Hockey Gods, head-standing and fresh Cale, Avs take game 2

Nathan MacKinnon netted the Avalanche’s first shot of the night against third-stringer Connor Ingram, and the rout was on just like game 1.

The Colorado Avalanche clobbered the Nashville Predators again on Thursday in game 2, but this time they just couldn’t find twine. In his first Stanley Cup Playoffs start and fourth start in the NHL of his career, Ingram made 49 saves in a row after letting MacKinnon’s goal in. The young goaltender stood on his head and kept the Avs from taking the lead, eventually forcing overtime tied at 1-1.

MacKinnon’s goal came at 5:25 in the first, Nashville’s from Yakov Trenin scored 10 minutes later. Then 50-plus minutes of action without a goal. That’s when Cale Makar says he got lucky, on the Avs 51st shot of the game.

“We felt like we were on them the whole third period, and eventually, most of the time the hockey gods are gonna reward you for that hard work,” Makar said. “For us, we were able to get a lucky one in overtime.”

Makar’s score came off a deflected puck that found him in the slot. The 23-year-old, netted on his 23rd shot attempt and 12th shot on goal of the night, setting a franchise record for pucks on net during a single game.

The overtime winner also came two minutes after Darcy Kuemper made a flurry of saves.

“I thought Kemps did an amazing job of staying in the game, staying sharp, even making some big saves in the third and another couple of overtime,” head coach Jared Bednar said. “That gives us a chance to win that game.”

Kuemper’s day started with a text from Makar wishing the 32-year-old a happy birthday.

Kuemper’s day ended, thanking Makar for putting the final touches on the playoff win.

“There’s gonna be times when goalie performs like that and the team is playing hard and desperate will get you,” Bednar said. “We were trying to stay aggressive and stay on our toes.”
While Kuemper was out-shined by Ingram, Kuemper showed his solid goaltending from the regular season is carrying over into the playoffs, saving 25 shots.

“The game goes overtime and those games and those are the most important in the series, they can go either way,” Kuemper said. “Their goalie was making a ton of saves throughout the game, but I’m super confident with our group that eventually one is going to go in with the skill that we have and the talented players we have and Cale was able to come up with the clutch goal. ”

The Avs took the series lead, 2-0 on their 2-1 win. Game 3 is in Nashville on Saturday.
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