Gabriel, come blow your horn!
The captain capped the sixth game as the Avalanche finally, at last call, beat, seeming all by himself, the Sharks 2 minutes, 32 seconds into overtime to create Seventh Heaven.
Gabriel Landeskog, who had been rather quiet Monday night, went loud, and the foghorn blew to signify the Avs’ victory at The Can.
He had help all over the ice. Goalie Philipp Grubauer saved an earlier game with his left pad. This time, in overtime, his right pad saved the night before the winning goal.
It was Moby Dick vs. the Great White.
It was Santiago, the old man of the sea, against the giant marlin.
It was the Avalanche against the Sharks, and three periods was never enough.
In do-or-die, the Avs did, 4-3. The teams will play the finale Wednesday night. Do you know the way to San Jose?
No, the Avalanche and the Sharks were just getting started as Monday night’s sixth game was coerced into overtime when San Jose scored at 17:32 of the third period for a third tie at 3-3.
Because of Joseph Taylor Compher, the Avs had gotten that far.
From believin’ to even?
The Avs pushed, poked, prodded and provoked the Sharks, but they couldn’t put away those savvy Sharks.
J.T. Compher scored two goals and assisted on another goal as the Avs would refuse to lose.
Compher, an Illinois native and former University of Michigan captain, played the game of his life – and more – in leading in The Can-Do Avalanche to a 3-2 lead at The Can Monday night.
The third-line center set up the first goal of the evening – before the most raucous crowd at the arena since, oh, the Nuggets’ past playoff game – with a laser-beam pass to Tyson Jost at the 4:04 mark of the second period. Jost squeezed the puck past San Jose’s Martin Jones to, uh, break the ice. Jost in time.
The Sharks, who had been denied by Grubauer and two post rocket ricochets, tied the score with 14:36 remaining in the tumultuous period.
However, here’s J.T. In the middle just inside the offensive blue line, he fired through the throng and high and right past Jones for the Avs’ second goal. Fifty-four seconds later, and with just 10 seconds remaining in the second, those dastardly Sharks tied again.
So, the Avalanche season came down to 20 minutes.
Four minutes into the third period, Compher scored his fourth goal of this impossible series.
And with three minutes left, it seemed as if the Avalanche would force the seventh game. Yet, 32 seconds afterward, the Sharks relied on their defensemen again to score.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic made it 3-3.
The first time Colorado and California met in a playoff series, an earthquake occurred during the game at the Shark Tank.
The Can was shaken and stirred by a quiver and a quaver Monday night.
In the Colorado span of the franchise’s history of 23 seasons (one was cancelled due to lockout) and 21 previous playoff series, the Avalanche had reached a seventh game 10 times. Now, 11.
Despite winning a pair of Stanley Cups the Avalanche has lost six seven-game series and won four.
However, just three months ago, the Avs didn’t seem to be on track to be playing the Sharks, or any other team, in the postseason.
The Avalanche Meltdown on Ice reached rink bottom on January 9 when Nate MacKinnon started yelling at coach Jared Bednar on the bench near the end of another dreadful defeat in Calgary.
A month earlier the Avs owned a 17-7-5 record and had been in first place overall in the West. Then came the skid. In February the Avs’ mark was 23-24-11, and they were in danger of being left out of the playoffs.
Perhaps the MacKinnon-Bednar mini-quarrel eventually would inspire the Avalanche. Bednar would remove Semyon Varlamov from goal and replace him with Germany’s Grubauer, who was terrific when the Avalanche, needing to win almost every game to become a wild card, picked up 18 of a maximum 20 points in a 10-game stretch toward the end of the season.
The Avs have defeated the Flames and taking the Sharks to the finale.
Heavenly Seven, as a result of Cap Kog.