DENVER – Cal Makar sent a low streak through traffic and then quickly found himself surrounded by his happy teammates.
Perhaps he was the happiest of all on the other end. After all, it was the 32nd birthday of goalkeeper Darcy Comber. The goal is to make it fully present.
McCar scored 8:31 in overtime, Comber made 25 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Nashville Predator 2-1 on Thursday night to advance 2-0 in the first round of the playoffs.
Makar got the rebound in the middle of the attack area and hit the ball on goal just like he had been all night. His 12 shots on goal set a new record in a playoff match.
“I had a feeling the disc was found at the top tonight,” explained the humble Makar. “Not even me specifically, we were trying to solve the problem.”
Nathan McKinnon also scored for the Colorado team, which faced a more intense defense than Nashville after winning 7-2 in the first game. The Predators stopped 34 shots.
“We felt like we were up against them the whole third period and at the end of the day most of the time the hockey gods will reward you for that hard work,” Makar said. “For us, we were able to get one lucky guy in overtime.”
The series moves to Nashville for Game 3 on Saturday.
Record Yakov Trinin for Nashville.
Conor Ingram I went up and up In stopping 49 shots as he started his first post-season. He allowed McKinnon’s goal on the first shot of the match and put everything back up to Makar’s goal.
25-year-old Ingram comforted David Rich in the first game after an avalanche scored five goals in the first half. The Predator is without first-choice goalkeeper Gus Sarros, who missed out with a lower-body injury but could return later in the series.
“It’s what you dreamed about as a kid, to have the chance to do that and play in front of a crowd like that,” said Ingram, whose parents attended the match. “It’s so much fun.”
Since moving to Denver, Avalanche was 14-2 in their best streak of seven when they grabbed their first two games.
The Colorado had disallowed a goal in the final seconds of the second half due to the interference of the goalkeeper. Artturi Lehkonen fell on top of Ingram before a shot from Valeri Nichushkin entered. Avalanche defied the play and officials confirmed the call in the restart.
Nashville was put on power to start the third game. Soon, the Predators had a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:52 when Nichushkin went into the penalty area for a high stick. But they could not take advantage. Makar’s best scoring opportunity was when he broke up, only with his shot at Ingram’s gauntlet.
Ingram was at his best in the third period when he stopped a close shot from Nazim Qadri with his left cushion. Ingram spent most of the season with the Milwaukee Admirals in the American Hockey League, going 30-17-9. He appeared in three regular season games for Nashville this season.
His counterpart praised Ingram’s efforts.
“He played great,” Comber said. “In interfering with not a lot of experience, he was definitely ready to go. It made it difficult for our shooters.”
Both teams struggled with power play, scoring 0 for 8. There were 110 hits total.
“They are a big offensive team in the league. They do that with a lot of teams,” said John Haynes, the Predator coach. “If you’re going to beat them, you have to have a strong goal. I thought the way our guys defended and the way they played when they were under duress was at the level you need tonight.”
The first period was very different for the Predators than the first game, when they allowed five goals. This time, they outperformed the avalanche by a margin of 11-8.
Trinin tied 1 each with 4:41 left in the first half. Celebrate by jumping to the boards behind the goal.
McKinnon Score the first goal The first shot in the game 5:25 goes into action. Line up in a shot on the stick A side of Ingram on a small breakup. McKinnon has 73 points (31 goals, 42 assists) in 52 playoffs.
“He’s definitely a different animal in the playoffs,” Makar said. “That’s why he’s probably the best player in the world.”
Makar’s 12 shots on goal surpassed the playoff mark of Claude Lemieux, who scored 11 in the post-season game twice (May 8, 1996 in Chicago and May 9, 1997 in Edmonton).
Ingram has Be a mental health advocate, Talk about dealing with obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has been involved with the NHL Players Assistance Program for over a year.
“It was also a point in his life where he hit rock bottom, but he also felt really supported,” Hines said. “He grew up in multiple ways as a person and also as a player.”
Predatory defender Roman Josi set up Trenin’s goal to give him 31 postseason passes in his career. It associates Ryan Ellis with the most predators in history.