Recap: Avs lose to Penguins despite Georgiev’s outstanding performance

Mar 23, 2023 - 2:45 AM
Pittsburgh Penguins v <a href=Colorado Avalanche" src="" />
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche have been hot lately, with much of their recent success against some of the western conference's worst teams. Tonight they faced a desperate Penguins squad that sat just one point out of an eastern wild-card spot, and we added another chapter to the Crosby vs. MacKinnon tale.

The Game

The first period may have been the fastest period of hockey ever played, but it was chalked full of chances. Penguins netminder Tristan Jarry should plan a trip to vegas cause he sure was fortunate to get some bounces and help from the iron in the first, and Georgiev was up to the task early on. The first period ended in a scoreless tie.

Sidney Crosby opened the scoring one minute into the second period after dancing around Sam Girard and going top-shelf backhand past Alexandar Georgiev. Girard moved on Crosby too early and found himself on the wrong side of a highlight play. Que the Sammy G sentiment crowd.

The Penguins would increase their lead to two after Jake Guenztel tipped a puck in front of the net that went airborne. He then batted it passed Georgiev. Pittsburgh looked like the Harlem Globe Trotters, and outside of a J.T. Compher goal for the Avalanche, began to take hold of the game.

Staying out of the penalty box is a key to victory no matter the opponent, but especially true against the Penguins tonight, who typically struggle with the man advantage. Pittsburgh's third goal also came on a power play when the four killers for Colorado sagged into the corner and left Jeff Carter alone and awaiting a pass poised for a one-timer that trickled just between Georgie and the near post.

Alexandar Georgiev gave the Avalanche a real chance at a comeback by being an absolute brick wall behind his team in the third. After Georgiev made a massive save on an opportunity for Bryan Rust that marked Pittsburgh's 40th shot on net, Mikko Rantanen drew a penalty that sent the Avalanche on a powerplay midway through the third. Devon Toews put the game within reach with a slap shot of his own that beat Trystan Jarry far side.

Colorado had nine minutes and change to log an equalizer, with the Pens leading 3-2. Unfortunately, the Penguins' 42nd shot on net was a back-door tip-in goal for Jeff Carter yet again, and Pittsburgh restored their two-goal lead.

Jared Bednar emptied the net with about three and a half minutes left in the game, which is probably the earliest I've seen him do so. It bought the Avalanche some offensive zone time, but it didn't make way for more scoring for them. However, it made way for an empty net goal for Bryan Rust. That is all she wrote. Avalanche lost by a final score of 5-2.


The Avalanche had been passing all of the tests and with flying colors for the last week and a half heading into tonight. I'd imagine Jared Bednar isn't too pleased with the flow and style of the game. The Pens effectively broke through a string of stout defensive performances from Colorado. The fact that Alexandar Georgiev saw 45 shots tells you all you need to know.

Speaking of Georgiev, he deserves a ton of credit for the competitiveness of this contest. The first year Av was the best player on the ice for his club and made way for a comeback. In truth, the score could have been a lot more lopsided in favor of the team wearing yellow and black if not for Georgie.


Up next for Colorado is the pesky Arizona Coyotes in the first installment of a home-and-home. The Yotes look like an inferior team on paper, but they always find a way to stick around, no matter who is on their roster. The Avalanche have a real shot at winning the Central division and landing a wild-card opponent in the first round of the playoffs. That could prove vital for a banged-up team. If they want to do so, they must take care of business against teams like the Coyotes.

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