Colorado Avalanche score wild 8-6 win over Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of West Final

Cale Makar had three points, including a controversial goal, as the Colorado Avalanche outscored the Edmonton Oilers 8-6 to take Game 1 of the NHL’s West Final.

The teams exchanged goals 36 seconds apart before the game was six minutes old. Oilers forward Evander Kane took a pass from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and scored on a breakaway. J.T. Compher replied on a two-on-one for the Avalanche.

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Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon scored on a breakaway before Edmonton’s Zach Hyman tapped in a pass from Brett Kulak with 22 seconds left in the first.

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) scores a goal against Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) during the first period in Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference finals Tuesday, May 31, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey). AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

But it took Makar only nine seconds to put the Avs back in front. The Oilers challenged for offside as Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin hadn’t exited the zone as Makar brought the puck in. However, the NHL ruled Makar didn’t touch the puck in the Oilers’ zone until Nichushkin tagged up. The goal stood and the Oilers were slapped with a delay-of-game penalty.

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Colorado’s Nazem Kadri scored on the ensuing power play in the first minute of the second.

Ryan McLeod replied for the Oilers, but Mikko Rantanen and Compher came back with quick goals to make it 6-3 Colorado with 13:40 left in the second.

Mike Smith was pulled from the Oilers’ net after allowing six goals on 25 shots.

Read more: Edmonton Oilers advance to West Final with OT win over Flames

Late in the second, Avalanche forward Andrew Cogliano beat Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen to make it 7-3.

Edmonton captain Connor McDavid one-timed a pass from Leon Draisaitl to cut the lead to 7-4 with 3:09 to go in the second.

The Oilers didn’t go away in the third. Derek Ryan potted his first of the playoffs before the session was four minutes old.

With 7:24 left, Nugent-Hopkins scored on the power play. The Oilers kept the pressure on and pulled Koskinen with two minutes left. Colorado forward Gabriel Landeskog put it away with an empty-netter.

Avs starting goalie Darcy Kuemper left the game in the second with an upper-body injury. Pavel Francouz replaced him and stopped 18 of 21 shots.

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Koskinen stopped 20 of 21 in relief of Smith. McDavid had a goal and two assists.

Game 2 is Thursday. You can listen to the game live on 630 CHED beginning with The Faceoff Show at 4 p.m. local time. The actual game starts at 6 p.m.

More to come…

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