preparing for the season and flew a respectable lineup to Texas to face the storm. Dallas Stars. With full starting defense intact, the Avalanche put in a good defensive effort and took a 3-1 win.

The game

It was the visitors who controlled the game with a 13-9 lead in the first 20 minutes, but the game was tied after the first period. The Stars started to regain some momentum in the second frame, largely due to several power plays in their favor, but Pavel Francouz was high in the net and kept Dallas off the board for a scoreless game during the first two periods of play.

Finally, the Avalanche broke into the power play to start the third period when Artturi Lehkonen got a great feed from Mikko Rantanen in the slot, just 54 seconds into the game and Jake Oettinger dissolved. Lehkonen showed that his new role on the men’s advantage could pay off early on.

Lehkonen wasn’t done yet as he scored another goal from a similar spot on a great feed this time from Evan Rodrigues to put the Avalanche in two at 12:37.

Just after the fifth power play of the evening came to an end, they got on the board at 3:24 PM after a shot from newcomer Nils Lundkvist after numerous failed clears to halve the Avalanche lead to 2-1. At that point, however, there wasn’t much time for the Stars to get much more going and with a half-hearted 6-on-5 effort, Rodrigues scored an own goal to put the Avalanche 3-1 for the final score.

Takeaways

What a difference playing the best defensive core in the league makes as the Avalanche put their entire base six on the defensive and it showed. Colorado’s identity and competitive advantage starts from their backs and they can’t play without avalanche hockey. The group looks like they’re ready to kick off the season and even previewed the very intriguing second power play unit with three defenders.

It is clear that the final front depths are still being fought over as all the remaining extra forwards except Mikhail Maltsev played in this match. Ben Meyers got both a penalty and an assist as he got more involved in the game. Martin Kaut showed his defensive brilliance with a good chunk of time on the penalty kill and a key error on the 6-on-5 to keep the win. Those two must have their jobs locked when the regular season starts.

The team’s injury status is the biggest question going forward as both Nathan MacKinnon and JT Compher missed practice for this game and after that, utility striker Jacob MacDonald was unable to finish the game. Add the uncertain timeline over Darren Helm and Val Nichushkin to a very absent Gabe Landeskog and it’s hard to say how many additional attackers will be needed to open the season, but it becomes clear that at least a few are needed.

Expectant

The final home game of the preseason in a rematch against Dallas at 7:30 PM MT on Wednesday, October 5.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.milehighhockey.com/2022/10/4/23386834/recap-colorado-avalanche-take-3-1-win-home-from-dallas-stars

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