ANAHEIM (AP) — Nick Ritchie scored the tiebreaking goal with 2:02 to play, and the Anaheim Ducks beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Thursday night in a game featuring a 45-minute delay and an early second intermission due to broken glass.
John Gibson made 21 saves and Hampus Lindholm scored the tying power-play goal early in the third period of the Pacific Division-leading Ducks’ eighth victory in 10 games.
Ritchie dramatically rewarded the Ducks for a strong performance when Nikita Zadorov turned over the puck in the slot. Ondrej Kase tipped it to Anaheim’s power forward, and he fired a shot through traffic for his 11th goal.
Calvin Pickard stopped 34 shots for the NHL-worst Avalanche, who have lost four straight and 21 of 25.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog scored a power-play goal in the second period to break open a scoreless game shortly after the delay, but the Ducks replied with two third-period goals and incredible defensive plays in the final minute by Gibson and defenseman Sami Vatanen, who stopped Jarome Iginla from hitting an open net.
The game was scoreless when Colorado defenseman Eric Gelinas’ shot put a large starburst in a pane of glass behind Anaheim’s net with 9:48 left in the second period. The Honda Center crew tried to replace the glass quickly, but soon discovered it needed to be cut to fit next to the camera that sits on a stanchion next to the pane.
Referees eventually told the teams to take the second intermission while the crew finished. After play finally resumed and the second period ended, they paused only for a dry scrape of the ice before playing the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Pickard followed up a 35-save performance in his last start with another gem, and Landeskog connected shortly after the delay for his ninth goal.
Anaheim finally cashed in on its 2-to-1 shots advantage when Lindholm beat Pickard from the blue line with an exceptional slap shot, which was still rising when it sailed past Ritchie’s screen.
Colorado’s Tyson Barrie missed his first game of the season with a lower-body injury, leaving the Avalanche to face the Ducks without arguably their top two defensemen. Erik Johnson, who missed his 20th straight game with a broken leg, is likely out until mid-February.
Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov also is out until after the All-Star break with a groin injury, the team announced Wednesday. Varlamov had started their last three games, but Pickard was backed up in Anaheim by Spencer Martin, who has yet to make his NHL debut after four AHL call-ups.
NOTES: Colorado C Joe Colborne was a healthy scratch. … The Ducks swung a minor-league trade during the game, acquiring Swedish RW Max Gortz from Nashville for LW Andrew O’Brien, their fourth-round pick in 2012. … The Avalanche return to Honda Center on Jan. 31.
Avalanche: At Sharks on Saturday.
Ducks: At Wild on Saturday.
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