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game recap

Avalanche defeat Coyotes in Game 2, extend lead in Western First Round

Burakovsky scores winning goal with 2:53 left for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Burakovsky's go-ahead goal

ARI@COL, Gm2: Burakovsky's clutch go-ahead goal

R1, Gm2: Andre Burakovsky skates to the net and buries the cross-ice pass from Nazem Kadri for the go-ahead goal late in the 3rd period

  • 00:51 •

Andre Burakovsky scored with 2:53 remaining in the third period to give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes In Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Friday. 

Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Jost scored, and Philipp Grubauer made 30 saves to help the Avalanche, the No. 2 seed in the West, extend their lead in the best-of-7 series.

"It makes it a lot easier that the guys are dialed in and keeping the shots to the outside," Grubauer said. "Today it was a little more difficult than the last game, but I think everybody did a great job and we walked away with the victory. I'm not looking ahead any further. You're only as good as your last game."

Clayton Keller and Michael Grabner scored, and Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves for the Coyotes, the No. 7 seed.

 

[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Avalanche Game 2 highlights]

 

Game 3 is in Edmonton, the Western hub city, on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN360, TVAS, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, ALT). Teams with a 2-0 lead are 324-51 (86.4 percent) winning a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series.

"We knew they were going to come really hard," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "You read the comments from their coach and from their players about what they felt like that they did or didn't do or needed to do coming into this game. They played hard, they played real well.

"We needed to ramp up our competitiveness certainly in our defending. I never really felt like we played as well as we could for any large proportion of the game. We know we have to be better than that if we want to win tomorrow."

Burakovsky scored into an open net from low in the right face-off circle, banking the puck in off the far post after Nazem Kadri's shot from the left side hit a skate and bounced to him.

"I wasn't fully prepared on that," Burakovsky said. "I got lucky it went post and in."

After being outshot 40-14 in a 3-0 loss in Game 1, the Coyotes were much more aggressive at the offensive end and forced Grubauer to make several difficult saves.

"I'm proud of the way they played," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. "They responded, they were in their faces. That's more like the way we've got to play consistently. At the end of the day, we played a good hockey game. We could have won that hockey game. You've got to go down swinging, and we were in the game.

"Obviously, the last goal we're not happy with, but I'd rather play that way. Get in their face, get up and challenge [them]. We didn't get the result, but I liked the way we played. We're not backing off."

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead at 3:40 of the first period when MacKinnon skated down left wing after a Coyotes turnover and shot to the far side.

"Nobody feels like they have to dominate," said MacKinnon, who had two assists in Game 1. "We're all trying to chip in. We have such a deep team and we're ready, hopefully, for a long run. To do that, we need all four lines to be going and they were today."

The Coyotes tied it 1-1 at 16:49. Taylor Hall skated down the left side and passed in the slot to Keller, whose rebound went off the stick of Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard.

Video: ARI@COL, Gm2: Jost scores on deflection

Colorado took a 2-1 lead at 3:37 of the second period when Jost tipped Cale Makar's point shot.

"Cale and I kind of made eye contact there and I was hoping he would shoot," said Jost, who was in the lineup because forward Joonas Donskoi was ruled unfit to play. "It was a great play by him; that's what great defensemen do. I was lucky to get a stick on it and redirect it."

Arizona tied it 2-2 at 5:06. Grabner chased down a loose puck, skated from the right corner and shot from low in the right circle.

"We all know we've got to bring the same effort and another five percent tomorrow," Grabner said. "Can't really dwell on the loss here. For myself, just trying to do what I can; help the team out. As long as the puck's going in, it's great. But we've got to get some wins here."

Avalanche forward Vladislav Namestnikov left the game at 17:51 of the second period after a collision with MacKinnon.

Namestnikov and Donskoi are day to day, Bednar said. 

Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz was ruled unfit to play.

As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

Video: Avalanche edge Coyotes, take 2-0 series lead

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