There's a common saying that hockey is a game of inches, and the Colorado Avalanche and Pittsburgh Penguins learned this on Monday night.
The Avalanche pulled off a thrilling 4-2 victory to sweep the season series against the Stanley Cup champions, but they can also thank a little bit of puck luck. Check out this scoring chance by the Pens that somehow and someway didn't enter the back of the net.
Avs' goalie Semyon Varlamov made 28 saves in the victory, but he can sure thank the goal line and the post for making sure that puck did not cross. Really, have you ever seen such a lucky bounce before?
A worse quality video actually caught the action really well and showed just how lucky the Avalanche were in this situation.
That was a big win for the Avalanche, who moved to 16-15-2 and entered Tuesday just four points out of the playoffs. As for the Penguins, the two-time defending champs haven't had many bounces this season.
They're now just 17-15-3 on the season, and sit just outside of the playoff picture. With injuries to stars Matt Murray and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins just haven't been able to catch a break.
Luckily for the Pens, this bounce happened in Game #35 on their season, and not in overtime of a playoff game. Monday was a good time to get that unlucky break out of the way.
Legendary NHL goalie Patrick Roy was notably superstitious and had a ritual of talking to his goal posts before games. Varlamov hasn't confirmed yet if he does the same; if he doesn't, he probably should get started.
So if the Penguins manage to miss the postseason by one or two points, allow us to forever remember this goal line. For all we know, this one bit of puck luck for the Avalanche was all that was needed to ensure the Penguins don't get the opportunity to cap off a potential three-peat.