DENVER — The Avs came from behind to defeat the Senators in the first round of the playoffs, and now has extended the streak with a 7-5 victory to take a 3-1 series lead. By winning both games on the road in Ottawa, the Avs remain one win away from their first Stanley Cup appearance since 2001.
In a wild second period, the game could have turned dramatically in the Ottawa favor. The Avs took the lead with a goal from Matt Duchene on the power play with 3:40 left in the period, and Senators’ forward Mark Stone then tied the game at 3-3 on a shorthanded breakaway late in the period.
The Senators still held the lead when David Warsofsky sent a shot from the blue line that hit teammate Mike Hoffman in the shoulder, sending him crashing into the Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson. Holtby was unable to stop the puck and puck deflected into the net to tie the game again.
The goals kept coming as the period continued, with the Avs scoring a pair of goals to build a lead. J.T. Compher scored from the point to make it 4-3 with 8:30 left in the period, and Erik Johnson scored a power play goal from the low slot to give the Avs a 5-3 lead late in the period.
Nolan Patrick scored two goals for the Avs during the first period, one a power play goal. Going into the first intermission with a 3-1 lead, the Avs seemed to have the momentum.
And on the Avs’ first power play of the second period, Nugent-Hopkins made the goal count as he tapped the puck from the lower edge of the crease to make it 4-2. Now the Avs felt comfortable with the lead heading into the second intermission.
The third period provided a huge battle for the lead, with the Avs skating their way back to a 5-4 lead. Forwards Gabriel Landeskog and Tim Schaller scored consecutive goals, adding to the Avs’ lead. Senators’ forward Brady Tkachuk scored at 6:22, to tie the game again, making it 5-5. From there it was all Avs. Ryan Graves scored on a power play to give the Avs a 6-5 lead, and Nolan Patrick scored again on the power play in the final minute to make it 7-5.
An Avs’ win was always going to be challenging, but on Sunday, the Avs came out ahead, proving to be a little more resilient than Ottawa, despite the possibility of them being the hometown-favorite to advance to the conference finals.