DENVER – On a night when the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators combined for five ties and 11 goals, Matt Duchene had the final say.
Duchene scored his second goal of the game at 2:36 of overtime to lift the Avalanche to their fifth straight win Friday, 6-5 over the Senators.
“My first overtime goal. You can’t beat that,” Duchene said.
Duchene got hold of the puck in the Avalanche zone off a pass from teammate Tomas Fleischmann and sped down the ice before sending a wrist shot from the lower left circle past Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott.
“I got a great pass and it was off to the races,” said Duchene, who has 20 points in his last 14 games, including multi-point games in four of his last five. “The puck was rolling the whole time down. I just wanted to put the puck on the net. I was able to get it off the ice and it found a hole.”
Duchene leaped in the air when he saw the puck go into the net and was soon mobbed on the ice by his teammates to celebrate the final twist in a dizzying game marked by constant swings in momentum.
“We played hard and we did a lot of good things,” said Ottawa coach Cory Clouston. “We just didn’t defend well enough, maybe, or get a save when we needed one. They’re a good team and they pressure you. They make you pay for your mistakes.”
Ottawa also had to make a last-minute change at goalie. Pascal Leclaire had been scheduled to start but had to be scratched in favour of Elliott after sustaining a lower-leg injury during pre-game warmups.
“It didn’t really change our game plan, but it doesn’t make it easy, that’s for sure,” Clouston said.
Brandon Yip gave Colorado its first lead at 2:08 of the third, putting a rebound past Elliott for his eighth goal of the season.
But the Avalanche couldn’t hold it. With Ottawa on a 5-on-3 power play, Alex Kovalev scored at 4:29 of the third to produce the game’s fourth tie. The Senators grabbed the lead again on Daniel Alfredsson’s goal at 11:15 of the third before Ryan O’Reilly, charging toward the net, converted a centring pass from Daniel Winnik into another tying goal with 3:13 remaining in regulation.
“I went glove side. The puck came to me from the other side and I saw enough net and took the shot,” O’Reilly said. “There have been a few magical moments already this year.”
Duchene put in his 12th goal of the season at 16:55 of the second as Colorado evened the score for the third time on the night. The Avalanche had a two-man advantage on the power play when John-Michael Liles took a shot that glanced off a defenceman’s skate toward Duchene, who drove the puck past Elliott.
At 11:39 of the second, Ottawa moved ahead 3-2 when defenceman Matt Carkner beat Avs goalie Craig Anderson for his first goal of the season. Colorado had pulled into a tie a little more than a minute before when Cody McLeod poked home a loose puck from in close.
The teams ended the first period tied 1-1.
Chris Kelly skated into the Avalanche zone, left a drop pass for Erik Karlsson in the upper right circle, who fired a wrist shot past the glove of Anderson at 2:14.
TJ Galiardi, in his first game back from a broken right wrist that had sidelined him for 17 games, tied it at 3:55, sending a shot from the right boards that beat Elliott to the glove side. A clearing pass bounced off a referee onto Kevin Shattenkirk, who set up Galiardi’s shot.
Notes: Ottawa completed its sixth set of back-to-back games this season. The Senators beat Minnesota 3-1 Thursday on the front end of the set. … Colorado RW Milan Hejduk missed a fourth consecutive game because of a groin injury and C Paul Stastny sat out with a sore back.