The Arizona Coyotes defeated the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Avalanche won Game 2 with a score of 3-2. Here is the recap of Game 3 between the Coyotes and Avalanche
Both teams started the period off strong trying to solidify who would have momentum. The Coyotes seemed to have found their stride early on as well outshooting the Avalanche 9-5. Then, Coyotes forward Derek Stepan scored the game’s first goal with 13:31 remaining in the period. This would be the Coyotes’ first lead in this series. However, the Avalanche pushed back and outshot the Coyotes 13-3 since Stepan’s goal. But, they couldn’t get a goal, however, they had a few chances to tie the game.
Arizona went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
This was virtually all about the Avalanche this period though the Coyotes had their fair share of scoring chances as well. The Avalanche also outshot the Coyotes again this period 16-5. And, all that shooting was worth it as Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky tied the game with 6:48 left in the period. However, the Coyotes would get another goal 34 seconds before the period ended. Coyotes forward Brad Richardson gave his team a one goal lead once again heading into the third period.
Arizona went into the third period with a 2-1 lead.
Again, the Avalanche had full control of this period despite the Coyotes having a strong start to the period. Avalanche forward Matt Nieto had a good chance of tying the game with 6:29 remaining in the period. But, Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper made the huge save to keep the one goal lead. Though the Avalanche once again outshot the Coyotes this period (15-6), Coyotes forward Taylor Hall scored an empty net goal to extend the lead to two. However, Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen scored to cut the lead back down to one 24 seconds after Hall’s goal. But, the Coyotes would score again from forward Lawson Crouse with just five seconds remaining in the game.
Arizona won the game 4-2 but still trail in the series 2-1.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Nathan MacKinnon (1 assist)
Second Star: Conor Garland (1 assist)
First Star: Darcy Kuemper (49 saves)
Arizona played a much better game despite being outshot 51-23 in the game. They didn’t let up when Colorado was on the offensive attack and that was in part from Kuemper’s performance. Kuemper finished the game with 49 saves which ties his career high. Arizona still has to improve defensively and can’t be relying on Kuemper to make a save every Colorado possession. If Arizona plays a more solid defensive game in Game 4, then they might have more chances to have breakaways or sustain offensive pressure in Colorado’s zone and win the game.
On the other hand, the Avalanche did everything right except for not getting the win. They weren’t able to solve Kuemper for the majority of the game despite outshooting Arizona. How a team like Colorado wasn’t able to capitalize on their chances with this many scoring chances is anyone’s guess. One thing’s for sure, they have to take away Kuemper’s eyes so that it’d be harder for him to track the puck. Did Colorado let their game get away from them this game? Maybe. But, if they can get back to converting on most of their scoring chances they should be able to win Game 4.
Game 4 of the Coyotes-Avalanche series is on Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m. EST.