DENVER (AP) — Tyler Bozak and the St. Louis Blues experienced just about every emotion imaginable over the course of a win-or-season-ends game in which they fell behind by three goals.
Ultimately, they landed on this improbable one — elation.
Bozak scored 3:38 into overtime and the Blues fended off elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals, overcoming a pair of deficits in a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.
Bozak, a fourth-line center, unleashed a shot from near the blueline that got past Darcy Kuemper, capping a remarkable comeback for St. Louis.
“It was an amazing hockey game,” Bozak said. “I’m sure everyone that was watching thought the same thing.”
Robert Thomas had two goals, including the tying tally with 56 seconds left in regulation, for a resilient Blues team. It’s the latest game-tying goal for the Blues when facing elimination, according to NHL Stats. Vladimir Tarasenko and Justin Faulk also scored, Nick Leddy had four assists and Pavel Buchnevich had two.
They never doubted — even down 3-0 late in the second period and 4-3 late in the third.
“You’ve got nothing to lose, you might as well throw it all out there,” Thomas said. “That was our mentality.”
The comeback offset a hat trick from Nathan MacKinnon, who looked like he might have just turned in a signature moment with goal No. 3. He went end-to-end, working his way around Blues defenseman Leddy with nifty stick work and lifting a shot over goaltender Ville Husso for a 4-3 lead. It was his second career postseason hat trick.
Hats hit the ice.
“Doesn’t matter,” MacKinnon said of his feat. “Looking to get a win.”
Thomas tied it up with Husso on the bench for an extra skater, setting the stage for Bozak, who played college hockey down the road at the University of Denver.
To think, he didn’t play much down the stretch of the third period, with the Blues rolling out just three lines. When he got his chance in OT, he made the most of it.
“There’s definitely no such thing as a bad shot,” Bozak said. “So just tried to get it through the traffic and it went in. So that’s awesome.”
Game 6 is Friday in St. Louis.
The Blues have rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a playoff series twice in their history _ 1999 against Phoenix and 1991 versus Detroit.
They’re looking to write another chapter.
“This team’s come from behind quite a bit this year in games so they don’t give up,” Blues coach Craig Berube said.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog also scored and Bowen Byram had two assists for the Avalanche, who were on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference final for the first time since 2002.
Instead, they have to wait — and wonder. The second-round has proven to be a big hurdle for the Avalanche. They’ve been eliminated at this stage in each of the last three postseasons.
“You sulk for three minutes and you move on. Simple as that,” Landeskog said. “It’s playoff hockey. It’s not supposed to be easy.”
Husso made 30 saves for St. Louis. He took over in Game 3 when Jordan Binnington was injured following a collision between Nazem Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen that caused Kadri to crash into Binnington.
Afterward, Kadri received racist death threats on social media, which led to increased security to protect him. He responded in Game 4 with a hat trick. On Wednesday, fans along the boards held up signs that read “Stand with Naz.”
Kuemper stopped 25 shots.
MacKinnon came out flying in the first period, taking five shots and scoring twice to give the Colorado an early 2-0 lead. Those were the first two goals of the series for MacKinnon, who has seven in the postseason.
The speedy MacKinnon also had an assist to give him 82 career playoff points. He became the fourth player in franchise history with 80 or more postseason points, joining the company of Sakic (188), Peter Forsberg (159) and Peter Stastny (81).
After Landeskog made it 3-0 just over 4 minutes into the second period, Tarasenko knocked in his first goal of the series 10 1/2 minutes later to jumpstart the Blues.
“We got on our heels a little bit,” said MacKinnon, whose team is 4-0 on the road in these playoffs. “We wanted it so bad, I guess. … Win the third, go to the conference finals, whatever. It’s one period. Got to keep our game going, stay aggressive. That’s what we’ll do.”
Serbia’s Nikola Jokic secures largest contract in NBA history at US$303 million
Jokic, the two-time reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP), is now secured to the Nuggets for a total of six seasons for US$303 million.
The deal includes a player option and a trade kicker. The contract will kick in during the 2023-24 season at US$46.6 million and climb every season until 2027-28 when Jokic is set to make US$61.5 million.
