NHL Playoffs results: Bruins knock out Blue Jackets, Avalanche force Game 7 with OT win against Sharks
Monday featured two potential elimination games, but only one series ended
On Monday, two road teams looked to try to end their respective series and avoid decisive Game 7s.
The Bruins successfully accomplished that task with a Game 6 shutout victory in Columbus, making it three straight wins to close out their series with the Blue Jackets. For Columbus, it's the end of the road following a stunning sweep of the Lightning in the first round.
The Avalanche, meanwhile, stayed alive at home against the Sharks with a thrilling Game 6 win. The Avs and Sharks were entrenched in a back-and-forth affair that required overtime to find a winner, but it was Gabriel Landeskog who eventually forced a Game 7 with the golden goal a few minutes into OT. This series has been one of the better matchups in the second round and it'll come down to a do-or-die finale on Wednesday.
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NHL Playoff schedule for Monday, May 6
- Game 6: FINAL -- Bruins 3, Blue Jackets 0 (Bruins win 4-2) | Box score
- Game 6: FINAL -- Avalanche 4, Sharks 3 OT (Series tied 3-3) | Box score
A quick winner
Gabriel Landeskog got the game-winner just 2:32 into overtime and he submitted it with a fantastic effort. The captain's goal forces a Game 7 back in San Jose with a spot in the Western Conference finals on the line. Hoo boy!
Back and forth we go
The Avs reclaimed their lead four minutes into the third period when JT Compher -- who else? -- scored a nice goal in front. It's Compher's second goal and third point, marking just the second time in his career he's achieved a multi-goal game.
But the Sharks showed that pesky resiliency once again, fighting all third period to stay in the game and keep it interesting. They finally found yet another equalizer with 2:28 remaining in regulation when Vlasic scored his second goal of the game, this one coming off an Avs defender's skate in front of the net.
Folks, you know what that means: We've got overtime in a potential elimination game.
Sharks refuse to go away
After Jost's opening goal, the Sharks tied it about 10 minutes later thanks to a goal from a defenseman of their own in Marc-Eduoard Vlasic. That set up a pretty wild final five minutes of the middle frame. With about a minute and a half remaining in the period, the Avalanche reclaimed the lead when Compher scored with the help of a great screen in front of Martin Jones. At the other end, Philipp Grubauer made a tremendous save to deny Logan Couture.
That great save preserved the Avs' lead, but not for long. The Sharks managed to find an equalizer in the final 10 seconds of the period when Timo Meier made a strong zone entry while being swarmed by Colorado defenders, then kicked it out to the point for Erik Karlsson, who found Brent Burns.
It's been a big game for Karlsson and Burns and we're heading into the third period all knotted up at 2-2.
Avs strike first in Colorado
The first period in Colorado featured plenty of action, but we didn't get our first goal until the middle frame. It was the Avalanche who made the first dent thanks to a goal from Tyson Jost, who was set up by J.T. Compher on the doorstep.
The Avs looked to suffer a damaging blow just after taking the lead when Mikko Rantanen was injured by an open-ice hip check from Brent Burns. The hit from Burns was a clean one, but Rantanen was clearly shaken up and the key Colorado winger headed straight to the locker room to be evaluated. Fortunately for Colorado, he returned to the Avs' bench a few minutes later.
Boston closes out in third
The Bruins got some great goaltending from Tuukka Rask and some help from the posts behind him during the third period. They were able to finish off the Jackets with two insurance goals, the first coming from Marcus Johansson on a soft goal allowed by Sergei Bobrovsky.
The next came from ... David Backes? Yes, David Backes.
Boston held on to close out the series with a 3-0 win, punching their ticket to the Eastern Conference finals to face the Carolina Hurricanes.
Bruins get on board first, and also get lucky
After having a goal taken away in the first, the Bruins found one that stuck in the second period. After Jake DeBrusk rang the post on a chance, David Krejci unloaded on the rebound and blasted a slapper past Sergei Bobrovsky.
The Blue Jackets got several power-play opportunities in the second period, including one that came at the end of the frame thanks to this hit thrown by Charlie McAvoy.
McAvoy only received a two minute minor for that hit, which is surprising considering the head was the principle point of contact. It should be noted that the language of the rule book suggests that major penalties aren't an option for the "Illegal Check To The Head" classification unless referees believe that there was deliberate attempt to injure. Regardless, there's a chance that McAvoy could see supplemental discipline from the league after this game.
A scoreless but entertaining first in Columbus
It was a scoreless first 20 for Game 6 in Columbus but the action was more entertaining than the box score might lead on. The Bruins thought they took a 1-0 lead right after a power play expired, but that goal was wiped off the board thanks to a goaltender interference ruling following review. Officials determined that Joakim Nordstrom interfered with Sergei Bobrovsky and didn't give him a fair chance at stopping a shot from Sean Kuraly about midway through the first period. Have a look:
The game remained 0-0 but escalated to a sizzling pace as it carried on. Both teams combined for 11 five-on-five high-danger scoring chances, with the Bruins holding the edge 7-4.
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