Cale Makar leads Avs to Stanley Cup Final

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It was quite a busy evening in the NHL as the Boston Bruins made a shocking announcement (well, to be anyway) as they fired coach Bruce Cassidy after six seasons.

Cassidy was an amazing 245-108-46 in the regular season although he was only 36-37 in Stanley Cup playoff action. He should get a job quickly elsewhere as he was terrific in Boston.

Shortly thereafter, the NHL announced that Kyle Connor was the 2021-22 winner of the Lady Byng Trophy which is award to the most gentlemanly player in the NHL. The Winnipeg winger had 47 goals and 93 points with only four penalty minutes in 79 games. Jaccob Slavin of the Carolina Hurricanes and Jared Spurgeon of the Minnesota Wild were second and third respectively in the voting.

Don’t forget, for everything NHL, check out NBCSportsEdge Player News, and follow @NBCSEdge HK and @mfinewaxhockey on Twitter.

COLORADO 6 EDMONTON 5 (Overtime) (Colorado wins the best-of-seven series 4-0)

Well, that was a wild one!

After two periods it was 3-1 Edmonton in a strong defensive battle by the Oilers but everything fell apart in the third period and overtime as the Colorado Avalanche roared back to defeat the Oilers 6-5 in overtime.

Artturi Lehkonen was the overtime hero as he knocked down a Cale Makar point shot and banged in the rebound past Edmonton goalie Mike Smith to give the Avs a four-game sweep in the best-of-seven Western Conference Final.

But the winner had some controversy as the on-ice officials went to video review to see if Lehkonen knocked the puck down with a high-stick. They ruled it was a good goal and the celebrations re-started on the ice and back in Denver as the Avalanche are headed to the Stanley Cup Final.

The Avs opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period as Makar scored his fifth of the post-season. It was a power play effort as Lehkonen put the puck back to the point to Makar who beat the screened Smith.

The Oilers were outshot 16-12 in the opening stanza and then had the first six shots on net in the second before the Oilers took over, scoring three times on eight shots.

Zach Hyman evened the score as he deftly put the puck past Pavel Francouz and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave the Oilers a 2-1 lead as he picked up a loose puck in the Colorado zone and went in alone, deking Francouz and backhanding the puck into the empty cage.

Connor McDavid made it 3-1 as he ripped a shot from the faceoff dot and easily beat Francouz. It was the lone power play goal for the Oilers on five chances Monday as special teams played a huge role in the contest.

Devon Toews got the Avs to within one only 31 seconds into the third as his shot went off Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci and into the net.

But Hyman scored his second of the game at the 3:55 mark as Leon Draisaitl set him up for his 11th goal of the playoffs.

The Avs turned on the jets and scored the next three goals as Gabriel Landeskog with his eighth, Nathan MacKinnon with his 11th and Mikko Rantanen with his fifth, gave Colorado a 5-4 lead. Rantanen’s goal was on the power play as Colorado scored twice on two man-advantage opportunities on the night.

Zack Kassian scored a rare goal as he teamed up with Draisaitl and McDavid to even the score at 5 with 3:22 remaining, sending the game into overtime where Lehkonen’s heroics at the 1:19 mark ended the game and the series.

Francouz stopped 30-of-35 shots as he is a perfect 6-0 in the post-season. Despite his perfect record, expect to see Darcy Kuemper return to the crease for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final as he was well enough to back up Francouz on Monday.

It was a tough night for Smith who stopped 25-of-26 shots in the first two periods but gave up five goals on 16 shots in the final 21:19 of the contest to take the loss. Smith ends the playoffs with an 8-6 record to go with a 3.37 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

It was an outstanding night for Makar who added four assists in addition to his goal.

Draisaitl also had four assists while McDavid had two assists in addition to his goal. McDavid ends the 2022 playoffs with a league-leading 33 points in 16 games, one better than teammate Draisaitl. McDavid could be a rare winner of the playoff scoring title without playing in the Stanley Cup Final.

Lehkonen and Landeskog each had two assists in addition to their goals.

MacKinnon had seven shots on goal while Lehkonen had six.

Warren Foegele led both teams with eight hits.

Jesse Puljujarvi left the game in the second period with an undisclosed injury but did return for the third period where he played seven shifts.

Evander Kane missed Game 4 as he was suspended for one game as he boarded Nazem Kadri in Game 3. Kadri underwent thumb surgery and did not play Monday.

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NIGHTLY LEADERS

Goals

Zach Hyman – 2

Artturi Lehkonen - 1

Cale Makar – 1

Devon Toews – 1

Connor McDavid – 1

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – 1

Zack Kassian – 1

Mikko Rantanen – 1

Nathan MacKinnon – 1

Gabriel Landeskog - 1

Assists

Cale Makar -4

Leon Draisaitl – 4

Artturi Lehkonen – 2

Connor McDavid – 2

Gabriel Landeskog - 2

Shots on Goal

Nathan MacKinnon – 7

Artturi Lehkonen - 6

Hits

Warren Foegele - 8

Penalty Minutes

Alex Newhook – 2

Nathan MacKinnon – 2

Darren Helm – 2

Gabriel Landeskog – 2

Erik Johnson – 2

Zack Kassian – 2

Derek Ryan - 2