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Girard impresses in OT loss

November 10, 2017, 7:18 PM ET [4 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Avalanche played a decent game, though not their best, and managed to earn a valuable point Friday in a 4-3 overtime loss to Ottawa in the opening game of the two-game 2017 SAP NHL Global Series at Ericsson Globe in Stockholm.

Now 8-6-1, the Avalanche are 3-1-1 in the past five games.

There were plenty of raves for Samuel Girard, the 19-year-old defenseman making his Avalanche debut following Sunday's three-team trade that sent Matt Duchene to the Senators.

"To be honest with you I thought he was the best player on the ice," captain and Stockholm native Gabriel Landeskog told AltitudeTV. "He was solid, it's a good start for him. I look forward to playing with him."

Paired most of the time with Tyson Barrie, the slick-skating Girard logged 21:55 in ice time and had an assist on Alexander Kerfoot's second-period goal to tie the game 2-2.

"I thought he was good tonight, he was making plays out there, he was pretty dangerous," coach Jared Bednar said of Girard. "I liked his commitment to come back in the D zone. Did a lot of good things for us. He was a solid guy that we were playing, kind of had the feeling that as it went on he'd be a guy that helped us even the score."

Girard did help set up Nathan MacKinnon's goal that tied the game 3-3 with 7:07 left in the third period.

"He was awesome," said MacKinnon, who has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the past five games. "Watching him in the O zone kind of circle around up top, freeze guys, spin ... there's only a handful of guys in the league that I've even see do that.

"It's awesome that he's such a threat for us. He made some good plays and we're really excited to have him."

Kerfoot, who centered the second line with Sven Andrighetto and Nail Yakupov, had a goal, an assist and three shots in 14:56. Yakupov opened the scoring with a first-period power-play goal.

"It could have gone either way, it was a pretty even game," MacKinnon said. "I thought we had a ton of chances and Anderson made some good saves. Me, Mikko (Rantanen) and Gabe have found some solid chemistry, it's just a matter more of us burying our chances."

Anderson got enough of his glove to deflect Matt Nieto's penalty shot with 1:27 to play in the second period. Nieto was slashed by Senators defenseman Chris Wideman on a shorthanded breakaway.

The Nieto-J.T. Compher-Blake Comeau line had a rough night, though Comeau earned an assist when Kerfoot deflected in his shot in the second period. The line had three shots, was a combined minus-8, and Compher also took a minor penalty.

Semyon Varlamov had 28 saves. The Avalanche were outshot 32-19 and totaled just eight shots after the first period. They lost 34 of 54 faceoffs.

Duchene had two shots and was minus-1 in 16:44 in his Ottawa debut.

This was the lineup:

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen
Sven Andrighetto -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Nail Yakupov
Matt Nieto -- J.T. Compher -- Blake Comeau
Gabriel Bourque -- Colin Wilson -- Rocco Grimaldi

DEFENSE (pairings were interchanged throughout)
Nikita Zadorov -- Erik Johnson
Samuel Girard -- Tyson Barrie
Mark Barberio -- Chris Bigras

Semyon Varlamov
Jonathan Bernier


The Avalanche fan club Eurolanche IS MAKING ITS PRESENCE in Stockholm.

Eurolanche has published a 200-page book that chronicles its North American "invasions" over the years to attend Avalanche games at the Pepsi Center and other NHL venues, meet and interview Avalanche players, and visit popular attractions.

The book can be purchased for $24.99, which includes tracked international shipping.

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