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Avalanche rally past Predators, complete first-round sweep

May 9, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar (8) is congratulated by teammates after a goal during the second period against the Nashville Predators in game four of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Cale Makar and Andre Burakovsky each had a goal and two assists Monday as the Colorado Avalanche completed a sweep of the Nashville Predators with a 5-3 road victory in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.

The top overall seed in the Western Conference, Colorado became the first team to advance to the second round of this year’s playoffs. The Predators, meanwhile, suffered the first postseason sweep in franchise history.

The Predators took their first lead of the series on Filip Forsberg’s goal at 3:58 of the third period, but the lead didn’t even last five minutes. After Devon Toews equalized for Colorado, Valeri Nichushkin scored the game-winner at 12:02 of the final frame.

Burakovsky assisted on both markers. The three points matched Burakovsky’s career high for a playoff game.

Makar led all skaters with 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the series. Makar also set a new NHL record for most points scored by a defenseman over four playoff games.

Nathan MacKinnon scored Colorado’s other goal, an empty-net power-play marker in the final minute. J.T. Compher had two assists for the Avalanche.

Avalanche goalie Pavel Francouz stopped 28 of 31 shots. Francouz got the nod in place of regular starter Darcy Kuemper, who suffered an eye injury in Game 3.

Yakov Trenin scored the Predators’ first two goals, with Colton Sissons assisting on both tallies.

Neither team took more than a one-goal lead during the back-and-forth game, with Trenin twice capitalizing on Avalanche defensive miscues to equalize for the Predators in the first two periods.

Burakovsky gave Colorado the lead just 1:56 into the game, following an unusual delay. The forward’s wrist shot from the circle beat Predators goalie Connor Ingram but went through the netting, and play continued since the on-ice officials never signaled the goal. It took another minute of action before the next stoppage, and a video review then confirmed the score.

Ingram saved 33 of 37 shots.

The Avalanche will next face the winner of the series between the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues. Game 5 of that 2-2 series is set for Tuesday night.

–Field Level Media