It didn’t take the Avalanche as long to strike in game two as they did in game one. Just 3:40 into the first period, Nathan MacKinnon gave the Avs a 1-0 lead thanks to great pressure from Gabriel Landeskog. Landeskog forced a turnover in the neutral zone and passed it off the boards to MacKinnon who then, at full speed, rifled one glove side past Darcy Kuemper.
The game would stay that way until late in the first period when the Coyotes finally broke through in the series. Granted, it was with a little bit of luck. Taylor Hall fed Clayton Keller with a pass to the slot where the save was made by Grubauer. However, the puck squirted free behind him and Samuel Girard put the puck into his own team’s net to tie the game at one.
The first period would finish up at 1-1 with shots in favor of Colorado, 10-8. The second period got underway with both teams striking early. The Avalanche took the lead at the 3:37 mark thanks to a beautiful tip by Tyson Jost. Cale Makar fired the puck to the right side of the net where Jost deflected it past Kuemper to make it 2-1.
From that point on, the period was dominated by the Coyotes. They outshot the Avalanche 15-5 as they dictated the play with physicality. They tied the game up at the 5:06 mark as Michael Grabner scored his third of the playoffs. He got in behind the Avalanche defence using his speed and picked the puck up in the corner. He was very patient and found the open look to snipe Grubauer.
They kept up the pressure and poured on the shots in a period full of penalties. There were five between the two teams, and the Coyotes had nearly three straight minutes of powerplay time. Despite this power play time and the barrage aimed at Grubauer, the teams went to the locker room tied at two.
The penalties all but went away in the third period as play opened up. After Taylor Hall went off for tripping just 48 seconds in, neither team took a penalty for the rest of the period. There were chances either way when suddenly, the luck that Arizona got turned around.
Nazem Kadri skated up to a loose puck along the boards and fired a one-timer. The shot deflected off the skate of Jakob Chychrun and found the stick of Andre Burakovsky who fired it past Darcy Kuemper.
The Coyotes pulled Kuemper very shortly afterwards. However, they were never able to establish possession in the offensive zone. The Avalanche were able to keep the Coyotes from getting any threatening chances and sealed the game, 3-2. With the win, the Avalanche take a 2-0 series lead. Game three will be on Saturday, August 15th at 3 pm EST.
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