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Colorado Avalanche Sweep Edmonton Oilers to Reach Stanley Cup Finals


EDMONTON, Alberta — Artturi Lehkonen scored 1 minute 19 seconds into extra time, and the Colorado Avalanche rallied to beat the Edmonton Oilers, 6-5, Monday night to finish a four-game sweep within the Western Conference finals and send themselves to the Stanley Cup finals for the primary time since 2001.

Colorado will tackle either the Rangers or the Tampa Bay Lightning, who’ve won the past two Stanley Cups. The Rangers lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series two games to at least one. Game 4 is Tuesday night in Tampa, Fla.

Cale Makar, Devon Toews, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen also scored for Colorado. Pavel Francouz stopped 30 of 35 shots.

“Our primary thing is just attempting to be resilient, ensuring that each single night we bring that very same game,” said Makar, who also had 4 assists. “Sometimes it may not be pretty, but at the tip of the day we’re just going to attempt to get the job done.”

Zach Hyman scored twice for the Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian also scored for Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl had 4 assists and goalie Mike Smith finished with 36 saves on 42 shots.

The teams combined for six goals within the third period. Colorado, which began the period trailing by 3-1 and later faced a 4-2 deficit, scored 4 times within the third despite being outshot 15-13.

“It was an important comeback win, of course,” Lehkonen said. “We were talking within the second intermission that we just got to seek out our game and we are able to pull through this.”

Rantanen appeared to finish Colorado’s comeback, scoring a power-play goal with just over five minutes remaining to provide the Avalanche a 5-4 edge.

However the Oilers stormed back and compelled extra time when Kassian scored at 16:38 and tied it at 5-5. Lehkonen scored early within the extra time period. He deflected a shot from the purpose after which put the rebound past Smith. The goal stood after a review for a high stick.

“Cale took the shot,” said Lehkkonen, who scored the goal to send a team to the ultimate for a second consecutive yr after doing so in 2021 with Montreal. “I got a tip on it. It landed straight on my blade. I principally had an empty-netter in front of me, so tap it in.”

The Avalanche played without the injured forward Nazem Kadri, who was hurt on an illegal hit by Edmonton’s Evander Kane in Game 3. Kadri didn’t return after Kane sent his left arm crashing into the boards on successful that was reviewed and called a significant penalty. The N.H.L. suspended Kane for Game 4. The Avalanche haven’t revealed what Kadri’s injury is or announced how long he will likely be out.

Since its start within the N.H.L. because the Quebec Nordiques in 1979, the Avalanche franchise has won two Stanley Cups: a 1996 sweep of Florida and their 2001 victory against the Devils.

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