Multiple TV analysts from the TNT broadcast crew at the second intermission suggested that Avalanche coach Jared Bednar should pull Pavel Francouz from net with Colorado trailing by two goals. Starting goalie Darcy Kuemper, returning from a Game 1 upper-body injury, was available as the backup. Yet Bednar stuck with Frankie through overtime. It was a debatable choice after the Oilers scored twice more in regulation, but Francouz did just enough to seal the win in OT with Artturi Lehkonen playing hero for Colorado. Francouz made 30 of 35 saves.
A 12-minute stretch of the second period is when the momentum shifted heavily in Edmonton’s favor. The Oilers scored three unanswered goals (Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Connor McDavid) on just six total shots in the period. The Avalanche got flustered with bad turnovers, sloppy line changes, penalties and a lack of physicality. Gabe Landeskog appeared to hurt his right knee at the 11:54 mark while crashing into the boards. But he stayed in the game as Colorado closed a dreadful period of hockey.
Colorado’s power-play unit went a miserable 0 for 5 with a man advantage in Game 3 against Edmonton, failing to capitalize on a five-minute major penalty on Oilers forward Evander Kane for a dirty hit that injured Nazem Kadri (thumb surgery). But the Avs turned things around in Game 4 with a power-play goal on their first showing — a long wrister from Cale Makar — for a 1-0 lead entering the second period. Makar added four assists on the night to reach 22 points this postseason (a defenseman franchise record). Mikko Rantanen also scored a power-play goal in the third period.
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