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Avalanche moves within a game of the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating Edmonton 4-2 in Game 3

A commitment to its "next-man-up" philosophy helped the Avalanche secure victory for the Stanley Cup Finals here on Saturday night. (Author: Gardener)

AvalancheColorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) greets Colorado Avalanche right wing Valeri Nichushkin (13) in celebration after NichushkinÕs goal against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) in the second period during the third game of NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals at Rogers Venue June 04, 2022. EDMONTON, Alberta – A commitment to its “next man up” philosophy helped the Avalanche win a place in the Stanley Cup Finals here on Saturday night. Compher replaced the injured Nazem Kadri as Colorado's second-line center and scored the most important goal of Game 3 against Edmonton in the Western Conference Finals at Rogers Place. Compher jumped from the box, won a puck fight on the Oilers blue line and flicked a shot past goalie Mike Smith to break a 2-2 tie, 7-18 in the third period. Mikko Rantanen added an empty goal in the last minute for a 4-2 win and a 3-0 lead in a row. "Definitely a rollercoaster ride - not a good time to take a penalty," Compher said of his stumbling minor. Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Monday night. An Avs win will send them into their first Stanley Cup final since they last won it all in 2002. But they continue without Kadri, the victim of a vicious backstab from Edmonton winger Evander Kane. He will be out for at least the series if not longer," Avs coach Jared Bednar said of Kadri. "The hit - it's the most dangerous game in ice hockey. Compher's big goal was his fifth in his last five games after failing to score in his first nine games of the postseason. And it came a minute after goaltender Pavel Francouz stoned Edmonton superstar center Connor McDavid with a diving glove save on the power play. "I thought Frankie was outstanding," Bednar said of the Francouz. “The one you don't want to see would be the draw (2-2) from distance from the onslaught. But he more than made up for that at certain points throughout the game, at key times to keep us ahead... He fights in there and gave us the win.” The Avalanche lost Kadri to an upper-body injury early in the first period when he was checked into the boards in the defensive end corner by Kane from behind. It came in the first shift after McDavid gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead in his first shift and led to Kane's five-minute boarding major. "I definitely didn't like the shot," said Avs captain Gabe Landeskog. The Avs didn't capitalize on the power play and ended the game 0-of-5 with man advantage. Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals for the Avs, his second giving Colorado a 2-1 lead at 4:37 of the second half. His shot from the right circle fooled Smith as the puck bounced off Edmonton defender Evan Bouchard's leg and changed direction. Edmonton forward Ryan McLeod made it 2-2 with a long wrist shot midway through the third period - the one shot Francouz wanted back. "The guys did a good job on the reset after tying it down," said Landeskog. The game ended 1-1 after the first period where the Avs didn't take the lead for seven minutes but scored an accidental goal from Nichushkin late in the frame. Nichushkin's pass/shot to the net bounced off defenseman Darnell Nurse's stick and behind Smith. After Kadri ran away and went to the dressing room, Edmonton killed Kane's boarding major and then a delay-of-game minor against Nurse. Smith made the difference in the first half, making several excellent saves to keep the Oilers 1-0 up until Nichushkin's lucky jump. Edmonton took the lead in the first shift of the game when McDavid took a short pass from Zach Hyman near the left wall and flicked a low shot past Francouz. Avs star defenseman Cale Makar said a major key is keeping the Oilers' stars from shining. But they have incredible speed and we have to make sure we're putting our faith in the right people and not giving them options." Speaking about Game 4 on Monday night, Landeskog said: "The work isn't over yet. First-line center Nathan MacKinnon, who had five shots and a plus-2 rating, said the Avs' 6-0 postseason road record was the result of trying to play "dull and gross." "We've got five guys that are connected offensively and defensively and you don't have to please anyone," he said. “We're here to hopefully make it boring and gross and just play a good two-way game. There's no show we can put on when we're on the road, and it feels like we're just playing right.” Forward Brad Malone was drafted into the Oilers' roster and played in his first NHL playoff game since 2014 when he was with the Avs. Scratching forwards Kailer Yamamoto and Josh Archibald, Edmonton went with just 11 forwards and an extra defender (Kris Russell).

