In a "do-or-die" Game 6, J.T. Compher helped the Colorado Avalanche extend its season.
Compher scored twice and added an assist to record his first career multi-goal and multi-point outing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Avs won 4-3 in overtime at Pepsi Center on Monday. The win tied the series at 3-3 and forced Colorado's second-round set against the San Jose Sharks to a decisive Game 7.
"He had a great game, really great game from him. I thought that was his best of the playoffs," head coach Jared Bednar said of Compher. "Physical right away, skating, he was on the hunt, puck pursuit and puck pressure all over the ice. He was good defensively and when he got his opportunities--part of the reason why he got his opportunities is he was going to the net hard--when he had a couple chances, he made a couple plays and finished them off."
The Northbrook, Illinois, native got his first point with an assist on Tyson Jost's tally, Jost's second career NHL playoff goal--coming one outing after he potted his first in Game 5.
"He was skating really well. He just had one of those games where he's buzzing, and he made a great play on my goal there, a great pass," Jost said of Compher. "We were both using our speed and then we caught them on the 2-on-1 there, and he slid it over. He's a great player and we knew he was all that. I'm super happy for him--that's my roommate. I'm really proud of him."
Video: SJS@COL, Gm6: Jost roofs Compher's cross-ice pass
Compher's three-point game marked the sixth time this postseason that the Avalanche has had a skater record a three-point performance, the most of any team in the 2019 playoffs.
"Felt good to contribute tonight," said Compher. "Some great passes by Sodes (Carl Soderberg) and Brass (Derick Brassard), and Josty put that one right under the bar--the first one. Felt good to contribute tonight and force Game 7."
Compher's first goal was a one-timer that found its way through traffic from inside the blue line, and his second came four minutes into the final frame of regulation. He took a pass from Brassard and deked to his backhand to put the puck behind San Jose goaltender Martin Jones.
Video: SJS@COL, Gm6: Compher nets backhander for second goal
The 24-year-old forward is the 10th player in Avalanche/Nordiques history to record three or more points in an elimination game and first since Alex Tanguay's hero-performance with two goals and one assist in Game 7 of the 2001 Stanley Cup Final versus New Jersey.
He finished the game with a plus-3 rating, tied for the highest on the Avalanche in these playoffs (Ian Cole, also a plus-3 on April 15 versus Calgary).
In addition to his offensive production, Compher finished second on the Avalanche with four hits in the contest, a playoff career high.
It is the fifth time in franchise history and fourth since the team moved to Colorado that the Avs have forced a Game 7 when trailing a best-of-seven series 3-2. The Nordiques did it in the 1987 Division Finals, and the Avalanche accomplished the feat in the 2000 Western Conference Finals, 2001 Stanley Cup Final and 2002 Western Conference Semifinals.
Of the two most recent series that Colorado has forced a seventh outing, the club has gone on to win both of those, in 2002 against San Jose and 2001 against New Jersey.
Video: J.T. Compher has three points in Game 6
"It's going to be a lot of fun," Compher said of the upcoming Game 7. "It's a great opportunity for us to go to the conference final. Been counted out many times this year, this group has. You've said it, I've said it a lot, we're very resilient and we're going to be ready to go for Game 7."
Game 7 is set for 7 p.m. MT on Wednesday at SAP Center. It is the second time in five all-time, head-to-head playoff series that the Avalanche and Sharks will play a seventh game.
LANDY'S WINNER IN OT: Gabriel Landeskog recorded his first career Stanley Cup Playoff overtime goal just 2:32 into the extra frame.
"I got in the neutral zone and just kept it simple and chipped it in behind their D and was able to get in on Karlsson, and eventually the puck stayed in and Cale [Makar] made a good play," said Landeskog. "Kept it along the ice to me, I think he saw me going to the net and I was able to just whack it and I don't know how it found its way in, but it'll count."
Video: SJS@COL, Gm6: Landeskog scores in OT to force Game 7
The tally was also Landeskog's second career game-winner in the playoffs (also April 19, 2014 versus Minnesota). He is now the fifth different player in franchise history to score an overtime goal in an elimination game.
"I couldn't be happier for him. I think he's our leader, he's been our leader, and for him to step up in the moment like that and get a big goal like that, it's huge," Bednar said of Landeskog. "Hopefully it gives him confidence going forward. It can be frustrating out there, it's tight checking, there's not a lot of room to move and the officials are letting both teams play. So there's a little bit more clutching, grabbing, hitting, hooking, holding, all the kind of things you expect and you've got to fight through it, and that's what I was proud of our team tonight. We had had more determination and desperation in our game, and we had to tonight."
So far this postseason, Landeskog has recorded seven points (three goals, four assists) in 11 contests.
Video: Gabriel Landeskog Game 6 OT hero
SEVEN-11: The Avalanche dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen in the contest as blueliner Patrik Nemeth returned to the lineup as the extra rear guard.
It was Nemeth's first contest of the series against San Jose, and he finished with a plus-1 rating, two hits, one takeaway and one blocked shot in 9:54 of ice time.
"His heaviness down low, being able to stop the cycle, one of his strengths. Shot blocking is something he brings and penalty kill, he's been real good for us all year," Bednar said of what Nemeth adds to the lineup before the contest. "We're going to get him back in, and we're going to run 11 forwards and mix some guys around a little bit and play the guys that are really jumping."
Forward Matt Calvert missed his third contest of the series with an upper-body injury. He played in Game 4 after he was out of the third tilt of the set, but he was still dealing with the ailment and did not dress in Game 5.
MORE AVALANCHE NOTES: Colorado is now 4-4 in Game 6s of a Stanley Cup Playoff series when facing a 3-2 series deficit (since 1995-96).
Colorado is 4-1 at home this postseason and is 10-1-0 in its last 11 home contests dating back to March 17. The Avs are 15-3-1 over their last 19 outings at Pepsi Center going back to Feb. 18.
After going 5-14 when playing beyond 60 minutes during the regular season, the Avalanche is now 3-0 in overtime during the playoffs.
Cale Makar tallied an assist and now has six points (one goal, five assists) in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, ranked third among all NHL rookies in postseason scoring and first in assists.
Tyson Jost has goals in consecutive playoff games for the first time in his career.
Video: Avs coach Jared Bednar after the Game 6 win