Johan Larsson’s 3rd period goal carries Coyotes over Avalanche

Mar 8, 2021, 10:03 PM
Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta, center, celebrates as time runs out in the third period of...

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Antti Raanta, center, celebrates as time runs out in the third period of an NHL hockey game as right wing Christian Fischer, left, and Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri look on Monday, March 8, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — Johan Larsson tipped in the go-ahead goal with 15:54 remaining, Antti Raanta stopped all 16 shots after taking over early in the third period when Darcy Kuemper left with an apparent injury and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night.

Larsson scored with one hand on his stick and the other holding off a defenseman in front of the goal as Arizona recovered after blowing a two-goal lead.

Derick Brassard and Jakob Chychrun also had goals for the Coyotes, who started a seven-game trip on the right note. Clayton Keller and Oliver Ekman-Larsson each added two assists.

Early in the third, Kuemper dropped down on one knee with the puck going the other way and asked the official to stop play. The trainer momentarily checked on the starting goaltender before he skated off and was replaced by Raanta.

Soon after Larsson’s goal, Raanta turned back Matt Calvert’s shot on a breakaway. Raanta also helped the Coyotes weather a high-sticking penalty with 2:14 remaining.

Mikko Rantanen snapped his stick in frustration after his shot at the buzzer was blocked.

Kuemper had 17 saves before leaving.

Colorado trailed 2-0 midway through the second period before getting goals from Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky.

The teams play again Wednesday. The Avalanche swept a back-to-back in Arizona late last month.

Philipp Grubauer finished with 11 saves.

The Avalanche dropped to 1-1-1 on their nine-game homestand, the longest continuous homestand in franchise history.

Down two goals in the second, Nichushkin ignited Colorado’s comeback with a goal in front of the net. Burakovsky tied the contest 5:21 later on a power play.

Brassard, a former Avalanche player, got things started for Arizona with a power-play goal early in the first period. Chychrun added another on a shot from the blue line to make it 2-0.

Keller assisted on both first-period goals in extending his points streak to five games. He’s got three goals and four assists over the stretch.

Nathan MacKinnon missed a third straight game after taking a big hit last week in San Jose. He’s nearing a return, coach Jared Bednar said, and skated in a non-contact jersey Monday morning.

“Just knowing Mac from the last few years, when he gets to this point he’s chomping at the bit and ready to go,” Bednar said.


The Avalanche had a player return from injury at the same time as losing another. Simply the way the season has gone so far.

Calvert returned to the lineup Monday after missing six games with an upper-body injury. This was on the heels of defenseman Conor Timmins ruled out with an upper-body ailment.

The Avalanche remain without forward J.T. Compher (upper body); defensemen Dennis Gilbert (COVID-19 protocol list/facial surgery), Bowen Byram (upper body), Cale Makar (upper body) and Erik Johnson (upper body); and goaltender Pavel Francouz (lower body).

“There’s going to be bumps and bruises,” Calvert said. “Guys are playing through a lot in that room, even the ones that are in the lineup.”


The Coyotes are starting a stint of playing 16 of their next 20 away from home.

“Everybody knows the situation and how big the road trip is for us,” Ekman-Larsson said. “At the same time, we can’t look too far away.”


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