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A goal at Nazem Kadri should result in a suspension for Evander Kane

Valeri Nichushkin scored twice for the Avs in the second multi-goal playoff game of his career (Author: Gardener)

Nazem KadriOilers winger Evander Kane was effective in Game 1 when he played hockey. He spent parts of Game 2 running around trying to hit Avalanche defender Cale Makar (mostly unsuccessfully). And just 66 seconds into Game 3, just after Connor McDavid gave Edmonton a 1-0 lead, Kane was called out for a five-minute boarding major against the Avs' Nazem Kadri, a reckless and dangerous strike that sent Kadri in the locker room for the exam; he didn't come back. However, the Avalanche was unable to capitalize on this and failed to score on the power play. During the St. Louis series, Avs captain Gabe Landeskog called teammate Valeri Nichushkin a "platoon." In game 3 the train rolled. Only at 16:12 of the first period did the Avalanche score the first equally strong shot on goal. Nichushkin, standing almost on the goal line to the right of goaltender Mike Smith, fired a shot into the net that was deflected by Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse and past Smith. At 4:37 of the second, defenseman Devon Toews' slapshot hit traffic and raced into the slot at Nichushkin, who hit him once through the legs of Oilers defenseman Evan Bouchard and past Smith for a 2-1 lead. It was Nichushkin's second multiple-goal playoff game of his career. A team with as much offensive prowess as the Avalanche shouldn't fall for the power play. At 0-1, the Avs had a five-minute major to equalize. Trailing 2-1 late in the second game, they had two minutes to double their lead. And still 2-1 early in the third, it had two minutes to stomp on the Oilers' soul. But while the batting chart suggested pressure on the Oilers (15 shots in the first four power plays), the Avs need to regroup and find ways to create more quality chances.

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Avs' Kadri leaves Game 3 with a first-half injury

Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri, who had 14 points in his first 12 playoff games this season, walked out of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals with an injury after Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane scored from behind Saturday night. (Author: Gardener)

Game 3Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri left Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals with an injury after Edmonton Oilers forward Evander Kane scored from behind Saturday night. Kane earned a five-minute boarding major after checking Kadri into the endboards from behind, just 1:04 into Game 3, the Oilers' first home game of the series. Kadri tried to control the puck in the Oilers' zone. Kane put his stick over Kadri's jersey numbers and shoved him into the boards. Video review confirmed a five-minute major penalty for boarding. Kadri left the ice after just one shift and never returned for the second third. The Oilers killed the big penalty. The center has 14 points in 12 games and sits in fourth place with the powerful Avalanche. Under NHL rules, Kane could have been assessed a match penalty if intentionally attempting to violate the game, or a game misconduct penalty if the foul resulted in injury "to an opponent's face or head". Officials felt that Kane's actions met neither standard. If the incident escalates to the level of an additional disciplinary action from the NHL Department of Player Safety, Kane's final violation was a $5,000 fine for killing Sean Durzi of the Los Angeles Kings. Kane's 21-game suspension in September for violating NHL/NHLPA-COVID-19 protocol would not account for a suspension for an on-ice incident. Colorado went into play with a 2-0 lead 3 and was up 10-2 this postseason.

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Avalanche's Nazem Kadri leaves Game 3 with an injury

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri was forced out of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals after getting a hit in the tie from Edmonton's Evander Kane. (Author: Gardener)

Game 3June 2, 2022; Denver, Colorado, United States; Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) scored after scoring the second half against the Edmonton Oilers in game two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri was forced out of Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers just a minute into the action after receiving a hit in the tie from Edmonton's Evander Kane. Kane was rated a five-minute major for getting into the game but was not knocked out of the game. Kadri stayed on the ice next to the end boards for a few minutes before being helped off the ice. Not only does Colorado have to lose one of their most important players, they have to go almost the entire game without a forward unless Kadri returns. Although teams regularly play with 11 forwards in the lineup, they do so with seven defenders dressed. Likewise, Edmonton came into the game with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, so the decision not to knock Kane out is a relief for the Oilers. Kadri has 87 points in just 71 games in the regular season. He didn't miss a beat in the playoffs and accumulated 14 points in 12 games. Subscribe to Yardbarker's Morning Bark, the most comprehensive sports newsletter. Customize your email to get the latest news on your favorite sports, teams and schools. (Provided by Yardbarker)

