Avalanche rallies to beat Ducks in return from lengthy COVID pause

The Avalanche is back to its winning ways after more than two weeks without playing a game.

Colorado rallied for a 4-2 victory Sunday at Ball Arena, overcoming a two-goal deficit that mirrored its sluggish start. Forward Logan O’Connor scored the game-winning goal with 71 seconds left in regulation. Colorado — in action for the first time since Dec. 16 due to COVID-19 pauses — extended its home winning streak to nine games.

The Avalanche (18-8-2) travels Tuesday to face Chicago.

“Scoring didn’t come easy for us tonight,” coach Jared Bednar said. “I love the stick-to-itiveness to our group to just kind of keep at it, and keep at it, dig out of the hole and eventually get the win.”

On Sunday, the Ducks flew ahead early with a rebound goal via forward Sam Carrick past Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper just 1:55 into the game. It sucked the energy from a once-raucous Ball Arena crowd. Anaheim went up 2-0 in the second period on a power-play chance. The Avs were 16 seconds away from earning a kill when Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler re-directed the puck and beat Kuemper.

“First period, we didn’t execute really well,” Bednar said. “There were a few (poor) decisions but then also just mis-execution. We turned the puck over a little bit and they were coming back on us.”

That’s when Colorado flipped the script.

The next Avalanche power-play opportunity resulted in a Devon Toews snipe…

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