The Colorado Avalanche eked out a 8-6 the Edmonton Oilers in a wild, high-scoring Game 1 in the Western Conference Final, and the two teams are back at it Thursday night with a murky goalie situation hanging over both.
Although the Oilers opened the scoring, the Avalanche had a 7-3 lead before the end of the second period, chasing Mike Smith from the Edmonton net as well. However, an injury to Darcy Kuemper for Colorado meant that backup Pavel Francouz had to come into game for the final minutes of the second period, and the Oilers took full advantage by scoring three goals in a row. The Avalanche were able to hold off the surging Oilers and added an empty net goal to seal the win.
Cale Makar led the team in points with a goal and two assists; J.T. Compher scored twice; Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog each had a goal and an assist in the Avalanche’s win, and Devon Toews has two assists. Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had a goal and an assist, and Leon Draisaitl has two assists for the Oilers in the loss. Each team had 13 players register a point.
The biggest question for Game 2 is who exactly will be in net for both teams? Mike Smith is still in net for Edmonton despite his sub .800 save-percentage last game, and it looks like the upper body injury to Kuemper is serious enough than Francouz is the expected starter. The latter must be especially concerning for Colorado, considering goaltending is what has previously held back a seemingly unstoppable Colorado team in previous seasons.
Thursday, June 2
*All times Central