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The Rockies' Kris Bryant takes cautious steps in returning from a back injury

The Rockies have no schedule for Kris Bryant's return from a back injury that has limited him to 17 games this season. (Author: Gardener)

RockiesThe Rockies have no schedule for Kris Bryant's return from a back injury that has limited him to 17 games this season. However, there are some stepping stones for the 30-year-old left fielder as he works his way back from his second stint on the injury list. "He continues to train with Doogie (head coach Keith Dugger) and the strength guys," manager Bud Black said Saturday before the Rockies hosted the Braves at Coors Field. “He's making progress in his activity every day and feeling more confident. He feels stronger because there's a strengthening component at his core that's taking place.” Bryant hasn't played a game since May 22, but he's continuing his running and light-throwing program. There's a chance Bryant will start working in the batting cage late next week, but he still has a long way to go back to the field. A lingering back injury, of course, isn't what Bryant or the Rockies envisioned when he signed a seven-year, $182 million free agent contract. The 2013 National League Rookie of the Year, 2015 NL MVP and four-time All-Star is yet to hit his first home run for Colorado. Catcher Elias Diaz, who landed a three-year, $14.5 million contract after hitting 18 home runs and winning a career-high 98 games last season, has fallen into a deep funk. The catcher came in Saturday night with a .198 hit after going 0-8 with two strikeouts at the current homestand. He's hit just two home runs this season; none since April 29th. "He's timid, overly aggressive and zone widening," Black said, agreeing these were the same things that led to Diaz's slow start last year when he hit with a .125/.193/.188 home run Start of the season until the end of May. "We've got to get him out of there," Black said. “He's got to be the hitter that's going to go the way.

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Florida man killed in Colorado avalanche identified

Authorities have released the name of a man killed in a rockfall and avalanche that also injured two other climbers at Rocky Mountain National Park. (Author: Gardener)

FloridaMIAMI (AP) - Authorities have released the name of a man who was killed in a rockfall and avalanche that also injured two other climbers in Rocky Mountain National Park. Two New Mexico climbers were injured in Sunday's avalanche. Michael Grieg, 27, of Albuquerque was flown in a helicopter and hospitalized at the Medical Center of the Rockies. A helicopter crew on Tuesday lifted Clark's body from the avalanche zone at Mount Meeker, where rescuers were working in wintry conditions in terrain above 3,505 meters (11,500 feet) at the site near Dreamweaver Couloir.

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Avalanche rookie Bo Byram sees increased ice age as Colorado advances deeper into the playoffs. "He deserves all the ice cream"

EDMONTON, Alberta — Nine days before his 21st birthday, Avalanche rookie Bo Byram is serving as a key defender for a team just two wins away from making the Stanley Cup Finals. Three years ago, no one would have questioned Byram's potential. (Author: Gardener)

