Nichushkin and Avalanche beat Oilers 4-2 in Game 3; lead WCF 3-0


The Colorado Avalanche are one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

On Saturday night, the Avalanche came from behind to defeat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.

Colorado is now poised to sweep, leading the best-of-seven series 3-0.

Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin scored two goals and goaltender Pavel Francouz made 27 saves to lead the way for Colorado.

Francouz started in place of injured No. 1 goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who left Game 1 with an upper body injury.

On the other side of the ice, Oilers goaltender Mike Smith stopped all 16 shots directed by the Avalanche’s power play, and 39 saves in total on Saturday night.

Things looked promising early for the Oilers, who scored Connor McDavid’s first goal of the night just 38 seconds into the opening period.

Nichushkin gave the Avalanche their first lead of the night, scoring to tie the game 16:12 into the first period before scoring the game-clinching goal 4:37 into the second period.

The Oilers tied the game at 2-2 when Ryan McLeod scored just over seven minutes into the third.

However, JT Compher scored to help the Avalanche regain the lead five minutes later.

Mikko Rantanen added an empty net goal late in the game to seal the victory for the Oilers.

Colorado’s Nazem Kadri left Game 3 early in the first period after being cross-recorded in the boards by Edmonton’s Evander Kane; he didn’t come back.

The Avalanche will seek the four-game sweep in Game 4 Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

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