Just when we thought they were dead, Avalanche rally to force a Game 7
Apr 28, 2023, 10:55 PM
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Yeah, they’re not dead yet.
Just when the masses counted the Avalanche out, they did it again.
Despite all the adversity against Seattle and uncertainty with forward Valeri Nichushkin, the Avs forced a Game 7 in Round 1 by beating the Kraken, 4-1 on Friday night.
Mikko Rantanen got things tied up 1-1 after Colorado faced yet another early deficit — and Erik Johnson and Artturi Lehkonen padded the team’s lead in the second period.
MIKKO TO THE RESCUE 🚨 pic.twitter.com/P44G42Ca7B
— Denver Sports (@DenverSportsCom) April 29, 2023
In the third period, the Avalanche kept the Kraken off the board thanks to some stellar defense. They knew the task with a two-goal advantage, and were up to the challenge. There was never really a doubt this series was returning home for the decisive contest. Lehkonen scored a second goal in an empty net to close it.
And the Avs continued their heroics on the road, not yet willing to give up their Stanley Cup title. The team has now won two playoff games away from home after doing it 29 times in the regular season.
Alexandar Georgiev stopped 21 shots, and the Avalanche have a winner-take-all showdown penciled in for Sunday at Ball Arena.
This was big for the Avs, as the Nichushkin police report and situation could’ve derailed their season. Instead they played their best game of the series, sending Seattle fans home wondering why they became hockey (and not football) folks.
No one should count Colorado out, not until someone rips the Cup from their hands. It wasn’t the Kraken, at least not on Friday, and this resilient team lives to fight another day.