Avalanche rookie Bo ByramEDMONTON, Alberta — Nine days before his 21st birthday, Avalanche rookie Bo Byram is serving as a key defender for a team just two wins away from making the Stanley Cup Finals. But after concussion-related issues took away a large part of his 2021-22 season, few probably thought he would become as important as he did for the cup-or-bust avs that came in Saturday night's Game 3 against Edmonton in the Western Conference Finals play at Rogers Place. Byram recorded a postseason-high 21:09 ice time in Thursday's Game 2 against the Oilers at the Ball Arena. His ice time has gone up in each of the last four games, from 18:52 to 19:25 in Games 5 and 6 in the second-round series against St. Louis to 20:09 in Game 1 vs. "He Deserved All That Ice", said Avalanche coach Jared Bednar after skating here Saturday morning. He went through some really tough times in the early years with injuries. This year, when he was healthy and playing (30 regular season) games, he's been phenomenal for us in almost all of those games. "It gave us a lot of confidence that if we get him back and rolling and feeling good he could make a difference for us." Byram has the third-most minutes on the blue line behind leading pair Devon Toews (24-19) and Cale Makar (26:40). Byram has largely come through the loss of former second pair defenseman Sam Girard, who went down early in Game 3 against St. Louis with a fractured sternum and is out for the remainder of the postseason. "He really improved his game when he got back into the line-up," Bednar said of Byram. "He's getting better and better and stronger and stronger and more comfortable and we're starting to see what he can do at the most important time of the year." He repeated this Saturday - a statement seemingly supported by his upscale play lately. "I feel like it makes the game a little bit easier as you get more and more touches," Byram said. "We're in the third round of the playoffs now, so you definitely have to play well." Byram is fortunate to be on a team that is fighting for the trophy so early in his career. But the rising Avs picked Byram from a selection acquired in a 2017 three-team trade from Ottawa's Matt Duchene. Some of my buddies who were drafted like me are on teams that were kind of struggling. So yeah, I'm ending up in Colorado and I'm loving it so far," Byram said. "I love the city and of course being on a winning team." Byram is very familiar with Edmonton and Rogers Place. He was the co-captain of Team Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championships - a fan-free tournament held amid the pandemic in which the United States defeated Canada 2-0 in the gold medal game on January 5, 2021. Byram joined the Avalanche about a week after WJC 2021 to begin what everyone expected to be an unmissable NHL career. Byram returned to the lineup in Pittsburgh on April 5 and has not missed a game since. He's become everything the Avalanche hoped to be. And it couldn't have happened at a more opportune time. Goalie Darcy Kuemper and forward Andre Burakovsky both travel with the Avs but won't play in Game 3. Kuemper, who sustained an upper-body injury in the second period of Game 1, shot from healthy scratches late Saturday morning and could be close to returning to the line-up. Burakovsky blocked a shot off an ankle in Game 1 and did not return to the ice.

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Avalanche vs Oilers Odds, Picks and Predictions Tonight

NHL playoff odds, tips and predictions for the Colorado Avalanche at the Edmonton Oilers on June 4th. Free NHL Moneyline and Over/Under Betting Tips. (Author: Gardener)

TonightRogers Place will rock tonight as the Oilers try to get back on the series. Rogers Place will rock tonight as the Oilers try to get back on the series. However, the Avalanche are firing on all cylinders and we want them to move one step closer to victory in the Stanley Cup Finals by prevailing in a high point showdown. However, the Avalanche are firing on all cylinders and we want them to move one step closer to victory in the Stanley Cup Finals by prevailing in a high point showdown. The Edmonton Oilers have their backs against the wall in Game 3, which is basically considered a competitive game. The Colorado Avalanche aren't scared of the environment, having been dominant on the road in these playoffs. See who has the edge in our free NHL tips and predictions for Oilers vs. The Avalanche opened as -125 street favorites but the line moved slightly and they are now listed at -130. Use the live odds widget above to follow all future line movement until the puck drops, and be sure to check the full NHL odds before betting to ensure you're getting the best number. When you sign up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs at a new sportsbook, here are two of the best bonuses available*: B) New users can get two risk free bets up to $2,000 at PointsBet! The Colorado Avalanche are 5-0 in the playoffs. Other NHL betting trends for Avalanche vs. Our side and overall predictions are based on our analysis of the line and totals in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets. If you ask me, the Colorado Avalanche are by far the best team left in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and they have taken complete control of this series in the first two games. Pavel Francouz was impressive for Colorado in Game 2, ending with a 24-saver shutout, and Mike Smith hasn't had the best performance for the Oilers yet. The Oilers don't go scoreless often, but the Avs have done a great job of keeping them on the edge, requiring Edmonton to find ways to get to the middle of the ice. The Oilers' biggest crutch is their defense, as they concede 3.5 goals per game and 13.46 dangerous chances per contest. Colorado has been able to consistently keep the pressure on the Oilers' defensive end, and I don't think Edmonton has the strength on the blue line to prevent the Avs from scoring. On the other hand, the Avalanche average 12.58 dangerous chances and 40.4 shots per game. That being said, Colorado has shown they can outperform the Oilers, and I don't think that will change with this series moving to Edmonton. The Avalanche are just a much better team and I think they will lead 3-0 in the series. As good as Pavel Francouz was for the Avs last time out, I don't think it will be very sustainable throughout the series given how good the Oilers are at scoring. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have been setting teams on fire all playoffs, and they'll find ways to come up with some numbers to give their team a shot at victory. The Avalanche were the best offensive team in the playoffs and are showing absolutely no signs of slowing down. They're averaging 4.58 goals a game and with the way Mike Smith looked in the Edmonton goal, I think they'll have more success offensively tonight. Colorado is the team I fear most in the playoffs. Their offense was electric and while their power play struggled in Game 2 I think they will find a way to play the man advantage at Rogers Place tonight. The Avs have the best power play in the playoffs with a 31.6% conversion rate. I don't really trust the Oilers or Mike Smith, and the Avalanche are a much deeper and more talented team than Edmonton.

