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game recap

Avalanche defeat Coyotes in Game 5, win Western First Round series

MacKinnon has two goals, two assists, Kadri scores twice for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

MacKinnon's second of the game

ARI@COL, Gm5: MacKinnon buries touch pass for PPG

R1, Gm5: Mikko Rantanen slyly feeds a touch pass to Nathan MacKinnon, who buries it for his second goal of the 2nd period

  • 00:40 •

Nathan MacKinnon had two goals and two assists, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Arizona Coyotes 7-1 in Game 5 to win their Western Conference First Round series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Wednesday.

Nazem Kadri scored twice, J.T. Compher had a goal and an assist, and Phillip Grubauer made 23 saves for the Avalanche, the No. 2 seed in the West.

Colorado will play the second-lowest remaining seed in the Western Conference Second Round.

"We feel like our team has arrived," said MacKinnon, who scored 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the series. "We haven't won anything, but winning this series, we're a hungry group, a group that really cares about one another. We have great chemistry, there's a good vibe to our team, so it's great to get this playoffs off on the right foot. We played hard in all five games and we're ready for whoever we play in the second round."


[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Avalanche highlights]


The Avalanche also defeated the Coyotes 7-1 in Game 4. The 12-goal differential (14-2) is the second-most in the final two games of a playoff series. The Montreal Canadiens outscored the Toronto Maple Leafs 15-1 to end the 1944 NHL Semifinals (4-1, 11-0). 

"The last couple games we just had really good starts," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "The power play capitalized (3-for-4 in Game 5), and our big guns were firing on all cylinders. It was almost a mirror image tonight of the other night. There are so many things I like about our team, but now, getting into the [second round], I feel that way about every team."   

Video: ARI@COL, Gm5: Avalanche, Coyotes exchange handshakes

Clayton Keller scored for Arizona, the No. 7 seed. Darcy Kuemper allowed six goals on 30 shots before being replaced at the start of the third period by Antti Raanta, who made five saves.

"We were overmatched," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "For this game, you take three penalties right off the bat. You can't do that against Colorado. What's frustrating is, they're just not smart penalties. We knew we had to get a good start. We had no answer for MacKinnon the whole series."

MacKinnon's linemates, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, each had two assists.

"That's a heck of a team over there," Tocchet said. "That line is incredible. You've got to be on your game to defend that line."

Kadri gave Colorado a 1-0 lead at 4:39 of the first period on a power play, scoring glove side from the slot off a pass from Landeskog.

Samuel Girard made it 2-0 at 8:29 with a power-play goal from the point, and Kadri extended the lead to 3-0 at 18:32 when he beat Kuemper five-hole on a breakaway.

"Obviously, a great start," said Kadri, who scored seven points (five goals, two assists) in the series. "The power-play opportunities helped. Just looking to stay hot. We just kept it simple and played the way we want to play."

Video: ARI@COL, Gm5: Kadri strikes on break for second goal

MacKinnon scored on a one-timer from the right circle at 9:51 of the second period to make it 4-0 before scoring a power-play goal 58 seconds later to push the lead to 5-0.

"I got a good bounce on the first one and I just tried to keep shooting it," he said. "Not everything was going in, but as a line, I think we played the game in a great way, not just scoring goals, but both ways we were solid. Obviously, it was nice to get a few."

Nikita Zadorov redirected MacKinnon's pass at the top of crease to make it 6-0 at 18:16

"It's been amazing to watch," Grubauer said. "I think we found our rhythm here and we've got to make sure we move forward with the same effort in the next round."

Keller scored for Arizona to make it 6-1 at 6:51 of the third period on a redirection, and Compher scored on a turnover at 15:19 for the 7-1 final.

"It stinks," Coyotes forward Derek Stepan said. "Any time you lose, it's never fun. But just the way it went down, it's going to be sour for a while, and I hope that's maybe some fuel going into next season. But any time you lose, no matter if you lose 2-1 or 7-1, it still stinks, but this one leaves a little bit of a bitter taste."

NOTES: The 14 goals scored by the Avalanche were the most in the final two games of a playoff series since the Los Angeles Kings scored 18 against the Calgary Flames to end the 1993 Smythe Division Semifinals (9-4, 9-6). ... Arizona forwards Conor Garland and Nick Schmaltz, and Colorado forward Vladislav Namestnikov were ruled unfit to play.

Video: Avalanche rout Coyotes, 7-1, to win series

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