Avalanche can withstand long injury list to forwards and defensemen. But goaltending depth is exposed.

Avalanche can withstand long injury list to forwards and defensemen. But goaltending depth is exposed.

Producing three of four points in a two-game weekend set would be acceptable for most hockey teams. But the Avalanche can’t be happy with its results at Ball Arena against the Anaheim Ducks over the weekend.

Both games went into overtime. Both teams won a game and produced three points in the series.

That’s a good road weekend for the rebuilding Ducks, who entered the set on an eight-game winless skid and stood last in the eight-team West Division.

That’s a concerning home weekend for the Avs, who — despite all their injuries — failed to win a game in regulation and continue to play with fire with their backup goaltender.

The Avs, minus seven injured regulars Saturday including two of their top three centers and regular No. 2 goalie Pavel Francouz, are testing their excellent depth at forward and on the blue line. And they were good enough to win in regulation Saturday, thanks to a four-goal scoring spree late in the second period and early in the third.

For the second straight game, the Avs overcame a poor start and 2-0 deficit against the Ducks, but this time, they poured it on and took a 4-2 lead with 13:37 remaining in regulation.

No. 1 goalie Philipp Grubauer was on the bench in a backup role, after getting the 3-2 OT victory on Friday. It was Hunter Miska’s turn to beat the Ducks, and the Avs gave him an ample lead to shut the door.

It doesn’t take a goaltending expert to surmise that Miska allowed more goals than the Ducks deserved. And it only took a quote from Avalanche coach Jared Bednar to support that.

“When the heat got turned up and we needed a save, we didn’t get it,” Bednar said. “It’s a team game. We didn’t play in the first period. Got better, played great in the second half and built the lead that we needed to win the hockey game, and came up short. We could have used a save or two at the end.”

Miska, who has played in just four career NHL games, has a .883 save percentage and 3.03 goals-against average in his three starts this year. His record is 1-1-1, but he nearly blew a 3-0 lead in the waning moments of his previous start on Feb. 26 at Arizona, which produced just 18 shots in losing 3-2.

Bednar sees a pattern. Miska has struggled in protecting multiple-goal, late-game leads in two consecutive games.

“We didn’t get it late in the Arizona game and we didn’t get it tonight,” the coach said after Saturday’s meltdown.

The Avalanche has two directions to go with its goaltending: Continue to take your chances by playing Miska sporadically and pray Grubauer doesn’t get hurt before Francouz returns from long-term injured reserve, or work a trade for a veteran goalie or acquire one on the waiver wire.

Because of COVID-19, every team has to carry three goaltenders — all three on the NHL roster or one on the taxi squad — and some teams have three veteran guys. The Avs chose not to do that, and it has cost them.

Nothing personal, Hunter Miska, you seem like a nice guy and a good teammate. But the Avs need a guy like Jonathan Bernier in your role. Bernier, who appeared in 37 games for the Avalanche in 2017-18, is making $3 million on the last year of his contract with the Detroit Red Wings, who are 7-16-3 and approaching the midpoint of their season.

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