Tue, 29 Sep 2020

Avs solve Kuemper late, sink Coyotes 3-0

Field Level Media
13 Aug 2020, 10:40 GMT+10

Third-period goals 10 seconds apart by Nazem Kadri and J.T. Compher broke a scoreless game, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-0 to claim their Stanley Cup playoff series opener Wednesday in Edmonton.

Mikko Rantanen added a third goal just 73 seconds after Compher's tally for the favored Avalanche. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer needed to make only 14 saves for the shutout victory, his second career playoff goose egg.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven Western Conference opening round series will be Friday afternoon.

For the first 53 minutes, Arizona goaltender Darcy Kuemper kept the high-octane Avalanche off the board despite a massive edge in play. The defense-first Coyotes were outshot 13-3 in the first period, and the rink remained tilted the rest of the way. At the end of the second period, shots were 28-7 for the Avalanche. In fact, Kadri had nearly as many shots on goal -- six -- as the entire Coyotes squad.

But the dam burst in a big way thanks to Kadri's power-play goal with 6:55 remaining in the clash. While Arizona's Derek Stepan was in the box for interference, Kadri was on the spot during a wild scramble to shovel home a loose puck to break the deadlock.

Before anybody even had the opportunity to digest what had happened, Compher doubled the lead. Off the ensuing faceoff, the Avalanche went straight to the Arizona zone, and Compher found a loose puck before taking the time to give himself a better angle at the yawning cage and depositing it.

The scoring parade didn't end there. Rantenan neatly converted a cross-ice pass from Nathan MacKinnon to round out the scoring at the 14:28 mark, completing a sequence of three goals in 83 seconds for a Colorado team that finished fourth in the league offensively (3.37 goals per game) during the truncated regular season.

Kuemper finished with 37 saves for the Coyotes, who need to find some offense in a hurry, with the next two games of the series on consecutive days.

--Field Level Media

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