Nichushkin scores twice, Avs beat Ducks 3-2 in overtime


DENVER (AP) — Valeri Nichushkin scored his second goal of the game 2:45 into overtime, Philipp Grubauer made 26 saves and the Colorado Avalanche rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the struggling Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Friday night.

Nichushkin circled around a defender and then slid a shot past John Gibson for the winner. He was mobbed by teammates in the corner.

Brandon Saad also scored for a Colorado team missing star player Nathan MacKinnon, who was a late scratch. MacKinnon left in the third period Wednesday in San Jose after taking a hit to the head.

Trailing 2-0 in the second period, Nichushkin and Saad scored 2:37 apart to even things up. Both of their goals were in front of Gibson, who stopped 31 shots.

Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg scored for Anaheim, which dropped to 0-6-3 over its last nine. The Ducks haven’t won since beating Vegas on Feb. 11.

Both of the goals that beat Grubauer were on wrist shots, including one by Silfverberg after he skated from end-to-end.

Henrique staked the Ducks to a 1-0 lead on a nifty wrist shot with 9.4 seconds remaining in the first period.

Nazem Kadri had a first-period goal disallowed after he batted in a puck once it caromed off the glass. The officials took a long look on replay before determining Kadri’s stick was above the crossbar when he made contact.

HOME SWEET HOME

Colorado began a nine-game home stretch, which is the longest continuous homestand in Avalanche history. The team did have a nine-game homestand in 2002, but that included an Olympic break.

“Just hanging out at home, and sleeping in your own bed and not having to travel, obviously, that pays dividends,” Kadri said.

It will also be the busiest month in Avalanche history, with 17 games in 31 days.

PROUD PAPA

Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog and his wife, Melissa, recently welcomed a baby boy. Landeskog had the morning off to remain with his family. The couple also have a daughter.

NO INTENT

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar felt the two-game suspension issued to San Jose forward Joachim Blichfeld for his hit on MacKinnon was a fair punishment.

“He doesn’t do any of the things that sometimes players do when it’s a predatory hit,” Bednar explained. “I don’t think it was intentional.”

THIS & THAT

Ducks D Josh Manson (oblique muscle injury) returned to the lineup for the first time since Jan. 18. … Avalanche defensemen Cale Makar and Bowen Byram are day-to-day with upper-body injuries. … D Dennis Gilbert was added to the league’s COVID-19 protocol list. He was already out after surgery on his face. … F Matt Calvert (upper body) skated in a non-contact jersey Friday morning. … Saad also had two assists.

UP NEXT

The Ducks and Avalanche run it back again Saturday. Anaheim is 1-1 this season in the second game of a back-to-back, while Colorado is 2-0-1.

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