The Colorado Avalanche will face the series winner between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild in the second round of the Stanley Cup.
The Golden Knights, the No.2 seed, have a 3-1 lead over No.3 seed Wild in the Top 7 series. Game 5 is in Vegas on Monday.
“Look, we’ve been playing hockey a lot since mid-January, so all the breaks we can get, the days off and the days off and the days off we can get, I think we need them,” said the Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog after a 5-2 victory against the Blues in the fourth game on Sunday. “So it’s going to be important, and obviously enjoy this one here tonight and then go back to work tomorrow.” “
Video: MacKinnon, Avalanche wins game 4, 5-2, Sweep Blues
Nathan MacKinnon leads Colorado with nine points (six goals, three assists) in the playoffs. Landeskog scored eight points (two goals, six assists), and Mikko Rantanen scored seven (one goal, six assists). Philipp Grubauer is 4-0 with a goals against average of 1.75 and save percentage of 0.936.
Colorado Forward Nazem Kadri has been suspended eight games for an illegal failure at the head of the defender of Saint-Louis Justin Faulk in Game 2. He served the first two games of the game 3 and 4 suspension.
The Avalanche went 4-3-1 against the Golden Knights in the regular season. MacKinnon scored six points (two goals, four assists) in eight games to lead Colorado and defenseman Devon Toews scored three goals. Grubauer went 4-2-1 with a GAA of 1.86 and a save percentage of 0.935, and Devan Dubnyk allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 5-2 loss on April 28 in their only game with Colorado against Vegas.
Max Pacioretty led Vegas with eight points (six goals, two assists) in seven games against Colorado, but the forward has missed the last 10 games with an undisclosed injury. Tissu Alex and Jonathan Marchessault each has scored three goals in eight games. Marc-André Fleury was 4-3-0 with a GAA of 2.14 and a save percentage of 0.932 Robin Lehner allowed two goals on 21 shots in a 2-1 loss on May 10 in their only game.
Colorado went 5-2-1 against Minnesota. MacKinnon has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in seven games and Rantanen has five goals in eight games. Grubauer was 5-2-0 with an GAA of 2.81 and save percentage of 0.886. Hunter Miska allowed four goals on 33 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss on Jan. 31 in his only game.
Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman and Victor Rask led the Wild with seven points against the Avalanche (three goals, four assists in eight games each), and Kevin Fiala scored four goals. Cam Talbot was 2-3-0 with a GAA of 3.64 and a save percentage of 0.899, and Kaapo Kahkonen was 1-2-0 with an GAA of 4.34 and a save percentage of 0.879.
The Avalanche and Golden Knights have never played in the playoffs.
This would be the fourth time the Avalanche and the Wild have met in the playoffs. Minnesota have won two of the previous three series, the last one beating Colorado in seven games in the 2014 Western Conference first round.
Video: COL @ STL, Gm4: Avalanche wins, shakes hands with the Blues