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Avalanche Playoff Notes
PLAYOFF OVERTIME: Colorado is 2-0 in overtime this postseason, as the Avs and Sharks (2-0) were the only teams with more than one OT victory in the first round. The Avalanche/Nordiques are 39-29 all-time in playoff overtime, including a 29-20 record since moving to Denver.
GRUBAUER'S STRONG START: Philipp Grubauer was 4-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average and .939 save percentage during Colorado's first-round series victory against Calgary. His goals-against average finished second among NHL goaltenders during the opening round, while his save percentage ranked third. Grubauer won his final four starts of the series, the longest win streak by an Avalanche goalie in a single postseason since Patrick Roy won four straight to open the 2001 playoffs (April 12-18, 2001 vs. Vancouver).
POSTSEASON SCORING: The Avalanche finished the first round ranked fourth in both goals-per-game (3.40) and fewest goals against per game (2.20). After being shutout in Game 1 of their first-round series against Calgary, the Avs outscored the Flames 17-7 over the last four contests.
Second Round vs. San Jose Sharks
The Avalanche takes on the San Jose Sharks in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Game 1 set for Friday night at SAP Center. Colorado defeated the Calgary Flames in five games to advance to the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2008. After dropping the series opener 4-0 in Calgary, the Avs bounced back to win the final four games of the round, outscoring the Flames 17-7. This is the first time that Colorado has won four straight playoff games since 2001, when the Avalanche swept the Canucks in the first round. This is the fifth time the Avalanche and Sharks have met in the postseason, having also clashed in 1999 (CQF), 2002 (CSF), 2004 (CSF) and 2010 (CQF). Colorado is 2-2 in those four series.
Player Spotlight: Mikko Rantanen
Rantanen finished the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a team-leading nine points (5g/4a), which was tied for third among all skaters. He has two or more points in each of his last four games, the first Avalanche player to notch four straight multi-point games in the postseason since Peter Forsberg (five games) and Joe Sakic (four) during the 2002 playoffs.
"I think not too many people would have us in this position at this point in the year, but I think in our room we believe. I think one of the biggest things is if you want to win, you got to believe you can win. We have touched on that, based on last year's playoff performance and how we wanted to come into this year with a purpose. To me, it even has to go a step up now. Our guys should be confident based on the way we played down the stretch and then the playoffs. At the same time, we know that San Jose is a really good team, we are going to have to play our best. We are going to have to be even better than we were against Calgary in order to beat them. They understand that, but I think that we all believe it is possible if we play the way that we can. That to me is the starting point to this series." - Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar on the club's Western Conference Semifinals series against San Jose