The Colorado Avalanche staved off elimination in Game Five of their second-round series against the Dallas Stars on Monday. And they were led by someone you are very familiar with.
Former Capital Andre Burakovsky scored twice to help push the Avs to a 6-3 victory. The Avs named him their player of the game.
Burky first struck in the opening stanza by scoring on a tasty rebound from the left circle. It was one of five goals the Avalance scored in the first period, including four in two minutes and 36 seconds.
The 25-year-old Swede scored the Avs’ final goal of the night with 1:56 left in the second period. Burakovsky scored on a one-timer after a beautiful set-up by Nathan MacKinnon.
Bellemare (O'Connor, Nieto)
Burakovsky (Rantanen, Makar)
MacKinnon (Compher, Graves)
Kadri (Nichushkin, Landeskog)
Girard (Burakovsky, Timmins)
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) September 1, 2020
“For me, I just love those games,” Burakovsky said to NHL.com. “Coming out, it’s a must-win situation where you have to win. I like playing under pressure… I think I really enjoy playing those big games and pucks are going in.”
The stats support Burakovsky’s claim. According to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, Burakovsky has scored eight goals in his last seven elimination games, many of which came in some of the biggest games in Capitals history.
Burakovky in games facing elimination since 2017:
G5 vs. PIT: 1 goal
G6 vs. PIT: 2 goals
G7 vs. PIT 0 goals
G6 vs. TBL: 0 goals
G7 vs. TBL: 2 goals
G7 vs. CAR: 1 goal
G5 vs. DAL 2 goals https://t.co/9zbd7mGjyV
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 1, 2020
Burakovsky’s two goals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game Seven of the 2018 Eastern Conference Final helped push the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in two decades.
He also scored twice in Game Six against the Penguins in 2017, pushing that second-round series to seven games.
So far this postseason, Burakovsky has scored more goals (6) and points (14) individually than any other Capitals player did (Ovechkin 4g, Carlson 6pts) in the 2020 playoffs.
During the regular season, Burakovsky scored a career-high 20 goals and 45 points in 58 games. Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan traded Burakovsky to the Avs on June 28, 2019 for a second and third-round pick.
Screenshot courtesy of NHL Network
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