EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Artturi Lehkonen scored 1:19 into overtime, and Colorado rallied to beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-5 Monday night, completing a four-game sweep in the Western Conference final and sending the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001.
Colorado will take on the winner of the Eastern Conference final between the New York Rangers and two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Rangers lead that best-of-seven series 2-1. Game 4 is Tuesday at Tampa Bay.
Cale Makar, Devon Toews Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen also scored for Colorado. Pavel Francouz stopped 30 of 35 shots.
“Our main thing is just trying to be resilient, making sure that every single night we bring that same game,” Makar said. “Sometimes it might not be pretty, but at the end of the day we’re just going to try to get the job done.”
Zach Hyman scored twice for the Oilers. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid and Zack Kassian also scored for Edmonton. Leon Draisaitl had four assists and goalie Mike Smith finished with 36 saves.
The teams combined for six goals in the third period — four by Colorado, which rallied from a 4-2 deficit despite being outshot 15-13.
“It was a great comeback win, for sure,” Lehkonen said. “We were talking in the second intermission that we just got to find our game and we can pull through this.”
Rantanen appeared to complete Colorado’s comeback, scoring a power-play goal with just over five minutes remaining to give the Avalanche a 5-4 edge.
But the Oilers stormed back and forced overtime when Kassian scored at 16:38 and tied it at 5-all. Lehkonen scored 1:19 into overtime, a goal that stood up after review for a high stick.
“Cale took the shot,” said Lehkkonen, who scored the goal to send a team to the final for a second consecutive year after doing so in 2021 with Montreal “I got a tip on it. It landed straight on my blade. I basically had an empty netter in front of me, so tap it in.”
NOTES: The Colorado Avalanche were without the injured Nazem Kadri. Kadri was hurt on an illegal hit by Edmonton’s Evander Kane in Game 3. Kadri didn’t return after Kane sent him crashing left arm-first into the boards 1:06 in, a hit that was reviewed and called a major penalty. Kane was suspended for Game 4 by the NHL. The Avalanche have not revealed what Kadri’s injury is or announced how long he’d be out. … The Oilers were looking to become just the fifth team in league history to win a series after falling behind 3-0.
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