The Colorado Avalanche defeated the San Jose Sharks in overtime 4-3 to win Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals. The Avs forced a Game 7.
Gabriel Landeskog, a left winger from Sweden scored the game-winner in overtime for the Avs. Landeskog scored 75 points this season including 34 goals, but he probably scored his biggest goal of the season for the Avalanche. Landeskog now has 3 goals in the playoffs this season.
“To do that on home ice, it’s very exciting,” said Landeskog. I haven’t been happy with my offensive output this timeof year. I haven’t been dangerous enough.”
Nathan MacKinnon, the Avs leading scorer, has 13 points in the playoffs with 6 goals. For a second game in a row, the Sharks defense shut down MacKinnon. The Avs center did not score a single point in that stretch. JT Compher, who scored only 16 goals this season, tallied two goals and an assist in Game 6. He took four shots on goal and knocked two by Sharks’ goalie Martin Jones.
The Colorado/San Jose series followed a perfect zig-zag pattern. The Sharks won Game 1 in San Jose 5-2 to set everything in motion. The Avs evened the series with a 4-3 victory in Game 2.
The Colorado Avalanche hosted the Sharks in Denver for Game 3. But the Sharks spoiled the Avs homecoming with a 4-2 win. The Avs bounced back in Game 4 with a 3-0 shutout.
The series returned to San Jose for Game 5 and the Sharks prevailed with a 2-1 squeaker. Tomas Hertl scored two goals to take a 3-2 lead.
On the verge of elimination, the series returned to Denver and the Avs won on their home ice. It took an overtime session to declare a winner, but the Avs kept their Stanley Cup hopes alive with a huge victory in Game 6.
“Sixty minutes away from a Western Conference final. Who would have thought that before the season?” joked Landeskog.
The Avs have not lost consecutive games since March, but now they head back to San Jose.
On Deck: Game 7
The Eastern Conference Finals is set. The banged-up Carolina Hurricanes have been resting the last few days after sweeping Barry Trotz’s Islanders squad. The Bruins took down the Columbus Blue Jackets last night to advance to the Eastern Finals for the first time since 2013.
The winner of the Avs/Sharks will take on the winner of the St. Louis Blues/Dallas Stars series. The Blues won Game 6 in Dallas 4-1 to force a Game 7 for tonight.
The Avs and Sharks play on Wednesday night in San Jose. The Sharks finished the regular season with a 46-27-9 record and 101 points for second place in the Pacific (behind the Calgary Flames). The Sharks were 25-11-5 in San Jose during the regular season. They are 2-1 at home in this series against the Avs.
The Sharks needed seven games and a controversial call to defeat the Las Vegas Golden Knights in seven games in the opening round of the playoffs. The Sharks went 3-1 at home in San Jose in that series. They are 5-2 at home overall in the postseason this year.
The Sharks opened as -130 favorites on the money line and the Colorado Avalanche are +110 dogs heading into Game 7.
According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the San Jose Sharks are 9/2 odds to win the Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche are 8/1 odds to win the NHL championship and hoist the Cup.