Avalanche take 3-0 series lead over Preds with 7-3 win
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Colorado Avalanche lost goalkeeper Darcy Kumper in the first period. Their power play is so strong now that they have lost it all.
Gabriel Landscog scored twice in the second half and top-seeded Avalanche beat the Nashville Predators 6-3 on Saturday to take a 3-0 lead in their first-round Western Conference series.
Landscog also had two assists. Nazem Qadri and Devon Toyes each added a goal and an assist, and Arturi Lehkonen and Nathan McKinnon added a power-play goal as Colorado pushed Nashville to the brink of extinction with 4 for 5. Kale Makar had three assists.
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Colorado coach Jared Bedner said, “I really liked our power play in this series, and tonight we turned it into our opportunity.” “Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”
Valerie Nichushkin added an empty-net goal with 2:46 remaining. Avs missed a few chances after Nashville pulled goalkeeper Connor Ingram with more than 4 minutes left.
With one minute left in the first period, Avalanche goalkeeper Darcy Kumper got injured. He was replaced by Pavel Franঙ্কois and made 18 saves in the seventh playoff of his career. Franুজois did not see what had happened to Kumper, only that his teammate was in great pain and he was going inside immediately.
Bedner said Quamper took a stick in his eye and left him swollen. Quamper will be re-evaluated and may be available for Game 4 on Monday night.
“I didn’t even know it would happen until today,” Francois said. “I’ve never seen an injury like that. It’s obviously scary that the stick could fit in a cage, but I think it’s very unlikely that anything like that would happen.”
Matt Duchenne, Eli Tolvanen and captain Roman Josie scored for Nashville. Alexander had two career assists.
This is the first time Predators have trailed 0-3 in a series and they will try to avoid being swept for the first time in their 15 playoff appearances.
“We have to win one,” said Nashville coach John Hynes. “You see right now we’ve got a team that has been resilient. We know what it is. And you’re not out of a series until it hits four.”
Colorado simply dominated the Predators, beating them 16-6 137-81 in shots through the first three games.
Duchenne got Nashville on board, scoring at 17:37 in a rematch. The Predators Center then grabs Ryan Johansen’s stick in Kumper’s face, and Franুজois replaces him in the net.
The Predators were able to score twice with a Man Advantage in the second, with Tolvanen scoring from the point of the left circle at 5:41. Landscog beat Ingram with a backhander on Man Adventure to take a 3-2 lead in the middle of the second, then Josie tied it with a slap shot from the Blue Line at 12:11.
Landskog scored his second goal To keep Colorado ahead for 14:02.
Avs got another man advantage when Nashville intervened with Ingram to lose Landscog’s goal to Lehconen. Hunting forward Mikel Granlund was blamed for the contact. Ingram played Pak behind the net, lost Pak and Qadri scored in the open net Just 39 seconds later for a 5-3 lead.
“That’s exactly the risk you take sometimes challenging,” Landeskog said. “That’s what we did in the last match, and we got a penalty in it. It was definitely a big swing and we were able to get a bounce in the next power play and be able to cash in on Naz. A big swing game, of course.”
Towes pads the lead from the third to the middle in the middle of the left circle.
With 56.6 seconds left in the first, Johannesen’s stick got stuck in the mask, injuring the Avalanche goalkeeper. Kumper took off his mask and grabbed a towel over his face and went down on the ice before skating in the locker room. In the regular season he was 37-12-4 for Colorado and won the first two games of the series.
“I don’t know exactly what happened or how it got there,” he said of the pain stick. “What I think is unfortunate. It’s an unfortunate drama.”
Nashville led the NHL on penalties in the regular season, and Colorado converted a 42.9% man advantage in this series for this strong performance. Josie said he felt hunters had improved after the season.
“They’ve got a lot of great offensive players and you don’t want to put them on the power play, you don’t want to give them a look,” Josie said. “They paid us for them.”
Ingram became the first rookie in Nashville history to start a play-off game at Game 2’s overtime rate on Thursday night. At the start of his first post season in the last 10 years, his 49 saves were the most by a goalkeeper and the fourth-most tie by Predator Golki in playoff franchise history. After coming off the bench, Ingram stopped 79 of the 63 shots he faced in the first two matches of the series.
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