EDmonton, Alberta – The Colorado Avalanche swept Edmonton out of the Western Conference Finals in Game Four on Monday, topping the Oilers 6-5 in overtime to win a better-of-seven streak 4-0.
Colorado now advances to the Stanley Cup Final, where the Eastern Conference Finals winner will face off between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers. New York leads that series 2-1. This will be the first appearance of the avalanche in the last round since 2001.
Edmonton had his chances of survival in Game 4, scattering two multilateral threads. The Oilers were 4-2 ahead midway through the third inning, only to allow a three-game winning streak for an attacking avalanche. Zack Kassian tied the game 5-5 late in the system to force overtime, as Artturi Lehkonen ended Edmonton’s hopes of displaying the Cup Final with a match-winning goal.
Colorado was the first to score a force-playing goal by Cal Makar. It was Makar’s fifth post-season goal, and his first five-point goal in the fourth game.
The match remained 1-0 until midway through the second half. Edmonton was leading 21-12 at that point, with goalkeeper Mike Smith once again keeping Oilers in the game early.
Zach Heyman finally cashed in during a massive push by the Oilers at the end of Colorado, defeating Colorado goalkeeper Pavel Francoz to give Edmonton some life.
The Oilers scored two quick goals next, first as Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pounced on a Colorado spin and then with Conor McDavid’s powerful mark.
Leon Drysittel assisted McDavid despite suffering an injury earlier in the second half. Oilers’ top liner wasn’t nearly 100% healthy in the post-season, and he struggled off the bench in agony after getting injured late in the second period. But Draisaitl refused to leave the match, barely missing a change before adding the assistant on McDavid’s goal. And it’s not over yet.
Driesitl created another assist on Heyman’s second goal, and this goal came in the third inning. Edmonton started this frame 3-1 ahead, until Devon Toys clocked 31 seconds to make it 3-2. The Oilers held on, and Draisaitl hurriedly fed Hyman to restore Edmonton’s two-goal lead.
Colorado was down 4-2 but it wouldn’t last long. In the middle of the third inning, Smith’s clearing attempt hit a referee and he remained in the Oilers’ area with a quick hit by Gabriel Landskog.
Then, after another unsuccessful game from the Oilers, Nathan McKinnon jumped into play and fired the equalizer past Smith to make him 4-4 with six minutes to play in the platform.
Mikko Rantanen lifted the Colorado team 5-4 with a powerful goal right after that. Edmonton responded by bringing together McDavid and Draisaitl to equalize for Kassian next. Drystel finished with four points, and McDavid finished with three.
Lehkonen needed just 1:19 in the overtime frame to score the match winner, capping his three-point night.
The Avalanche have played in the cup twice in their franchise history, winning both series. In 1996, they defeated the Florida Panthers. In 2001, they outnumbered the New Jersey Devils.