NHL Playoffs: Avalanche OT goal sweeps Oilers, will play for Stanley Cup
The NHL Playoffs first team to reach the Stanley Cup Final are the Colorado Avalanche. It’s their first appearance since 2001 where they beat the New Jersey Devils in 7 games.
Trade Deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen scored the OT winner to send the Avs to the Final. Cale Makar was the real offensive star of the match recording a goal and four assists for a five-point night.
Lehkonen’s goal came 79 seconds into the extra-frame after he knocked down a high shot and put it home. The officials reviewed it and deemed it a good goal.
“It was a good bounce,” Lehkonen said via NHL.com. “I got a tip on the first shot and then it bounced right on my tape.”
The 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night puts the Avs in wait-mode so they can nurse any bumps and bruises. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning play Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final at Amalie Arena on Tuesday. That series is 2-1 in favor of the Blueshirts.
NHL Playoffs: Avalanche 6 vs Oilers 5 (OT)
Colorado came up with a big third-period rally being down 4-2 to sweep the Oilers out of the postseason.
Once again, it seemed like defense was optional but the Avs had more than enough to get this done. Without Nazem Kadri, who had thumb surgery on Monday, Lehkonen and Gabriel Landeskog potted a goal and two helpers. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews were the other goal scorers. Goalie Pavel Francouz made 30 saves in the winning effort.
“It feels good, it’s a step in the right direction and it feels good to move past another round,” Landeskog said. “We know the job’s not finished, but I think our group showed some real good resiliency in the third period.
Despite the series sweep, the Oilers put forth a passionate performance. Leon Draisaitl, who played through a lower-body injury recorded 4 assists. Connor McDavid punched home a goal and two assists in the loss. They finish with 32 and 33 points respectively in the postseason. The Rangers’ Mika Zibanejad is the next closest player with 24 points.
Zach Hyman added two goals with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zack Kassian getting one each. Veteran netminder Mike Smith made 36 saves in the losing effort.
“I liked that there was no quit,” McDavid said. “I don’t think anyone quit out there, no one quit on each other. That’s always a good sign, but we, obviously, let it get away.”