May 29th, 2024

NHL roundup: Avalanche grab 3-1 series lead over Jets with 5-1 win

By The Associated Press on April 28, 2024.

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Sean Walker (26) collects the puck after checking Winnipeg Jets center Mason Appleton (22) in the third period of Game 4 of an NHL Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) – Valeri Nichushkin recorded his first career hat trick, netminder Alexandar Georgiev turned in another strong showing and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-1 in Game 4 on Sunday to move a win away from advancing in the NHL playoffs.

Artturi Lehkonen and Cale Makar also scored for the Avalanche, who grabbed a 3-1 lead in the first-round, best-of-seven series. Game 5 is Tuesday night in Winnipeg.

Nichushkin added an empty-netter with 13 seconds left to give him his third goal and his first hat trick in game No. 580 of his NHL career, including regular season and post-season.

Georgiev was on the hot seat after a shaky Game 1, but his confidence keeps surging with every big save. He stopped 26 shots in the matinee game.

Vezina Trophy-favourite Connor Hellebuyck continues to struggle in net. He allowed four goals on 30 shots before being replaced by Laurent Brossoit for the third period. Hellebuyck has surrendered 19 goals in the series.

In Sunday’s late game, the Los Angeles Kings hosted the Oilers, with Edmonton leading the series 2-1.

Elsewhere in the NHL on Sunday:

CANUCKS 4 PREDATORS 3 (OT)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Elias Lindholm scored 1:02 into overtime as Vancouver stunned Nashville and grabbed a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven, first-round series.

Lindolm beat goalie Juuse Saros over his stick with a wrister from just in front of the crease off a pass from Conor Garland.

Brock Boeser had his first hat trick in the playoffs and seventh of his career. He scored on Vancouver’s first shot and got the Canucks into overtime scoring twice in the final 2:49. His third came with eight seconds left in regulation to quiet a Nashville crowd that celebrated much of the third period.

J.T. Miller had three assists. The Canucks now will have a chance to advance Tuesday night in Vancouver in Game 5.

Filip Forsberg, Gustav Nyquist and Mark Jankowski all scored for Nashville, which also blew a 2-1 lead losing Game 1 by giving up three goals in the third period.

The Canucks won with Arturs Silovs making 27 saves in his NHL playoff debut as their third different starting goalie.

RANGERS 4 CAPITALS 2

WASHINGTON (AP) – Artemi Panarin scored the go-ahead goal on the power play early in the third period, Igor Shesterkin made 23 saves and New York advanced to the second round of the playoffs by finishing off a sweep of Washington with a victory in Game 4.

Trade deadline pickup Jack Roslovic sealed it with an empty-netter with 51 seconds left, and the Rangers will next face either the Carolina Hurricanes or crosstown-rival New York Islanders with a spot in the Eastern Conference final at stake. Carolina leads that series 3-1.

They’ll get the benefit of some extra rest thanks to Panarin’s goal with 16:39 left in regulation, 11 seconds after T.J. Oshie was penalized for high-sticking Vincent Trocheck, which helped them avoid overtime or this series returning to Madison Square Garden for a Game 5 on Wednesday.

Alex Ovechkin of the Capitals was held off the scoresheet entirely through four games – the first time that has happened in 15 trips to the post-season for the Capitals’ captain.

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