The Colorado Avalanche went into Game 4 down by one and on a mission to win, and win the did shutting out the San Jose Sharks and tying the series once again.
Nathan MacKinnon scored the opening goal at the midway point through the second period after the first went scoreless, with both teams failing to make use to scoring opportunities. It was the beginning of what would put the Colorado Avalanche back into the series.
Erik Johnson and Colin Wilson both scored last night as the Colorado Avalanche went on to a 3-0 victory over the Sharks. Mikko Rantanen, Mike Calvert and Cale Makar, Matt Nieto were awarded assists, and Philipp Grubauer made 32 saves. Commenting on the win, Grubauer said,
“Huge. The longer we can keep the zero up there the better it is, and the better chance we have to win.”
Nathan MacKinnon has earned points in the last eight games and holds the longest point streak of any player in the post-season for the Avalanche since 2002. After MacKinnon’s goal, Wilson gave Colorado some breathing room with a power play goal in the early part of the third period after Rantanen sent a between the legs pass to Wilson who beat Martin Jones. With an empty net, Erik Johnson made it 3-0.
The San Jose Sharks and Avalanche meet for Game 5 on Saturday night in San Jose. The stakes are high for both teams, and oddsmakers are placing strong odds in favour of Colorado to move ahead and take the series, which for punters wishing to place bets on the series, it is ideal timing to register with leading sportsbooks like Bodog, who will increase first deposits with up to $200.
The crowds at the Pepsi Center were in full support of Grubauer and with each save chanted “Gruuuu” getting louder as the third period played out. Rantanen commented on Grubauer stating,
“We needed to win this game and he was unreal.”
San Jose did all they could to try to control MacKinnon speed putting their top defensive players out as much as possible to shadow MacKinnon. However, he still managed to get free to be on spot multiple times, including once in the second period when he was in place to pick up a rebound off the pads of Jones and sending it past to score the games first goal, his sixth in the post-season. Commenting, on the night, Jared Bednar head coach of the Avalanche said,
“I love it as a coach because I don’t think you’re going to be dancing around and making a bunch of high-skilled plays in traffic and score the highlight-reel goal that’s going tic-tac-toe. I don’t see that happening. If you look at the goals that are scored in this series, guys are shooting, there’s traffic. Both goals were the exact same way.”
Rantanen was asked in post-media interviews how he saw Wilson. Commenting, Rantanen said,
“In the corner of my eye. Jones had pretty good position on me and trying to stuff it through his pads wasn’t going to work for me. (Wilson) was in a good spot and it was a good goal.”
Most of the night saw both Jones and Grubauer matching each other’s performance, but Jones was disappointed with the results knowing the game was a good opportunity for the Sharks to go up by two games. Now tied, it is once again anyone’s series, and who wins Game 6 will be in a good position to advance to the next round.