3 Keys: Avalanche at Golden Knights, Game 6 of 2nd round

The Vegas Golden Knights can option to the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third time in their four seasons with a buy in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup 2d Spherical at T-Cell Arena on Thursday.

The Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Closing in their inaugural season of 2017-18 and the Western Convention Closing closing season. Within the occasion that they option to the NHL Semifinals this season, they can turn into the third team in NHL history to transfer that a ways thrice in the team’s first four seasons.

The New York Rangers did it in each and each of their first four seasons, from 1926-30, when the NHL had 10 groups. The St. Louis Blues did it in each and each of their first three seasons, from 1967-70, when the League expanded from six groups to 12 and the layout assured a spread team would create the Cup Closing.

Vegas has obtained three video games in a row, in conjunction with Video games 3 and 4 at dwelling.

“I feel guys are excellent ample to perceive the replacement that is in entrance of us right here, and also that you simply must hang to include that and acceptable scramble and play a immense hockey game,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer acknowledged. “I feel we will hang the followers in the lend a hand of us. We’re at dwelling. The put else would you treasure to hang to be?”

Colorado has no longer lost four in a row at any point this season.

“We’re smitten by the replacement to buy in this constructing,” Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews acknowledged. “We had been right here for 2 video games earlier than and couldn’t get the job done in either of those video games, so or no longer it is a ways a appropriate replacement for our team to stammer up. We in actual fact feel treasure we’re trending in the exact course. We have not done our most attention-grabbing but either, so we’re ready for that.”

The Golden Knights hang lost Game 6 three out of 4 times they’ve led a most attention-grabbing-of-7 sequence 3-2, in conjunction with in the most important round against the Minnesota Wild. Nonetheless they’ve long previous on to lose Game 7 once, against the San Jose Sharks in the Western Convention First Spherical in 2019.

The Avalanche hang obtained Game 6 when trailing a most attention-grabbing-of-7 sequence 3-2 in the 2nd round each and each of the previous two seasons, against the Sharks in 2019 and the Dallas Stars closing season. Nonetheless on every occasion they lost Game 7.

Listed below are 3 Keys for Game 6:

1. Bednar in the lend a hand of the bench

Colorado coach Jared Bednar was cleared to assert the Avalanche after an irregularity with his COVID-19 test outcomes kept him away from the team all thru its morning skate.

What would possibly had been a vital disruption became staunch into a minimal distraction.

“We’re pondering that he’ll be lend a hand tonight, but if no longer, we know what to develop,” forward Joonas Donskoi acknowledged forward of Bednar being cleared.

The Avalanche are facing elimination on the avenue, and now would possibly hang their coach to withhold an eye on the matchups and line combos.

The Vegas line that involves Impress Stone, a finalist for the Selke Trophy because the most attention-grabbing defensive forward in the NHL, and Chandler Stephenson, a quickly heart, has shut down the Colorado top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen at even strength the previous three video games.

Bednar flipped Landeskog and Brandon Saad on the most important and 2nd traces as part of line shuffling in Game 5 to about a success. The Avalanche obtained’t hang the closing exchange at Vegas.

2. MacKinnon

MacKinnon was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy on Thursday. That goes to the most significant player in the regular season.

He was a number one candidate for the Conn Smythe Trophy, which goes to the MVP of the playoffs, thru the most important two video games of this sequence. At that time he had scored 13 facets (eight targets, 5 assists) in six video games.

MacKinnon hasn’t scored some extent since. His closing three-game point drought? Video games 5-7 of the Western Convention 2d Spherical in 2019, when the Avalanche lost to the Sharks. San Jose’s coach then? DeBoer.

A vital night from MacKinnon would possibly maybe build Colorado’s season and resurrect his Conn Smythe probabilities.

3. Clinching/elimination game heroes

Avalanche forward Andre Burakovsky hasn’t scored a aim in nine playoff video games and dedicated a turnover that was the turning point in Game 5. It came with Colorado main 2-0 in the third length and resulted in a aim by Vegas forward Alex Tuch. The Avalanche went on to lose 3-2 in time previous legislation.

What better methodology to redeem himself than by scoring a giant aim in Game 6? Burakovsky has scored nine targets when facing elimination in his NHL career, in conjunction with three in the 2nd round closing season. Easiest Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (13), Montreal Canadiens forward Corey Perry (10) and New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider (10) hang scored more targets when facing elimination amongst active gamers.

Burakovsky would possibly hang to beat Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, though. Fleury has obtained 15 video games when his team can clinch a series in his NHL career, one in the lend a hand of Mike Vernon for seventh in NHL history. He has four shutouts in such scenarios, one in the lend a hand of Clint Benedict (5) and Chris Osgood (5) for the most in NHL history.

Avalanche projected lineup

Brandon Saad — Nathan MacKinnon — Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog — J.T. CompherValeri Nichushkin

Andre Burakovsky — Tyson JostLogan O’Connor

Alex NewhookPierre-Edouard Bellemare — Joonas Donskoi

Devon Toews — Cale Makar

Ryan GravesSamuel Girard

Patrik NemethConor Timmins

Philipp Grubauer

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Bowen Byram, Jonas Johansson, Jacob MacDonald, Jayson Megna, Liam O’Brien, Sampo Ranta, Dan Renouf, Kiefer Sherwood, Carl Soderberg

Injured: Matt Calvert (upper physique)

Suspended: Nazem Kadri

Golden Knights projected lineup

Max Pacioretty — Chandler Stephenson — Impress Stone

Jonathan MarchessaultWilliam KarlssonReilly Smith

Mattias JanmarkNicolas Roy — Alex Tuch

William ProviderKeegan KolesarRyan Reaves

Alec MartinezAlex Pietrangelo

Brayden McNabbShea Theodore

Prick HoldenZach Whitecloud

Marc-Andre Fleury

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Nicolas Hague, Cody Glass, Jimmy Schuldt, Logan Thompson, Jiri Patera, Kaedan Korczak, Jonas Rondbjerg, Dylan Coghlan, Carl Dahlstrom, Jack Dugan, Dylan Sikura, Patrick Brown

Injured: Tomas Nosek (undisclosed), Peyton Krebs (jaw)

Feature epic

Compher did no longer skate but doubtless will play Thursday. He also did no longer skate the morning of Game 5 but was in the lineup that night. … Kadri will complete his eight-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Security. The heart will be eligible to play Game 7 on Friday, if compulsory. … Reaves would possibly maybe return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 5. … Krebs, a forward, skated on his possess earlier than an optionally available morning skate.

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