Cleat Geeks

The Burgundy Breakdown (Central Semifinals Game 5)

Welcome to the latest Stanley Cup Playoff edition of The Burgundy Breakdown, which recaps Game 5 of the Colorado Avalanche’s series against the Nashville Predators.

The Avalanche looked to even their Central Division Semifinal series at home, but despite a third period comeback, the Avs came up short in Game 4 and only picked up a split, leaving the team facing elimination on the road. Colorado looked to Andrew Hammond to keep the team alive, and he was spectacular in the first period of Game 5 in Nashville. Nineteen shots were recorded, with 11 of them belonging to the Preds, but Hammond shut the door and the first 20 minutes ended scoreless. The second period saw more chances from both teams and close calls from end to end. Hammond continued to stay strong in the face of pressure, including a golden chance by defenseman Roman Josi, but even after 40 minutes, it was still scoreless. The entire series had at least one goal in the previous 12 periods; the first two of Game 5 were the first to not have any goals.

All of the action happened in the second half of the third period, beginning with a highly controversial goal scored by Nick Bonino. Despite the video replay showing a clear distinct kicking motion, the officials reversed their original “no goal” call and awarded the goal to Bonino, putting the Avalanche down 1-0. The pressure was now clearly on the Avs, as that goal further put them on the brink of elimination. However, the Avalanche would take over the final five minutes of regulation, beginning with captain Gabriel Landeskog tying the game after a clever move by Nathan MacKinnon to fake out Pekka Rinne. With time winding down, it looked like overtime was on the horizon, but a two-on-one breakaway resulted in JT Compher’s shot being stopped, but Sven Andrighetto got the puck and put it past Rinne, giving the Avalanche a 2-1 lead with 88 seconds left. The Predators pulled Rinne on the face-off, but their attempts to tie the game late were all stopped by Hammond, resulting in the Avalanche holding on and winning 2-1.

Image result for sven andrighetto

Photo by; SportSpyder

Regarding the past four games, I have had an answer regarding what went right or wrong for the Avalanche, but as for Game 5, I honestly have to say that it was just one of those games. No goals in the first two periods, followed by Nashville scoring a controversial goal, and with time winding down on the Avalanche’s season, Colorado came back with two quick goals. I can say this, though: Andrew Hammond saved the Avalanche in Game 5, racking up 44 saves in Colorado’s victory. Landeskog’s goal was his fourth of the playoffs, while MacKinnon recorded his 16th career playoff point with the assist. Andrighetto’s goal was his first career playoff goal, and his first career playoff GWG. Now the Avalanche have earned a trip back to Denver, and an opportunity to put the Predators’ backs to the proverbial wall.

Game 6 is Sunday night in Denver.

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