Ethan Bear score the go-ahead goal in the 55th minute and Sebastian Aho sealed the game with the empty-net goal.
After the game, head coach Rod Brind’Amour along with Ethan Bear and Antti Raanta spoke with the media. Here’s what they had to say:
On Antti Raanta’s performance: He was great. Made some really big saves at key times. Can’t really say much more. It was a good game. Pretty spirited and I thought it was pretty even. As you can see, he was the difference.
On being pleased with the group’s effort: Pretty hard not to be. It was a great first period and we did everything we had to do. They’re a great team and they were great in the second period. And then the third period was even. Obviously we got the one to put away. Pretty even game all the way around. What you’d come to expect from these two teams.
On having an elite tandem in net: That’s why we went out and did what we did this summer. It was specifically for this kind of situation. We all felt that Raanta had that kind of game and we see that he is able to do that. We all know how important goaltending is and it’s nice to have two guys that we can count on.
On expecting the tiebreaker to be an odd-bounce type goal: 100%. That’s kind of how these games sometimes go. There was a lot of high-quality chances both ways. Those weren’t going in and so I kind of figured that could happen. Seems to work out that way sometimes.
On the Aho line matching up against the MacKinnon line: We said going into this game that’s what we were probably going to have. Both groups went toe-to-toe and didn’t really give a lot to either group. Each group had chances for sure, but not a ton. I thought it was a very entertaining game for no goals. It really was.
On coaching a fast game like this: I was kind of enjoying it in the first period. Started to not in the second period. I thought it was an enjoyable game just for the fact that you could tell the two teams going at it were good quality teams. It was an entertaining game for the fans.
On the play leading to the goal: It was kind of a mothing play, but every play is something. We kept it in and got the puck to the net. You just never know. That’s kind of what happened.
On Seth Jarvis’ status: He was in rough shape there for part of that. He did have a couple of shifts after that, but we’ll see how he is in a little bit.
On what kind of statement this game makes: I’m not sure what kind of statement it makes. I guess we haven’t played them in forever so just kind of see where you stack up and it’s pretty clear that both teams are close. That’s what we thought. I don’t know if it was a statement. We’re going to be talking about Philadelphia tomorrow because that’s our next game and this one will be forgotten. Enjoy it for a little bit here and I’m glad the fans get to go home happy.
On what he saw on the goal: [Fast] got it to me and like we talked about all game, just get pucks to the net. We just got a lucky bounce and that’s really all that happened.
On if he thought it was going to take some kind of odd bounce to break the tie: A tight game like that, you never know what’s gonna happen. You just have to get it to the net and play simple. You get those lucky bounces every once in a while when you’re playing the right way.
On the play of Antti Raanta: It gives us the confidence to just play our game. At the same time, we’re going to play hard for whoever’s in net. Tonight it was Raanta and he played a really good game and kept us in it.
On the key to defending players like Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen: Honestly, just taking away their time and space. Playing them tight and not giving them any room to make plays. Those are good players and you just want to keep them in front of you. I think the guys did a good job of doing that tonight.
On if it was a fun game to be a part of: That was a very fun game. Especially being first and second in the league. That’s a game we pride ourselves in winning and it just shows that we’re a good team. It’s really good for our group.
On if Colorado was the fastest team they’ve played: You could say that. They’re one of them. That was probably one of the faster games we have played.
On being the first goaltender to shut out the Avalanche this season: Obviously great, but couldn’t have done it without the guys in front of me. Lot of pucks were coming to the net and a couple of times maybe I could have controlled it a little better, but that’s hockey sometimes. Sometimes the rebounds happen and that’s why we have the d-men there to clear the pucks. I think the first and third were our best periods. Second got a little out of hand, but we still managed to keep them off the score sheet. Gave us a good chance to try and win in the third. Managed to do that, so obviously a great feeling.
On going toe-to-toe with his former partner, Darcy Kuemper: It was a lot of fun. Seeing Darcy in warmups and knowing that he’s one of the best goalies in the league, it was kind of one of those feelings were you knew it wasn’t going to be easy for us to score. I think he played an unreal game also. He was dialed in in the first period and was probably the only reason we couldn’t score. It started to look like it was going to go to OT, but a good shot from the point with a little bounce here and there. It was the game. It was a lot of fun and it was great to see him and how he plays. He’s doing a great job. It was fun.
On if this was the best he’s felt in a game: Sometimes even if you let one or two goals in, you might feel like, “Hey, couldn’t do anything better.” Like I said, sometimes when you get a shutout, it’s a little luck too. You need to have a good team in front of you, they help. Especially in the second period, there was a little bit of chaos in the front and I couldn’t even see where the puck was. Thankfully it stayed out. I think getting that rhythm and getting that confidence. Just playing the game and not having to think too much. Just wait for what’s going to happen and try to make the save. That’s how I was trying to approach the game today.
On if he feels he can hit another level: I think it’s just staying consistent. Doing the same thing in the practice. There’s always going to be something to work on. I think today, rebound control was a little off, so it’s something we can look at. I feel like there’s always something. If after the game, you go home and think, “Okay, I was perfect,” that’s worse thoughts and you start going backwards. I think you have to realize what happened, what were the situations and just try to learn from those small things. You can always try to do something a little bit better, but when you get a 2-0 win, you’re obviously not going to be like, “Oh, there’s so many bad things there.” Just try to learn from some situations and keep yourself humble and work hard again tomorrow. Start getting ready for the weekend.
On building confidence with each save: I think that’s true. Sometimes it just feels like you see the puck really well. It feels like whenever the shot comes, you just see the shot and just go down and follow the puck till it hits you and let it go from there. I think everything comes from the confidence and feeling good about your own game. It’s tough to explain, but sometimes you get those hot streaks where it feels like everything is going your way and the bounces are going in your favor. It’s just trying to stay humble and keep working. It’s not like the season was over today and this was the greatest game ever. It’s nice, but it’s only a day and a half until we play again. You start preparing yourself for that, keep working and try to enjoy the games and practices and have some fun.