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Avalanche coach Jared Bednar
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TOPIC: Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar 2 months, 3 weeks ago #6507

  • yudan18
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LAS VEGAS (AP) Alex Tuch collected the skittering puck with absolutely nothing between him and the tying goal with two minutes left in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.Braden Holtby reacted with pure instinct.Washington’s goalie stretched back and lunged to his right with his stick Colorado Avalanche Hats Womens , thrusting the paddle into the exact 4-inch slot of air through which Tuch’s shot was headed for the net.”Luckily it hit me,” Holtby said with a shrug.The Washington goalie’s coaches and teammates weren’t quite so calm about a save that will go down in Capitals history as the key to a 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday night, evening the series at one game apiece.The win was the Caps’ first-ever Stanley Cup Final victory – and the save might be a catalyst to even bigger things.”To me, it was the hockey gods,” Washington coach Barry Trotz said. ”They evened it up from the last game. Great save. You could see the emotion on our bench. Once he made that save, I knew we were going to win the game.”Holtby made 37 saves, but he got help from earthly sources as well. Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal, his first in a Final, Brooks Orpik ended a personal 220-game goal drought with the eventual winner, and Lars Eller added a goal and two assists.”We refocus and pick each other up and that’s a sign of a good team,” Holtby said. ”That’s one of our strengths.”Game 3 is Saturday night in Washington. The Caps are just 4-5 at home in the postseason, but they’ll ride a wave of momentum after going into the Golden Knights’ daunting home arena and taking away home-ice advantage in Washington’s first Stanley Cup Final in 20 years.After getting battered in the Knights’ 6-4 series-opening win, Holtby made several big saves throughout Game 2, coming up particularly big while Washington killed a 5-on-3 disadvantage for 1:09 earlier in the third period. He capped his energetic performance with that jaw-dropping stick save on Tuch with 1:59 to play.”Holts just makes the save of the year Custom Colorado Avalanche Jerseys ,” Washington forward Jay Beagle said. ”Maybe the save of a lifetime. It’s unreal.”The T-Mobile Arena crowd was stunned, but after several months of watching this expansion team push through every obstacle, the Knights couldn’t get around Holtby’s stick.”Thank God he’s our goalie,” Ovechkin said. ”He’s over there when we need him, and it was probably the save of the year for sure.”Washington overcame another big blow when it lost leading scorer Evgeny Kuznetsov to an upper-body injury in the first period after a big hit from Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb, but the Caps avoided any hotheaded retaliation and concentrated on a gritty effort that was enough to even the series.James Neal and Shea Theodore scored and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 23 shots for the upstart Knights, who couldn’t summon their usual clutch magic, even with lengthy man advantages. Thanks to Holtby’s 15 saves, Vegas finally went scoreless in the third for the first time in six periods in this series.Washington handed the Golden Knights only their second home defeat – the first in regulation – in Vegas’ nine postseason games.”I think it’s really important that we take a step back and take a deep breath and know that you’re not going to win this series in two games,” Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt said. ”We’re a special group. We can go out and win games on the road. We’ve done it all playoffs.”So have the Capitals, who improved to 9-3 on the road after two games in this frequently chaotic series.The Caps have made the playoffs in 13 of 19 seasons since their only other trip to the Final in 1998, but hadn’t managed to get their fans back to the final round until this year. Capital One Arena in downtown Washington was packed with red-clad fans watching Game 2 on the videoboards.The temperature on the Las Vegas Strip spiked to triple digits in the hours before Game 2, likely making it the hottest Final game in NHL history. But the heat didn’t fry the spirits of the fans who filled the plaza next to the arena to capacity before the puck dropped, continuing this gambling mecca’s fanatical support of its first major pro sports team.Shortly after Neal opened the scoring for Vegas in Game 2 www.bluejacketsshoponline.com , Kuznetsov went straight to the dressing room after absorbing a high check from McNabb. The game immediately took on a nastier tone, and the teams played 4-on-4 hockey moments later after a prolonged scrum led to two penalties.Trotz gave no postgame update on Kuznetsov’s condition.”