"I'm not hiding anything", DeBoer said Tuesday. "Am I glad they called it that way?" he asked.
I rarely go into skater-vs. -skater matchups when breaking down a game, but tonight's tilt features a mono e mono so compelling that it deserves some column inches. "And it wasn't. It was a big group effort out there".
Tomas Hertl added to the lead with a quick shot from the slot.
"He played unbelievable for a guy that missed playoff action for two weeks", teammate Logan Couture said.
Colorado has six forwards with at least two goals this series, including secondary options like J.T. Compher, Tyson Jost, Colin Wilson and Matt Nieto. I wish I could tell you what he's gone through from seeing it firsthand.
San Jose ultimately won the game on Barclay Goodrow's overtime goal to advance to the second round.
San Jose will now play St. Louis in a conference final matchup between two successful teams seeking their first championship.
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However, between the second and third periods, Avs head coach Jared Bednar questioned the call, saying, "He said Landeskog was still on the ice, he's standing right at the bench getting ready to make a change and they have him standing in the zone when the puck goes in". "Our guys worked every day to try to fulfill our expectations of our group".
The Sharks have had a slightly bigger advantage when it comes to the possession game and total shot attempts (53 percent to 46 percent) but the Avalanche have actually done a better job generating scoring chances (52 percent) and high-danger chances (54 percent). And they still made it to Game 7 without him. For San Jose, since the start of the season, that was what they were expected to do.
Pavelski took less than six minutes to provide more than just inspiration. Mikko Rantanen has five goals and eight assists over the last 10 games for Colorado. But you know what? "Many people in the building, a lot of them saw the injury. It's unusual. And it's something we could have done without tonight, no question".
Pavelski then set up Hertl with a pass from behind the net to make it 2-0 midway through the period and drew a penalty that almost led to a power-play goal later in the period as the Avalanche struggled early.
The Sharks got a scare when, up 2-1 in the second period, Colin Wilson scored what looked like a game-tying goal on a lovely cross from Nathan MacKinnon.
The league explained: "After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the linesman, the Situation Room determined that Gabriel Landeskog did not legally tag up at the blue-line prior to the puck entering the offensive zone".
"I was just as surprised as anybody", Landeskog said of the overturned goal.
Landeskog called the play "frustrating" and noted "there were 10 things I could've done differently on that play".
NOTES: The Sharks won multiple Game 7s in the same post-season for the first time in franchise history. If the result holds, it would be the Sharks' first return to the Western Conference Finals since 2016, when the Sharks made it to their first Stanley Cup Final. The Blues were eliminated by the Sharks. That is what San Jose has to do, put the pressure on the Avalanche defense and create breakdowns and force Grubauer to be a star, on the road.