NHL Playoffs: Avalanche up 3-0 over Oilers, lose Nazem Kadri after dirty hit
The NHL Playoffs have another significant injury on its hands.
Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri was viciously checked into the board from behind by Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane.
“He’s out for this series at least if not longer,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “The hit is the most dangerous play in hockey. Puts him in head first from behind 8 feet off the boards. I’ll leave it at that.”
On the play, Kadri was flying into the corner for a loose puck when Kane gave him a significant two-handed cross-checked to the back. That our him hard into the boards and leaving the game after 66 seconds.
Kane was given a five-minute major for boarding but didn’t receive a misconduct. No word on a possible suspension but it is expected that the NHL Department of Player Safety will step in.
Multiple reports indicate that Kadri left the arena with a cast on his arm.
NHL Playoffs: Avalanche 4 vs Oilers 2
Despite all the nasty hockey, which included a slew-foot by Nathan MacKinnon on Leon Draisaitl, the Colorado Avalanche were able to pull out a 4-2 victory on Saturday night in Edmonton.
The Avs are just one win away from making their first Stanley Cup Final appearance since 2001. That season they beat the New Jersey Devils in 7 games.
Game 4 is set for Monday night at Rogers Place.
J.T. Compher was the Avs’ hero scoring the game-winning goal with under 8 minutes in the game. Valeri Nichushkin added two goals, Mikko Rantanen iced it with an empty-netter. Backup Pavel Francouz made 27 saves as Darcy Kuemper remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Devon Toews registered two assists in the victory.
“Shot five-hole and I didn’t see it go in,” said Compher, who has five goals in the past four games. “I thought it was in his pads the way he was moving. It took me a second to get there and it was nice to see when I finally did see it in the net.”NHL.com
Connor McDavid scored just 38 seconds into the game giving Oilers fans hope for a different outcome. However, the hit on Kadri seemed to change the trajectory of the contest less than 30 seconds later. Ryan McLeod also scored and goalie Mike Smith put up a valiant 39 save performance in the losing effort.
“They’re a good hockey team, I’m going to keep saying that,” McDavid said. “They obviously do a lot of good things defensively and offensively. We’re a good team, too, and we have to find a way to score and find a way to defend as well.”
Colorado now has six straight road wins in the playoffs.