ANAHEIM, Calif. – Gabriel Landeskog scored 1:38 into overtime, Mikko Rantanen extended his goal-scoring streak to four games, and the Colorado Avalanche topped the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Friday night.
Landeskog was initially stopped by Anaheim goalie John Gibson on a breakaway, but he got his own rebound and converted a wraparound for his third goal of the season.
“I wasn’t happy with the first shot. I have to raise the puck more knowing Gibson is going to take away the low shots,” Landeskog said. “But I was able to stay with it, come around the net and stuff it as fast as I could.”
Joonas Donskoi also scored for Colorado and Phillip Grubauer stopped 36 shots.
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar wasn’t pleased with the way his team played the first two periods.
“I didn’t think we deserved to win but the goaltending was outstanding and we got a couple timely goals,” Bednar said. “We were trying to skill our way through things and they were outworking us the first two periods. But our top guys were outstanding the final 20 minutes.”
Hampus Lindholm and Adam Henrique got their first goals of the season for Anaheim. Gibson made 30 saves.
The game went to overtime after the teams traded goals during an 82-second span in the third period.
Rantanen gave Colorado a 2-1 lead at 6:20 with a one-timer in front of the goal after a great pass from rookie defenceman Bowen Byram. Rantanen has four goals and two assists in the last four games.
Henrique tied it again at 7:42 after Danton Heinen fed him with a centring pass.
Donskoi got the Avalanche on the board with a power-play goal 2:56 into the game. The left winger put it into the short side of the net after Samuel Girard’s pass caught Gibson out of position.
Lindholm evened it 47 seconds into the second with a one-timer that Grubauer was unable to get his glove on.
Anaheim played much better compared to Wednesday’s loss against Minnesota when coach Dallas Eakins ripped his team for lack of effort. The Ducks had 18 shots during the first period and ended up with a 38-32 advantage for the game.
“It is so disappointing not to get both points when you play well. With a tiny bit of detail that’s a 2-0 game for us,” he said. “It was going our way in overtime and then we fumbled it at the blue line. We don’t want to be a team going into overtime. We want to lock it down in regulation and get both points.”
Byram, who was the fourth-overall pick in the 2019 draft, made his NHL debut Thursday against Los Angeles but appeared tentative. The nerves were gone one night later as he picked up his first NHL point in his second game.
“I just got the puck on the top of the blue line there and tried to move my feet to create some space,“ he said. ”It was a big goal in a tight game, and it helped us get a win.”
Donskoi’s score was Colorado’s 10th power-play goal, which leads the league. It is also the most the Avalanche have had through five games in franchise history. The previous record was eight, which happened six times.
Gibson stopped Nathan MacKinnon on his short side during a penalty shot at 8:31 of the third period. Colorado was awarded the shot after Lindholm was called for covering the puck up in the Ducks crease.
“It’s like a whole bunch of air being exhaled at the same time,” Eakins said about seeing Gibson’s save. “Gibson handled it like it was nothing. It was a massive save at a key point in the game.
The teams meet again Sunday night.