The Colorado Avalanche will play the winner of the series between the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild in the Stanley Cup Second Round.
Colorado, the No. 1 seed in the Honda West Division, defeated the No. 4-seeded St. Louis Blues in four games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Golden Knights, the No. 2 seed, have a 3-1 lead against the No. 3-seeded Wild in the best-of-7 series. Game 5 is at Vegas on Monday.
“Listen, we’ve played a lot of hockey since mid-January, so any breaks we can get, and any days off and any recovery days we can get, I think we need it,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said after a 5-2 win against the Blues in Game 4 on Sunday. “So it’s going to be important, and obviously enjoy this one here tonight and then get back to work tomorrow.”
Nathan MacKinnon leads Colorado with nine points (six goals, three assists) this postseason. Landeskog has scored eight points (two goals, six assists), and Mikko Rantanen has scored seven (one goal, six assists). Philipp Grubauer is 4-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and .936 save percentage.
Colorado forward Nazem Kadri was suspended eight games for an illegal check to the head of St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk in Game 2. He served the first two games of the suspension in Games 3 and 4.
The Avalanche went 4-3-1 against the Golden Knights in the regular season. MacKinnon scored six points (two goals, four assists) in eight games to lead Colorado, and defenseman Devon Toews scored three goals. Grubauer went 4-2-1 with a 1.86 GAA and .935 save percentage, and Devan Dubnyk allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 5-2 loss April 28 in his only game with Colorado against Vegas.
Max Pacioretty led Vegas with eight points (six goals, two assists) in seven games against Colorado, but the forward has missed the past 10 games because of an undisclosed injury. Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault each scored three goals in eight games. Marc-Andre Fleury was 4-3-0 with a 2.14 GAA and .932 save percentage, and Robin Lehner allowed two goals on 21 shots in a 2-1 loss May 10 in his only game.
Colorado went 5-2-1 against Minnesota. MacKinnon scored 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in seven games, and Rantanen scored five goals in eight games. Grubauer was 5-2-0 with a 2.81 GAA and an .886 save percentage. Hunter Miska allowed four goals on 33 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss Jan. 31 in his only game.
Kirill Kaprizov, Ryan Hartman and Victor Rask led the Wild with seven points against the Avalanche (three goals, four assists in eight games for each), and Kevin Fiala scored four goals. Cam Talbot was 2-3-0 with a 3.64 GAA and an .899 save percentage, and Kaapo Kahkonen was 1-2-0 with a 4.34 GAA and an .879 save percentage.
The Avalanche and Golden Knights have never played a postseason series.
It would be the fourth time the Avalanche and Wild meet in the playoffs. Minnesota won two of the previous three series, most recently defeating Colorado in seven games in the 2014 Western Conference First Round.