There would be no late dramatics this time.
The Avalanche handed the Bruins their first regulation loss of the season in Denver almost two months ago, and on Saturday, they gave the Bruins their first regulation loss at home, 4-1.
Unlike their last few games, the Bruins actually took a lead against the Avs, but Colorado scored the next four and the Bruins energy never picked up.
Former Avalanche forward Chris Wagner got his revenge 13:14 into the opening frame. John Moore wound up from the point and Wagner tapped in his third goal of the season, while Moore’s assist was his first point of the year in his second game back from shoulder surgery.
The lead didn’t last long.
Four minutes later, Valeri Nichushkin ended up getting his stick on a Matt Nieto shot in front of the crease, and deked around Jaroslav Halak. Par Lindholm nearly pushed it out before it crossed the goal line, but it went in for a good goal to tie it back at 1-1.
Brett Ritchie, in his first contest back from ongoing infection issues, earned a breakaway late in the first but missed well wide of the net. Goalie Philipp Grubauer appeared to tweak something on the play, and left the game after facing just four shots. Pavel Francouz replaced him for the reminder of the game.
The Bruins got sloppy with the puck midway through the second, and with 10:43 left in the middle frame, the Avalanche made them pay.
Danton Heinen turned it over behind his own net, and Colorado assumed possession. Defenseman Ian Cole’s slapshot beat Halak glove-side from outside the right circle to give the Avs their first lead.
It snowballed for the Bruins from there.
They had an extended, near-two minute possession in their offensive end that finished with the Avalanche going down the other end and scoring. Andre Burakovsky took advantage of Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk getting tangled up around the blue line, and fired in Colorado’s third goal with 1:39 left in the period.
The first power play all contest for either team finally came with 14:06 left in the third on a high stick drawn by Sean Kuraly. The Bruins got their shot total up, but didn’t score.
Ryan Graves had a breakaway out of the penalty box, and Brad Marchand’s hook sent the Avalanche to their first man advantage, negated just 25 seconds in by another penalty from Colorado, but even with another late power play at the end of the third, the Bruins couldn’t take advantage of find any energy.
Gabriel Landeskog netted an empty netter with two seconds remaining.
The Bruins pushed, upping their shot total from a mere eight at the end of two periods, but catch up hockey finally caught up to them with their first game without a point since early November.
The Bruins begin a four-game road trip on Monday night in Ottawa before heading to Washington.