Avalanche rally for point in OT loss to lowly Ottawa Senators

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KANATA, Ontario — The lineup was hardly ideal, and it included a 21-year-old fourth-string goalie who was thrown into the storm for his NHL debut.

The shorthanded Avalanche, which had a goal awarded to Ottawa and another disallowed, appeared destined to lose Saturday night, but Colorado rallied from a three-goal deficit to collect a point in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.

Sens center and team captain Brady Tkachuk beat rookie goalie Justus Annunen on a breakaway 51 seconds into overtime. Tkachuk pounced on an offensive-zone turnover by Nathan MacKinnon and wristed the winner past Annunen, who was called up from the AHL’s Colorado Eagles on Wednesday.

The Senators scored three of their goals, including their first two within 29 seconds early in the first period to take a 2-1 lead, off Avalanche turnovers. Tkachuk had two goals and three points and won 12 of 15 faceoffs.

Colorado (12-7-2), now 1-1-1 on its five-game road trip, had injury scratches to six regulars, including top-scoring forward Nazem Kadri and Cale Makar, the NHL’s goals leader among defensemen. The Avs were also without rookie defenseman Bo Byram and No. 1 goalie Darcy Kuemper, and forward J.T. Compher and Ryan Murray are on injured reserve and not on the trip.

“It’s a big point. I don’t love the game from us but I love the resolve to stick with it and believe that we can come back,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “It’s not easy, down three against anybody is not easy. It didn’t come easy for us tonight. We didn’t have a lot of power plays (1-for-2) but we stuck with it. I will take the point.”

Annunen came in for his NHL debut after starter Jonas Johansson allowed four goals on 15 shots and Ottawa went ahead 4-2 in what became a 5-2 advantage.

The Avs’ Alex Newhook, Tyson Jost and Devon Toews scored the final three goals of regulation, the latter coming with 1:20 remaining and shortly after Gabe Landeskog’s goal was disallowed because of offside upon video review.

Ottawa’s third goal was awarded by the referees and confirmed by NHL officials after Avs defenseman Jack Johnson checked Senators forward Tim Stutzle into the goalpost and Johansson. The puck followed Stutzle across the goal line and the league ruled Johnson dislodged the net thus the puck was live, even though the goalposts came out of their moorings.

“That 3-2 goal was a crazy call, in my opinion,” Landeskog said. “I mean, the net’s off. The goalie’s in the net, and then the puck goes in when the net’s off. I don’t even understand it. But a couple of tough bounces.”

The Senators improved to 6-15-1, including 4-8-0 at home.

The Avs took a 1-0 lead 1:26 into the game and nearly doubled that when MacKinnon (three assists in 27:22) fired a shot off iron beside goalie Anton Forsberg. But the momentum changed quickly, with the Senators scoring at 5:28 and 5:57 off turnovers. Colorado tied it on the power play, with Landeskog getting a stick on Toews’ slap shot from the point.

Ottawa outshot the Avs 14-6 in the second period, and Johansson was pulled after the Senators went ahead 4-2 on Josh Norris’ wrist shot. Stutzle scored on the power play exactly 5 minutes later, pinning Annunen his first NHL goal-allowed.

Colorado got back within two goals when Newhook split three defenders and beat Forsberg with a highlight-reel goal for the 20-year-old. Jost and Toews (team-high 31:17) scored the only goals of the third period.

Footnotes. Kadri, who has points in 13 of his last 14 games, missed his first game of the season. He left Saturday’s morning skate midway through it. Byram skated Saturday morning in a regular jersey but missed his second straight game and eighth in the last nine games with post-concussion symptoms. Kuemper skated Saturday morning but did not take shots between the pipes. Kuemper is listed with an upper-body injury — presumably a head injury sustained in Wednesday’s morning skate at Toronto. … Avs defenseman Jacob MacDonald played a team-low 6:11 after being recalled from the Eagles on Friday. MacDonald did not participate in the morning skate because his equipment did not arrive in time.

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