AVALANCHE

Frankie! Backup pitches shutout as Avs dominate Oilers in Game 2

Jun 2, 2022, 9:41 PM | Updated: 9:42 pm
Pavel Francouz...
Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Heros are born in the postseason, and Pavel Francouz became a key part of this deep-run Colorado Avalanche club.

Francouz made 24 saves in Colorado’s 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 of the Western Conference Final. It was Francouz’s second game in a row, coming in cold off the bench in Game 1, after starter Darcy Kuemper was injured.

And the fans loved every second of Francouz’s second-career playoff shutout.

“Some things are hard to describe,” Francouz said of the chanting.

“It was a special night for sure but overall team effort tonight I think was very strong,” Francouz said. “I found out yesterday that I would be starting. You’re a little nervous and have it in the back of your mind that it’s a really important game. But what helped me was the way our team played tonight, from the first seconds, I knew they would help me a lot. So that made me calmer and I could just focus on my play.”

Colorado did most of their work in the span of two minutes and four seconds on Thursday night, scoring three, two of which were in 15 seconds. Nazem Kadri created all three scores.

Four minutes into the second period Artturi Lehkonen tipped a shot in. Josh Manson slapped one in 15 seconds later. Then Mikko Rantanen scored on the rush.

“Tonight, I felt like it was start to finish,” Head Coach Jared Bednar said. “We got more discipline and stronger as the game went on in our checking game. Guys just really committed to it. We didn’t make those mistakes.”

Game 2 was a controlled, all-around Avs win. A change from the topsy-turvy Game 1.

Connor McDavid didn’t show up, Nathan MacKinnon added the fourth goal, helped by Cale Makar and the Oilers got chippy late. It was about as banal of a hockey game as possible for this time of year and Colorado held serve.

The Avs leave Ball Arena and sends this series up to Alberta up 2-0, to play Game 3 on Saturday night.

***

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