Nazem Kadri scored the only shootout goal to help the Colorado Avalanche avoid a major upset with a 4-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes in Denver on Friday night.
Andre Burakovsky had a goal and an assist, Mikko Rantanen and Tyson Jost also scored, and Devon Toews had two assists for Colorado.
Pavel Francouz stopped 23 shots through overtime and two more in the shootout to help the Avalanche win their 13th straight at home.
The teams play again Saturday night in Arizona.
According to multiple sportsbooks, the Avalanche were the biggest favorite in an NHL game in nearly 20 years, closing in the neighborhood of minus-700.
Clayton Keller, Shayne Gostisbehere and Johan Larsson had goals, Phil Kessel had two assists, and Ivan Prosvetov had 44 saves and two more in the shootout for the Coyotes.
Both teams missed on their first two tries in the shootout and Francouz made a save on Nick Schmaltz on Arizona’s third attempt. That gave Kadri a chance to win it, and he did when he slid a shot between Prosvetov’s skate and the post.
Colorado went on top first when Rantanen scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season at 4:36 of the first period.
The Avalanche made it 2-0 later in the period when Jost knocked in the rebound off Kurtis MacDermid’s wraparound attempt at 12:03. It was his fifth of the season.
Colorado was poised to go ahead by three when it went on the power play late in the first but it was the Coyotes who cashed in. Keller stole a pass at the Arizona blueline and got behind Toews. His backhander from in close trickled by Francouz to make it 2-1 at 17:31 of the first.
It was Keller’s 13th of the season.
The Coyotes tied it with the only goal of the second period on Larsson’s one-timer at 6:12, his fourth of the season. Arizona had an opportunity for more when it got a full two-minute 5-on-3 but the Avalanche killed it off.
The Coyotes did go ahead in the first minute of the third when Gostisbehere scored 39 seconds into the period, his seventh of the season, to make it 3-2.
Just 29 seconds later Burakovsky beat Prosvetov with his 14th goal of the season.