Jokic, 27, averaged 27.1 points, 13.8 rebounds and 7.9 assists in 74 games for the Nuggets last season, to win the league’s top individual honour for a second straight season, becoming the 15th player to win at least two MVP awards in his career and the 10th to win them in back-to-back seasons.
“I don’t know what else you can say about Nikola at this point. He has consistently improved his game, he has consistently proven people wrong when they doubt him and he is consistently the best player on the floor night in and night out. I have said it many times before, I am extremely grateful to coach Nikola Jokic and just as grateful for the bond that we have built off the court in our seven years together,” said Nuggets coach, Michael Malone.
Jokic, who was born in Sombor, Serbia, was the No. 41 overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. He came to the league a year later and quickly made himself an essential part of Denver’s plans before blossoming into an All-Star for the first time in the 2018-19 season.
Now a four-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection, Jokic has become arguably the greatest passing big player in the history of the NBA.
Sports in Canada – How to Get Your Sports Interest Awakened
If most of your friends all love sports, but you feel more or less left out because the interest is just not there, it might just be that you haven’t found the right sport yet. There are so many different sports out there, that many people are simply surprised. If there’s one sport you don’t really like, there might just be another one more suitable for you.
Maybe you have checked out some NFL predictions and placed some bets but never tried the sport for yourself? Even if you’ve learned a lot from reading different sports news and checking NFL expert picks, it is never the same as trying out the sport yourself. Once you do, chances are you’ll instantly fall in love with it.
What are the most popular sports in Canada?
To find the right sport for you, you will have to do a bit of research. First of all, you have to figure out which sport may catch your interest. Next, you will have to figure out which sports options are available in your area. In Canada, the most popular sports include ice hockey, lacrosse, baseball, and cricket. There are, of course, many other types of sports to choose from in this beautiful country, but these are just the most popular ones. Outdoor sports are very popular in Canada, and you may be able to try out rock climbing, skiing, and snowboarding, depending on where you live.
Try it out for yourself
Reading about and watching different sports can be very informative, yet it’s not the same as trying them out yourself. What you might want to check is if there are some trial sessions you can do in your local area.
Take a mate with you
Sometimes, it’s much easier to try out new things if you’re not doing them alone, but with a friend instead. If you’re missing some motivation, it can be very helpful to bring a mate, as you will feel more obligated to go. Maybe the sport you decided to try out will bring you and your friend even closer together.
Team sports or individual sports
There are many benefits when doing team sports. Not only will you make new friends, but you will also learn a lot about working together with other people. But if you’re better at being on your own there are many individual sports to choose from.
Guide: 3 ways to get more into sports
Being active every single day is something most people might know is recommended. But it is far from everyone active enough in their daily lives for many different reasons. One of the reasons for not doing any sports or physical activity can be because of limited time and interest. There are ways to figure out a way to a more active life, which you can find more information on in this article.
One really important factor when it comes to doing sports is interest. It is important that you have a general interest in a chosen sport to find the motivation. Lack of motivation is one of the key factors to many people skipping physical activities, so make sure you find something you will like when it comes to finding a relevant sport.
Finding the right sport
Luckily there are so many different types of sports you can do, so if soccer or volleyball is not your thing, there are many more. If you’re already familiar with sports betting and nfl picks against the spread, maybe you should look into this type of sport and try it out for yourself. The good thing about being in Canada is you can not only play fun games but try out many outdoor sports as well. Maybe skiing, snowboarding, or mountain biking is something to consider.
The wild, beautiful nature makes it so worth it to be outside while doing sports. The best thing you can do is to do some proper research in terms of sports options around you. If you want to know more sports news for different sports categories, you might find this site relevant.
Take a friend with you
Sometimes new things are easier if you’re two people doing it. If you want to attend a new sport, it might be a good idea to take your friend with you even if it is just for a trial session. Maybe you will both enjoy the sport and have an activity together for a long time. When you’re going somewhere with someone else, it is also more motivating as you feel more obligated to go.
Try different sports
Why not try out some different sports to see which ones you’ll like the most. Some places might offer a trial session, so you know what you’re in for before signing up for a membership.
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