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Game 1 Recap: Kuemper Tantrums
By Richard Gonzalez
The Colorado Avalanche opened the first round of their best-of-seven series against the Arizona Coyotes at Rogers Place Arena, the Western Hub for the playoffs. The Avalanche heavily outshot the Coyotes but could not get the puck by Darcy Kuemper. It was not until the 13:05 mark of the third period where the Avalanche finally beat Kuemper to score the first goal of the game. Shortly after the Avalanche scored goals two and three to beat the Coyotes 3-0 and take the series lead 1-0.
The pace of the game started off fast. The Avalanche took control of the puck and fired 13 shots on Kuemper compared to the three shots the Coyotes took. The second period had the same feel and play. Again, the shots were in favor of the Avalanche, 15-4. Each team traded off power-play advantages (Coyotes in the first and the Avalanche in the second), but neither team scored. It took all 13:05 and a power play for Nazem Kadri to backhand the first goal of the series. Ten seconds later, J.T. Compher, scored on a backhand shot after another scramble in front of the net. Gabriel Landeskog took a hit to make a pass to Nathan MacKinnon. MacKinnon then passed the puck to Mikko Rantanen who scored to solidify the win by giving the Avalanche a 3-0 lead. The final shots were 40-14, Avalanche.
Quote Of The Game: “Yeah, I’ve got a chip on my shoulder right now. I’d say that’s accurate,” said Kadri about his play. (Source Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now)
Mackinnon had had two assists. Cale Makar, Erik Johnson, Joonas Donskoi, and Landeskog each had an assist. Johnson (8) and Kadri (7) led the game in shots. Landeskog led the game in hits (5) and Johnson led the game in ice time (22:47).
NHL’s Three Stars Of The Game:
1) Kadri, game-winning goal (PPG) and seven shots.
2) Johnson, an assist, eight shots, and 22:47 TOI.
3) Kuemper (AZ), 37 saves on 40 shots.
I think the NHL should get some credit because after they posted about Kuemper “having himself a game,” the Avalanche scored three quick ones.
I knew Kuemper would come into this game being on a high horse. Especially how he has been playing and the shutout he pitched against the Avalanche in the regular season. They did take a lot more shots but not as much quality ones. I tweeted mid-game about getting traffic and making life more difficult for Kuemper. Luckily, coach Bednar saw my tweet and relayed that to the team. No, I am kidding, but I am glad they got more traffic in front of the net because it led to multiple goals and momentum for a third goal. Kadri and Johnson were outstanding and led the way. Mackinnon did get a couple points but did not have a shot on goal. This was a nice start to the series, and it seems like they did knock Kuemper off his high horse.
Game Video Recap: Avs Blank Yotes
The Avalanche (home) will play the Coyotes (away) for Game Two on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, at 12:00PM (MT).
Fan Headline by @CaseyVincentDay.
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August 12th, 2020