Colorado Avalanche Show Missing Heart in OT Loss to Pittsburgh Penguins

Nico GodaContributor IFebruary 17, 2011

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 16:  Joe Vitale #46 of the Pittsburgh Penguins battles for position with Ryan Wilson #44 of the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on February 16, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Penguins defeated the Avalanche 3-2 in overtime.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche showed something they have lacked during their eight-game slide: heart.

The Avalanche lost 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in OT by a tough angle shot from Tyler Kennedy. 

This marks the first point the Avalanche have picked up since the All-Star break.

The Penguins have not won in Denver since McNichols Arena in 1999. They won this time after a tough battle with the Avalanche.

The Avalanche were without leading scorer Matt Duchene, out indefinitely with a hand injury, while the Penguins were missing leading scored Sydney Crosby and former Conn Smythe winner Evgeni Malkin.

The Penguins opened scoring by rookie Joe Vitale with just under three minutes left in the first period.

The Avalanche scored two goals in the scored to take the lead, with goals from Chris Stewart and Cameron Gaunce. This was Gaunce’s first NHL goal.

Jordan Staal tied the game 48 seconds later with a strong wrist shot over Peter Budaj’s shoulder on a two-on-one break. 

Penguins center Tyler Kennedy scored with 49 seconds left in OT to defeat the Avalanche on a 4-on-3 power-play, after Colorado’s Kevin Porter tripped Zbynek Michalek behind the Penguin net.

The Avalanche finally showed some missing physicality and heart with strong checking and a fight by Ryan Wilson. Wilson strongly defeated Pittsburgh’s Nick Johnson, in what could be considered Wilson’s best fight of the season.

The Avalanche are now on a nine game losing streak (eight in regulation) and are still looking for their first win since the All-Star break.