The Avalanche carries appreciable momentum into the Western Convention quarterfinals, its first journey to Spherical 2 in 11 years. The Avs are an NHL-best 12-2-2 since March 17 and defeated top-seeded Calgary 4-1 in a comparatively fast first-round sequence.
However San Jose — which received its regular-season finale April 6 to snap Colorado’s 10-game factors streak (8-0-2) — additionally brings momentum into the second spherical. The Sharks trailed 3-1 of their first-round sequence towards Vegas and rallied from a 3-Zero third-period deficit to defeat the Knights in Sport 7. San Jose scored 4 power-play objectives to take a 4-Three lead earlier than the Knights tied it to pressure OT within the last minute of regulation.
Barclay Goodrow’s objective with 1:41 remaining in OT on capped one of the crucial unbelievable third interval/OT video games in latest reminiscence.
Each groups be ok with themselves heading into Friday’s Sport 1 on the SAP Middle.
The Avs will unquestionably be the more energizing staff. They clinched their sequence towards Calgary final Friday, 4 days earlier than San Jose eradicated Vegas. Colorado has performed 319 minutes of playoff hockey, together with 19 minutes of time beyond regulation towards the Flames. San Jose has performed 469 minutes to this point within the postseason — 49 minutes in OT.
The Avalanche outscored Calgary a mixed 17-11 in that sequence whereas the Sharks have been outscored 25-23 towards Vegas. However the Avs have averaged 3.40 goals-per-game to the Sharks’ 3.29; each groups know methods to rating and accomplish that successfully. San Jose, nevertheless, will want depth scoring to maintain up with Colorado, as a result of forwards Joe Pavelski, Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi and Michael Haley out with accidents. Pavelski, who suffered a head damage halfway by way of the third interval in Sport 7 towards the Knights, led the Sharks with 38 objectives within the common season. The Avs are wholesome. Edge: Avalanche
Each groups have a extremely cellular blue line. The Sharks have a potent counter-attack with Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns and the Avalanche counters with Tyson Barrie, Cale Makar and, maybe, Sam Girard, who missed the final three video games of the Flames’ sequence with a shoulder damage. The Avalanche has 4 strong shut-down defensemen and the Sharks’ Marc-Edouard Vlasic is without doubt one of the greatest within the enterprise in that position. Edge: Even
The Avs’ Philipp Grubauer is second in NHL playoff goals-against common (1.90) and third in save proportion (.939). He had a tough outing in Sport 1 towards Calgary however was glorious within the final 4 video games. The Sharks’ Martin Jones (3.20, .904) made a report 58 saves in defeating Vegas in Sport 6 however has in any other case been shaky. Edge: Avalanche
The Sharks’ energy play may be deadly. It struck for 4 objectives after Pavelski went down Tuesday and is clicking at 23.5 p.c within the playoffs. The Avalanche (20 p.c energy play) wasn’t nice early within the Calgary sequence however Colorado will get the nod with the ability play as a result of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabe Landeskog and Barrie are wholesome. Penalty killing can be an enormous issue on this sequence. Edge: Avalanche
Peter DeBoer led the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Last in his first yr behind the San Jose bench in 2016, 4 years after doing the identical with the New Jersey Devils. DeBoer noticed his San Jose groups lose within the second spherical a yr in the past and the primary spherical in 2017. Third-year Avalanche coach Jared Bednar, a finalist for the Jack Adams Award a yr in the past, has circled a stumbling staff in January to the league’s hottest. Edge: Even
Avalanche in six video games. Due to the Sharks’ accidents and the Avalanche’s latest surge in each side of the sport, Colorado is poised to advance to the Western Convention last for the primary time since 2002, when it misplaced 7-Zero in Sport 7 to fall to the hated Detroit Purple Wings. The Avalanche and Sharks have cut up the 4 earlier playoff sequence on this matchup and the Avs will win the rubber match.