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Avalanche

Avs blow third-period lead, battle back to win

Colorado started the third period with a two-goal lead (3-1), but surrendered three goals and trailed Dallas by one (4-3) with less than 10 minutes to go play on Wednesday night. Suddenly the Avalanche’s season was on the precipice of ending, that was until Colorado got goals from Mikko Rantanen, Nazem Kadri and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare to rally and beat the Stars 6-4.

Instead of being down an almost insurmountable 3-0 hole, the Avs are in a much more manageable spot at 2-1 behind in the Western Conference semifinal series. Game 4 is scheduled for Friday at 8 p.m. (NBCSN).

As for how Colorado managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, here’s what Kadri, who scored the game winner, had to say afterward:

“It’s just composure. As a team we got good leaders and just focusing on the end result. We play to the last whistle. I think that has been pretty evident thus far in the playoffs. We never really think the game’s over until it actually is over. Obviously, we’re not happy giving up that lead and we gotta lock it down and play better. But coming up with wins and knowing inside that locker room we still have more to give.”

In all six goals were scored during the wild third period that actually ended exactly how it all began, with the Avs leading by two.

How we got there

Dallas scored the first goal of the game when Tyler Seguin snuck one past Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz just over midway through the first period. The teams went to intermission with Dallas leading 1-0.

Colorado didn’t take long to answer in the second as Nikita Zadorov scored just one minute into the period on an assist from Kadri. Less than four minutes late Andre Burakovsky’s goal put the Avs in front. And with exactly nine minutes to play in the second Gabriel Landeskog scored to give Colorado the two-goal cushion.

What’s next for Colorado?

As TheAthletic.com’s Ryan S. Clark wrote, despite the win in Game 3 Colorado still has more questions than answers due to the blown lead in the third period.

“For us, it’s gut check time. It’s not how we drew it up going into the third period like that. We get some unfortunate bad breaks but I think we just stuck to it. We stuck to our game plan and we trusted that it would pull through. … I know everybody believes in this group. It’s just being able to go out and execute.”

Colorado’s defenseman Cale Makar said after the game.

Meanwhile, fellow defenseman Zadorov was injured during the game and was unable to play in the third period, his status for Friday’s Game 4 is yet to be determined. Before getting injured Zadorov was having a great game, as head coach Jared Bednar reference during his postgame press conference.

“I give our guys all the props for fighting through those injuries today. And for Zadorov, I thought the way we wanted our D to step up and play a better game and he was a guy we needed more out of. We had some conversations over the last few days and we moved him with Girard. I thought he was outstanding. Huge impact in the game. Physically engaged. In on a couple games. There was no rest on his game. It was hard. It was impactful on a shift-to-shift basis. That’s what we needed.”

Bednar said after the Avs’ 6-4 win Wednesday night in Edmonton.

Players address boycotts, racial injustice

After the game Avalanche players addressed the boycotts that took place in the NBA playoffs and various Major League Baseball games Wednesday night, as well as racial injustice as a whole in our country, as detailed by The Denver Post’s Mike Chambers.

“This is a problem that has gone on far too long. The signs and hockey (operations team) is great and everything but eventually words get stale and it’s about action and making a difference.”

Kadri said of American police shooting Black civilians.

“For us, it’s a matter where a lot of players and a lot of superstars in this league have spoken out, and put out statements through their channels and used their platform to voice their opinions which is sometimes a little bit unusual for hockey players who like to stay private. But this has gone on way too long for this country and it needs to change. What the next steps from here are, I’m not sure. I don’t have those answers, but I think as a hockey community we stay tight-nit and at this point, I think we all support change in this country.”

Landeskog said.

Bednar wasn’t actually aware of what was going on in the other sports until he arrived at Rogers Place.

“I wasn’t watching any TV or really around on social media before the game. I can’t comment on what everyone was thinking. No players had come to me and said, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about not playing’ or anything. So it was kind of business as usual in our room. Obviously, now, having got the backstories and the stories from the NBA players not playing, I thought about it and if our players, even one player, had come to me and said, ‘Hey, I don’t think we should play’ we would have addressed it as a team. But I never got word from anyone in our room and the league hadn’t said that the players were thinking about not playing. So it was just (about) staying focused and business as usual.”

One-timers

  • Nathan MacKinnon had two assists in the game, stretching his postseason scoring streak to 11 games and breaking the Avs’ franchise record that had been held by Joe Sakic from back in 1996.
    MacKinnon’s 20 playoff points leads the NHL and is the most from a Colorado player since Peter Forsberg had 27 in 2002.
  • Colorado played without forwards Joonas Donskoi and Matt Calvert, defenseman Erik Johnson and goalie Philipp Grubauer in Game 3.

Avalanche-Stars results and schedule

GameResult
Game 1Dallas 5, Colorado 3Box score
Game 2Dallas 5, Colorado 2Box score
Game 3Colorado 6, Dallas 4Box score
Game 4Dallas 5, Colorado 4Box score
Game 5Colorado 6, Dallas 3Box score
Game 6Colorado 4, Dallas 1Box score
Best-of-seven series tied 3-3
DateTime (MT)Home teamTV
Fri., Sept. 42 p.m.ColoradoUSA
All games played at Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta

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