Makar, Hutchinson help Avalanche force Game 7 against Stars
EDMONTON, AB The biggest boost for the Colorado Avalanche in must-win game after must-win game comes from an unlikely source their third-string goaltender. Michael Hutchinson stopped 27 shots and the Avalanche beat the Dallas Stars 4-1 on Wednesday night to force a decisive Game 7 in their second-round playoff series. He deserves all the credit.Rookie defenseman Cale Makar scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, while Nikita Zadorov and Mikko Rantanen also added goals. Nathan MacKinnon scored an empty-netter for the Avalanche, who staved off elimination for a second straight game to tie the series at three wins apiece. We never thought it was going to be a sweep or an easy series, Stars forward Tyler Seguin said.
Draisaitl, MacKinnon, Panarin selected as NHL MVP finalists
The NHL Hart Trophy voters agreed with NHL players in selecting Edmontons Leon Draisaitl, Colorados Nathan MacKinnon and Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers as MVP award finalists. The finalists were announced by the NHL on Tuesday, and determined by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The 24-year-old Draisaitl is seeking to become the first German-born player to win the Hart after leading the NHL with 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists). The 28-year-old Russian was the NHL rookie of the year with Chicago in 2016, and a first-time Hart finalist. Panarin has an opportunity to become the fifth Rangers player to win the honor, and first since Mark Messier in 1992.