To say the Avs had a tough go of things in Minnesota for Games 3 and 4 of their opening round series would be a major understatement.
Colorado lost both games, scoring once, and put a mere 34 shots on goal — including just 12 in the Game 4 loss — as the Wild rallied from 2-0 down to even the series. Now, heading back to Xcel for Game 6, Nathan MacKinnon thinks he knows how to solve his team’s road woes.
“We have to play with a little more poise,” MacKinnon said, per the Denver Post. “We were rushing plays. Other than the crowd, everything’s the same. We have to get off to a better start, that’s for sure.”
A better start is definitely key. The Avs were out-shot 36-11 in the two opening periods in Minnesota, though that disparity was mitigated by the fact the Wild only scored one first-period marker in the two games. Colorado’s biggest issue, it seemed, was getting quality chances on rookie netminder Darcy Kuemper who, at one point, had a shutout streak of 110 minutes and allowed just one goal on his first 48 shots faced.
When the games have been played at the Pepsi Center, the Avs have been dynamic offensively. They’ve gone for 13 goals, most of which have come from the red-hot MacKinnon-Paul Stastny-Gabriel Landeskog line — and tonight, head coach Patrick Roy expects the trio to carry the team once again, but this time in hostile territory.
“I’m not guaranteeing any results, but we know how it’s going to be over there,” he said. “We know how their fans are going to react, we know how they’re going to play. There aren’t going to be any surprises. If they beat us, they beat us.”
“We’re going to have to play the exact same way we did (Saturday).”