The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 early in overtime of Game Four, completing the sweep of the Cinderella Oil in the Western Conference Final. Not only will the Avalanche return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001, but former Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky will also be going back to the championship series for the first time since winning a Cup with the Capitals in 2018.
The Avalanche’s Artturi Lehkonen sent the Oilers packing after scoring on a rebound off a point shot 1:19 into the extra frame. The Avalanche excitedly mobbed Lehkonen along the boards.
Burakovsky (no. 95) got off the bench and into the middle of the celebration quickly. The team jumped up and down together in unison along the boards.
Burakovsky eventually found his way into an excited Nathan MacKinnon side hug.
— c! (@c_burakovsky) June 7, 2022
The victory marked the first time the Avs have advanced to the Cup Final during the MacKinnon Era in Denver. The team had not advanced past the second round of the playoffs for four consecutive seasons.
“It’s impossible to describe the feeling, it was sick to see the puck go in and [to be able to] good to the Final again,” Burakovsky said in Swedish to HockeyNews.se and as translated by RMNB’s Magnus Cadelin. “I feel like we’ve had a really good team in Colorado for a few years now and we’ve had chances in the previous years, but to get back to the Final once more feels fantastic.”
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog did not ignore superstition and chose not to pick up Clarence S. Campbell Bowl after the win.
Instead, the Avalanche opted to take a team photo with the trophy which included deputy commissioner Bill Daly.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) June 7, 2022
Burakovsky only played in two of four games in the series after blocking a Darnell Nurse shot with his leg during Game One.
Burakovsky skated 14:15 in Game Four. He tallied one assist in the series overall.
“I’ve been out some time with an injury but I felt good when I was on the ice yesterday and now we just go,” Burakovsky said. “It’s the playoffs so you’re just playing through it.”
The Avalanche secured the victory the night before the Capitals’ four-year anniversary of winning the Cup in 2018.
“My memories from the last final are obviously amazing,” Burakovsky said. “To hoist that Cup and to have my name engraved stands out. Not everyone gets to win the Stanley Cup, but I think we have a really good chance with this team.”
The Avalanche will play either the New York Rangers or Tampa Bay Lightning in the championship series. The Rangers currently lead the series 2-1 and Game Four is tonight at Amalie Arena.
Screenshot courtesy of NHL Instagram
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