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JT Compher came out of the box to give Colorado a 7-18 lead, and the Avalanche defeated the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 on Saturday night to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
Just three minutes after Ryan McLeod tied Edmonton for tripping Leon Draisaitl, Compher came out of the box, punched Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard for board control and placed the puck between goaltender’s legs mike smith
Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals for Colorado, Mikko Rantanen had an empty net with 30 seconds left and Pavel Francouz made 27 saves. Francouz came on in the middle of Colorado’s 8-6 Game 1 win when Darcy Kuemper sustained an upper-body injury and made 24 saves in a 4-0 win Thursday night for his second career playoff shutout.
McLeod equalized at 2 at 7:34 of the third, going the length of the ice and beating Francouz with a snap from the high slot.
AVALANCHE VS. OILERS MATCH 2 RESULT: PAVEL FRANCOUZ, NAZEM KADRI LEAD AVS TO 4-0 WIN
Connor McDavid also scored for Edmonton. Smith made 39 saves.
Game 4 takes place in Edmonton on Monday night, with Colorado just one game away from making the Stanley Cup finals. The Avalanche won titles in 1996 and 2007.
McDavid opened the scoring 38 seconds into the game and punched Francouz in the other side with a wrist shot.
RANGERS BEAT LIGHTNING 3-2 IN GAME 2 FOR A 2-0 SERIES LEAD
Edmonton then killed a five-minute penalty on Evander Kane for boarding Nazim Kadri just 28 seconds after McDavid’s goal, and again stopped the Avalanche power play mid-period after Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse was asked to over the puck to shoot the glass. Kadri was injured in Kane’s hit and did not return.
Nichushkin scored after two lucky deflections to give Colorado the lead. He connected it at 3:48 in the first period when his center pass was deflected off Nurse. Then, at 4:37 of the second, Nichushkin controlled a deflection of a shot from the point that hit teammate Nathan MacKinnon and fired a wrist shot through Bouchard’s legs and past the shielded Smith.
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Colorado killed MacKinnon’s trip penalty late in the second, and Edmonton stopped the Avalanche’s power play again early in the third when Draisaitl retired for high-sticking.
Only four NHL teams have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit and won a seven-game streak. The Los Angeles Kings were the last to pull off the feat in the first round of the 2014 playoffs against San Jose.