(That hit) galvanized us as a group,” Trotz said. ”This group has learned so much. They’ve gotten so resilient. This group has had everything thrown at them, and they just say, `You know what? We’re going to push on.”’Washington attacked and evened it shortly afterward with a goal from Eller, who had failed to hit an open net on a rushed play for a potential tying goal late in Game 1.Washington’s excellent power play finally got a chance early in the second period, and Ovechkin scored a vintage goal with his powerful shot from a sharp angle. The Russian superstar led the NHL with 49 goals in the regular season and added 12 more in the Eastern Conference playoffs before scoring the first Stanley Cup Final goal of his 13-year, 1,121-game NHL career.The Caps then got a thoroughly unlikely contribution from Orpik, whose deflected shot bounced fortuitously off the ice and beat Fleury. The grinding veteran forward with a 2009 Stanley Cup ring from Pittsburgh hadn’t scored since Feb. 26, 2016, adding up to the longest active goal-scoring drought in the NHL.The persistent Knights earned a power play and cut the Caps’ lead to 3-2 late in the second on Theodore’s shot through traffic.NOTES: The first two games of the Final were split for only the third time in the last 13 editions. … The Golden Knights have scored the opening goal in the first period of all nine of their postseason home games. … Washington needs three more wins to become the second team in NHL history to win a Cup after trailing in all four postseason rounds, joining Pittsburgh in 1991. … T-Mobile Arena reported 18,702 fans in the sold-out building Columbus Blue Jackets T-Shirts Womens , setting a franchise record for attendance.—More Stanley Cup coverage: apnews.com/tag/StanleyCupFinals Last season, the Colorado Avalanche and New Jersey Devils were two of the biggest surprises in the National Hockey League, each ending droughts by reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs.Neither team is going to sneak up on anyone this season, yet both are off to strong starts heading into their first meeting of 2018-19 on Thursday night at Prudential Center.The Devils (4-0-0) are the only NHL team not to have lost a game so far. The Avalanche (3-1-2) are playing well despite losing two straight.Article continues below ...“It’s a challenge playing these guys,” Devils center Brian Boyle said. “They’re a lot like us — young, fast, hungry. It should be a good game.”New Jersey is outscoring the opposition by a dominating 17-4 through four games. Goalie Keith Kinkaid already has two shutouts, including Tuesday’s 3-0 win over the Dallas Stars, and he owns a sparkling .961 save percentage to go along with a 1.00 goals-against average.“He’s just taken that net and owned every part of it,” Devils defenseman Will Butcher told the team’s website. “He’s taken a huge step in his game.”Kinkaid is not alone, though, in the Devils’ early-season success. Kyle Palmieri scored the opening goal in all four games this season, and has seven through four games. Jean-Sebastien Dea has three goals in four games.Eight players have three points or more, including four defensemen. The team has killed off 13 of 14 penalties and is perfect the last 13 times short-handed.“It’s fun to come to the rink right now Columbus Blue Jackets Hoodies Womens ,” Palmieri said. “The team’s in a good mood, and we’re happy with the way we’re playing. We’re beating some really good teams, so, hopefully, we just keep that going.”New Jersey is rolling even though reigning Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall is without a goal through four games — though he does have four assists. Certainly, the Avalanche and their top player, Nathan MacKinnon, will be aware of Hall on the ice.Last year, MacKinnon was runner-up to Hall for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Both players scored 39 goals, and MacKinnon had 97 points to Hall’s 93.MacKinnon picked up this year where he left off. He has seven goals already and established a franchise record with goals in each of the first six games of the season after scoring in the second period of Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers.“I’d like to get a few more assists actually, but it’s been nice, the puck is going in for me,” MacKinnon told the Avalanche website.Mackinnon’s linemate, Mikko Rantanen Columbus Blue Jackets Hats Womens , also has at least one point in each game so far. Rantanen’s eight assists and nine points both are team highs.“You need to have chemistry to be successful, and Mikko and I have lots of chemistry,” MacKinnon said. “He’s a big guy, slows the game down, and I like to speed it up. We complement each other really well.”The Avalanche might receive a boost Thursday as it appears Sven Andrighetto will play in his first game of the season. He suffered a leg injury during the preseason but practiced fully on Wednesday.“He is going to be available for us (Thursday),” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I think he looks quick, he is in really good shape. He has done a lot of hard work since he’s been out and I’m excited to have a guy like him available again, adds some skill and some speed to our lineup.”Semyon Varlamov, who was sensational in making 41 saves against the Rangers, will get the night off Thursday and Philipp Grubauer makes his second start of the season in goal.Last season, the Devils won both games with the Avalanche, outscoring them by a combined 6-2. Butcher had three assists in the season series against the team that originally drafted him.
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