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Colorado Avalanche, aiming to maintain speed, keeps Edmonton's turbocharged attack at bay

DENVER • When the hockey played between the Avalanche and the Oilers looks more like a video game than a traditional sport, the turbo button becomes more important (Author: Gardener)

Colorado AvalancheYou are the owner of this item. You have permission to edit this article. 9 Weekend Things to Do Around Colorado Springs and Beyond: Manitou Wine Festival, Get Outdoors Day and More Sign up for our newsletter and receive important updates by email Notification has been saved. There was a problem saving your notification. Email notifications are only sent once a day and only when there are new matching items. Please log in to use this feature Log in Sign up today Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Check out all our newsletters. Check out all our newsletters.

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Colorado Avalanche vs. Edmonton Oilers

Can the Edmonton Oilers get back on track or will the Colorado Avalanche continue their winning streak? (Author: Gardener)

AvalancheCan the Edmonton Oilers get back on track or will the Colorado Avalanche continue their winning streak? It's Saturday night and the Colorado Avalanche are hoping to let down a country by winning Game 3 and drawing to a 3-0 lead. However, the Edmonton Oilers will be hungry after a tough start to the series and will be looking for any advantages they can get their hands on. After a 24 save shutout, Pavel Francouz stepped into Colorado's crease midway through Darcy Kuemper's injury and stood upright in Game 1. With the loss of the team's starting keeper, the Avalanche could need Francouz to lead the team to a Stanley Cup final - so Game 2 should inspire some confidence. But you can only rule out Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl so many times, and you can only expect Edmonton to fight harder than ever when they return home for Game 3. Goal assist has been a Colorado strength this year, and the blue line played a perfect shutdown game on Thursday. The Avs usually play well in front of Francouz, allowing him to do his thing and patch any holes along the way. But he's still the team's reinforcement, and he's up against a motivated Oilers offense that's going through a tough outing before going home. The Avalanche needs another big night out of Francouz to force Desperation out of Edmonton. Maybe Kuemper will return for Game 4 with the potential to wrap up the series, or maybe Francouz will be called upon to do the dirty work in the future. It's hard to blame too much on a team's defensive core after their team hasn't scored, but we know that McDavid and Draisaitl rarely miss multiple games in a row from the scorer's chart. If we know anything about either of them, it's that you can expect greatness in front of a sold-out Rogers Place arena. At this point, Edmonton is playing do-or-die hockey, and it's starting to shore up the blueline. The Oilers have arguably the weakest defensive lineup of the four remaining teams and need to figure out how best to use Darnell Nurse, who hasn't looked like this since an early playoff injury. That means Evan Bouchard, Brett Kulak and Tyson Barrie will have to pull their own weight and take the pressure off 40-year-old Mike Smith, who is either playing the game of his life or allowing a goal from the other team's zone with no space between. Edmonton is a true boom-or-bust formation. But at this point they mustn't have any problems if they want to reach the finals of the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2006.

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