Nichushkin, Avalanche defeat Oilers 4-2 in Game 3; lead WCF 3-0


The Colorado Avalanche are a win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final. 

On Saturday night, the Avalanche came from behind to defeat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2, in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final.

Colorado is now on the verge of a sweep, leading the best of seven series 3-0. 

Avalanche forward Valeri Nichushkin scored a pair of goals, and goaltender Pavel Francouz made 27 saves to lead the way for Colorado. 

Francouz was made the start in place of injured No. 1 goalie, Darcy Kuemper, who exited Game 1 with an upper-body injury. 

On the other side of the ice, Oilers goaltender Mike Smith turned away all 16 shots sent his way by the Avalanche powerplay, and 39 saves in total Saturday night. 

Things looked promising early for the Oilers, who tallied the first goal of the night off the stick of Connor McDavid just 38 seconds into the opening period. 

Nichushkin gave the Avalanche its first lead of the night, scoring to tie the game 16:12 into the first period before netting the go-ahead goal, 4:37 into the second period. 

The Oilers knotted the game up at 2-2 when Ryan McLeod scored just over seven minutes into the third. 

Though, J.T. Compher scored to help the Avalanche retake the lead five minutes later. 

Mikko Rantanen added an empty-net goal late to seal the victory for the Oilers. 

Colorado’s Nazem Kadri left Game 3 early in the first period after a being cross-checked into the boards by Edmonton’s Evander Kane; he did not return. 

The Avalanche will look for the four-game sweep in Game 4 Monday at 8 p.m. ET.

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