Avalanche trying forward in playoffs after sweep of Blues

Colorado used its high line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen to dominate St. Louis and full a four-game sweep in its first-round playoff sequence

ST. LOUIS — Colorado Avalanche winger Gabriel Landeskog didn’t hesitate in admitting that taking part in on a line centered by standout Nathan MacKinnon is a blast.

“It’s undoubtedly the most effective jobs in hockey,” Landeskog stated.

Colorado’s high line of MacKinnon, Landeskog and winger Mikko Rantanen every had a aim and help in serving to the Avalanche to a 5-2 series-clinching win over St. Louis on Sunday.

The trio mixed for 9 targets and 15 assists and dominated the sequence as Colorado posted a 20-7 benefit in targets and swept the Blues in four-games within the West Division matchup.

MacKinnon led the way in which with six targets and three assists on 16 photographs. Landeskog (2 targets, six assists) and Rantanen (1 aim, six assists) weren’t far behind.

The red-hot MacKinnon has 63 factors in 44 profession playoff video games.

“Each (MacKinnon) and Mikko are very extremely expert and among the many high abilities within the league,” Landeskog stated. “Not solely that, however they work actually onerous. We discuss issues on a regular basis. We’re attempting to consistently work on our sport and examine one another and be taught from one another.”

That method works.

MacKinnon had 5 targets and two assists via the primary video games of the opening-round sequence. He was restricted to at least one level in Recreation 3.

The three bounced again in a giant means with a mixed six factors on Sunday.

The Avalanche made fast work of the Blues and trailed for less than 7:12 over the 4 video games.

Landeskog broke a 1-1 tie by deflecting in a shot from Samuel Girard within the second interval of Recreation 4. It got here in the midst of a three-goal blitz that appeared to take the wind out of the Blues.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar stated dispatching St. Louis in fast trend has a number of benefits heading into the West Division remaining towards both Vegas or Minnesota.

“It provides us some additional time to organize,” Bednar stated. “To have the ability to get the remaining that we’d like, it’s a constructive.”

The Avalanche want to make amends for his or her second-round playoff exit final season. That group had excessive hopes earlier than dropping to Dallas in seven video games.

“Each playoff sequence that you simply get eradicated, your starvation and your need simply goes up that a lot larger,” Landeskog stated. “We’re simply that a lot hungrier for it this yr. You notice that you simply solely have so many possibilities. You wish to ensure you do every little thing you’ll be able to to maintain these alternatives

Rantanen agreed, “We (thought) we’d be capable of win final yr, however we didn’t get it accomplished. Everyone is aware of what we’ve got to do. It’s feeling within the room.”

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Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports activities

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