Recap: Burakovsky hat trick lifts Avalanche to 3-2 win over unlucky Panthers
Cats quickly return to losing ways on the road
Andre Burakovsky provided all the offense in the Colorado Avalanche’s 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers at Ball Arena.
It was the first hat trick of Burakovsky’s NHL career. Mikko Rantenen assisted on all three goals while Nathan MacKinnon collected two helpers.
After beating the Arizona Coyotes on Friday to end a seven-game road losing streak, the Cats rallied in the third, but fell short of coming up with a second straight win away from Sunrise.
Sergei Bobrovsky and Darcy Kuemper kept things scoreless until Burakovsky opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 23 seconds left in the second period. After MacKenize Weegar blunted a MacKinnon rush with a nice poke check, the puck went right to Rantenen and he fed Burakovsky for a wrist shot from the slot that went off the post and in.
Puck luck would also play a large part in Burakovsky’s second goal that came 2:03 into the third. Frank Vatrano set up an open Aaron Ekblad for one-timer, but he fanned on the shot and the Avalanche quickly went the other way with Burakovsky out-letting to Rantenen, who went back to Burakovsky for the backhand conversion.
The Panthers would pull one back on the power play at the 7:41 mark when Vatrano passed down low to Carter Verhaeghe and he sent a long cross-ice pass to Joe Thornton, who one-timed a shot home for his third goal from the lower edge of the right circle.
𝙅𝙪𝙢𝙗𝙤 𝙅𝙤𝙚 Thornton with the Power Play Goal!— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 13, 2021
Thornton now sits alone at 12th all-time amongst goal scorers in NHL history ⭐
2-1 COL@FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/Ws6l8oJqZa
Florida would forge a tie 2:34 later when Verhaeghe took a bounce pass off the boards from Gustav Forsling and worked his way into the Colorado zone before finding trailer Brandon Montour, who snapped a shot past Kuemper from the top of the right circle.
THE COMEBACK CATS™️— Bally Sports Florida: Panthers (@BallyPanthers) December 13, 2021
Verhaeghe → Montour → Panthers tie it up at 2 with just under 10 minutes to go!!!@FlaPanthers | #TimeToHunt pic.twitter.com/xRZh1wUoB0
Unfortunately, Burakovsky would beat Bobrovsky with a wrister from long range after taking a drop pass from MacKinnon to put the Avalanche on top for good.
Kuemper would come up large in the dying seconds to keep the Panthers from getting at least point, splitting the season series between two of the league’s most talented teams.
Peaks & Valleys
- Joe Thornton’s goal was his 1,534th career point (428 goals, 1,106 assists), moving him past Mark Recchi for 12th place in NHL history. Way to go, Jumbo!
- Andre Burakovsky came up with his first hat trick in his 463rd career NHL game. He has scored five times in his last two games.
- Winner Darcy Kuemper finished the game with 29 saves while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 23 of 26 for the Panthers. It was just Bobrovsky’s second loss in regulation this season.
- Veteran Patric Hornqvist led all skaters with a whopping eight shots on goal. Too bad one of those didn’t find the back of the net. Hornqvist played 19:57 and posted a +1 rating.
- The top pairing of Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar piled up plenty of stats, but they were the only two Ctas who went -2.
- For more on this well-played clash of the titans, make the hike over to Mile High Hockey./