DENVER - Alex Galchenyuk was the only scorer in the shootout, and the Arizona Coyotes rallied to beat Colorado 3-2 on Feb. 1, snapping the Avalanche’s 18-game home winning streak.
Galchenyuk had a second-period goal and Lawson Crouse also scored for the Coyotes. Scott Wedgewood stopped 38 shots in regulation and overtime. He made a game-sealing save on Nazem Kadri on Colorado’s last shootout try.
"I was confident in myself. I think that’s one thing I’ve been working on," Wedgewood said. "I need to go up against the best to prove I can be one of the best. So that’s one of those mantras."
The Avalanche had won 10 in a row since an overtime loss in Nashville on Jan. 11. Two of those wins came against Arizona, including a shootout victory in Denver to start the 10-game winning streak.
Colorado is a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. The Coyotes are rebuilding, but they have played the Western Conference leaders tough this season.
"We mentioned many times this year that we have a group with a lot of pride, a lot of character and a lot of leadership," Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. "The boys take pride in the way they play, the way they bounce back. They know the Avs are a really good team, they were on a roll. They arrived here with a lot of pride, they played with a lot of passion, and they battled all the way through."
Darcy Kuemper had 22 saves, and Mikko Rantanen and Nazem Kadri scored for the Avalanche, who lost their first home game since Nov. 3 against Columbus. Their last regulation loss at home came on Oct. 26 against Vegas.
"First period was kind of weird, but the last two periods we didn’t give up a lot until they tied it up," Rantanen said. "It shouldn’t happen, especially at home the way we’ve been defending lead."
Colorado finished January 15-0-1, tying the NHL record for wins and points in a month. But, the Avs stumbled on the first day of February. The loss ended a run of success that dated to Nov. 6, when the Avalanche were 4-5-1. They are 28-4-2 since losing back-to-back games to the Blue Jackets.
"Once you start winning you want to keep going," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "That’s the culture we set here, to keep winning. We hate losing. Especially with this run, we wanted to keep it going. Start a new one."
Colorado went ahead on Kadri’s 19th goal of the season at 2:42 of the second period. Kadri is third in the NHL in scoring with 60 points, which is one shy of his career best for a season, set with Toronto in 2016-17.
Galchenyuk tied it with his first goal of the year 10 minutes later, and Rantanen put the Avalanche back in front with 42.7 seconds left in the second period. It was his 24th of the season.
Galchenyuk’s goal was his first with the Coyotes since April 6, 2019. He played for four different teams over the last two seasons before joining Arizona again in the offseason.
"I put in the work trying to find the game, put a lot of effort on my two-way game," he said. "Over the last few games, my game’s really been building a lot, better and better, and I had a great opportunity tonight."
Colorado had a chance to ice it, but Devon Toews hit the post late in the third. Wedgewood was pulled for an extra skater in the final two minutes and Crouse’s goal with 38 seconds left sent it to overtime.
NOTES: Colorado C Alex Newhook was scratched with a non-COVID illness. ... Coyotes RW Phil Kessel played in his 944th consecutive game. ... Avalanche D Ryan Murray returned to the lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. ... Arizona LW Loui Eriksson and D Kyle Capobianco were scratched from the lineup.
Coyotes: Hosts Calgary on Wednesday night.
Avalanche: Host Tampa Bay on Feb. 10 after the All-Star break.
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