Johansen helps Avalanche get back on track


Since coming off a rough road trip, the Colorado Avalanche have been trying to recover and get back on track.

Despite finding a 4–3 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday, the team is still facing a slump. Cale Makar hasn’t netted a goal since the beginning of February against the New Jersey Devils.

Prior to the game, Colorado held onto the second place slot in the Central Division standings. The Dallas Stars claimed the top spot, four points ahead of the Avalanche.

Though the team wouldn’t move up in the standings, they would find a three-point buffer between the Winnipeg Jets and themselves.

First period

The Vancouver Canucks suffered a 10–7 loss against the Minnesota Wild yesterday, undoubtedly leaving the team tired.

Still, it didn’t matter. The Avalanche came out of the gate, attacking the net with everything they had. Even though the team looked sharp and engaged, it would be the Canucks who scored first and brought any momentum to a screeching halt.

J.T. Miller fired a routine shot at the net and got past Alexandar Georgiev just after the halfway mark. Thatcher Demko kept Colorado off the scorecard and held onto their lead into the second period.

Both teams left the period with seven shots on goal.

Second period

Once again, the home team came out of the gate explosive and engaged.

Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Devon Toews, and Makar all swarmed Demko, hoping at least one of them could break through his goaltending. While all tried to create an opening, it would be Ryan Johansen who would even the score only three minutes into the period.

Recently, Johansen has been struggling. His last goal was against the St. Louis Blues on December 29, 2023.

With the score tied at one, both teams would lock in a battle for the lead during the remaining 17 minutes of the period.

The Avalanche outshot their opponent by one for the period.

Third period

Maybe it was the newfound confidence after breaking a 20-game scoring drought, but Johansen once again found an opportunity to score and took it. His shot went over the shoulder of Demko, bringing Colorado ahead by one.

After taking the lead, the team seemed to hit their groove. Georgiev survived two attacks, making two different series of saves to keep the Avalanche afloat.

The Canucks desperately tried to regain control, yet fell short. Artturi Lehkonen sealed the deal with an empty net goal with only 40 seconds left. MacKinnon picked up the assist, marking a 27-game home point streak.

The team ultimately gains two points with a 3–1 victory at home and now trails the Dallas Stars by two points.


With the trade deadline getting closer and closer, the Avalanche have undoubtedly been looking at additions. To acquire a perfect fit for a Stanley Cup run, there has been a lot of discussion about who will make the final cut.

Prior to the return from a humiliating road trip, Johansen looked like he wouldn’t be in the running to make the final roster. After tonight’s performance, if the positive trend continues, the Avalanche might look for other ways to strengthen their roster.

The Avalanche will hit the road to Detroit on Thursday and face off against former teammate J.T. Compher.

About Savvy Rafkin

Savvy is a recent Journalism and Media Communication graduate from Colorado State University. She spent most of her life playing softball and being surrounded by sports. As she entered college, she found her passion for sports writing and joined the Colorado State University Athletic Communications team. Later, she became a beat reporter for high school sports in northern Colorado.


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