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Avalanche 1st to advance in NHL, now watch for Blues or Wild | Sports



NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Colorado Avalanche are the primary NHL crew to advance to the second spherical this postseason, and the top-seeded crew within the Western Conference is coming off merely a dominating efficiency.

The Avalanche swept Nashville, one thing that hadn’t occurred within the Predators’ first 14 playoff appearances. They scored the primary purpose in all 4 video games — twice scoring on their first shot of the sport. Colorado completed the best-of-seven collection with a 5-3 win Monday night time and an total 21-9 scoring edge.

“They’re a really good team,” Nashville captain Roman Josi mentioned. “They make you pay for every little mistake. They got some unbelievable players over there.”

Better but?

Colorado trailed for a grand complete of 4 minutes, 57 seconds in the complete collection. That occurred within the third interval Monday night time, and the high-powered Avs answered with three straight targets over the following 11:05 to seal not solely the victory, however the collection.

“You can’t always win when you have your best, you have to find ways when you’re not,” Avalanche ahead Nathan MacKinnon mentioned. “(Monday) was one of those cases. We just know with all the skill and talent we have that we were going to get one. A lot of good looks and eventually we got a few, so it was nice.”

This places the Avs within the Western Conference semifinals for a fourth straight season and second consecutive after sweeping their first-round opponent. Since the franchise relocated to Denver, the Avs improved to 6-0 in best-of-seven collection after profitable the primary three video games, with their fourth sweep in that span.

They now get to attend for both St. Louis or Minnesota.

“The big thing is now we can take a breath, get a couple days off for our guys, give them some rest and we’ll still get some real good practice time before we get ready for our next opponent,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar mentioned.

That contains relaxation for goalie Darcy Kuemper, who sat out the collection clincher nonetheless coping with swelling round his proper eye. He took an inadvertent follow the face late within the first interval of Game 3, and Pavel Francouz completed off the collection in internet.

“Obviously, we don’t know who our opponent is yet, but it’s going to be a familiar team,” defenseman Cale Makar mentioned. “For us, it’s already to that next step. We’re where we want it to be, but we have to make sure that we can stay tight throughout this little break that we have.”

The Avalanche lead all groups this postseason averaging 5.25 targets per recreation and a league-high 43.8% on the person benefit. Only Pittsburgh (50.5) has taken extra pictures per recreation than Colorado with 44.

Makar, named a Norris Trophy finalist for a second straight season, had a purpose and two assists within the collection clincher, and he now has 10 factors to guide all skaters within the playoffs. He is the primary defenseman in NHL historical past with 10 factors in a four-game collection. The final ahead to submit double-digit factors in a four-game collection was Johan Franzen of the Detroit Red Wings, who had 10 factors in opposition to Colorado within the 2008 Western semifinals.

MacKinnon mentioned Makar is likely to be the NHL’s greatest participant proper now with how he dominates from the again finish.

“This playoff season, he’s taken another step with his leadership in the room being more vocal,” MacKinnon mentioned. “And obviously on the ice, he’s so dominant. He might be one of the best D to ever play by the end of his career at this rate. Really excited to have him on our team, obviously.”

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