Avalanche overwhelm Coyotes to take 3-1 series lead

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August 18, 2020 12:50 AM

Nazem Kadri had two goals and an assist, Philipp Grubauer stopped 14 shots and the Colorado Avalanche overwhelmed the Arizona Coyotes 7-1 Monday to take a 3-1 lead their first-round playoff series.

The Avalanche jumped on Arizona after losing 4-2 in Game 3, scoring three first-period goals, two by Kadri on the power play.

Matt Calvert, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and an assist. Grubauer was sharp after Pavel Francouz started Game 3.

Matt Nieto and Joonas Donskoi also scored to put Colorado in position to clinch the series Wednesday in the Edmonton bubble.

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The Coyotes had numerous defensive breakdowns and took three penalties while falling into the early hole, leaving goalie Darcy Kuemper defenseless.

Kuemper gave up four goals on 22 shots before being replaced by Antti Raanta in the third period and Jakob Chychrun scored for the Coyotes, who were held to 15 shots.

Arizona played its rope-a-Yote style to near perfection to win Game 3, absorbing Colorado's near-constant pressure and counterattacking when the opportunities arose.

Kuemper made it work, stopping 49 shots for the second time this postseason, and the Coyotes blocked 27 shots in front of him.

Arizona wanted to be more aggressive offensively, as it was in Game 2, but Colorado had the game's first six shots and scored late in the first period when a Coyotes turnover led to an odd-man rush. Nieto scored it by angling his skate to knock the puck past Kuemper on a feed from Calvert.

Colorado kept up the pressure, leading to Arizona's third penalty in the opening period. The Avalanche converted on the power play, going up 2-0 on Kadri's rebound two minutes after Nieto's goal.

Kadri scored again on a power play in the closing seconds of the first period, punching in a rebound after the Coyotes allowed Hart Trophy finalist Nathan MacKinnon an open rush at Kuemper.

Donskoi made it 4-0 midway through the second period on another odd-man rush, one-timing a pass from Andre Burakovsky past Kuemper's glove side.

Arizona finally showed some signs of offensive life, scoring its first power-play goal of the series on a wrist shot by Chychrun from the right circle.

Raanta, who had been out since Game 2 against Nashville, replaced Kuemper to start the third period and gave up a goal 19 seconds in. Makar shook defenseman Alex Goligoski with a nifty move and beat Raanta stick side to make it 5-1.

Notes: Colorado C Vladislav Namestnikov missed his second straight game after leaving Game 2 in the second period. ... Arizona leading scorer Nick Schmaltz missed his eighth straight game since suffering a head injury in an exhibition game. ... MacKinnon has a least a point in all seven postseason games (two goals, seven assists). ... Conor Garland, Arizona's leading goal scorer during the regular season, was injured in the first and did not play the final two periods.