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NHL - US Sports: Makar focused on ultimate prize

09 June 2022 04:23:39 EST
Colorado aren't settling for glory in the West

Defenceman Cale Makar says winning the Western Conference isn't enough for the Colorado Avalanche who have earned the opportunity to compete for the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup.

The Avalanche are 1.50 to be crowned Stanley Cup Champions after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final.

Clean sweep of the Oilers

In the series clinching Game 4, the Avalanche responded from being two goals behind twice to eventually win 6-5 in overtime and 23-year-old Makar was again the star of the show.

Makar's assist on the game-winning-goal for Artturi Lehkonen was his fifth point of the game (one goal, four assists) becoming the first blue-liner in NHL history to score five points in a series-clinching game.

In fact, only two skaters have had more points in such a scenario: Wayne Gretzky (seven, 1985 Division Final with the Edmonton Oilers) and John Anderson (six, 1986 Division Semi-final with the Hartford Whalers).

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Back in the big-time

Makar led all skaters with 29.03 of ice time in the game and his performance proved pivotal as the Avalanche reached the Cup final for the time since winning it in 2001.

Drafted in the first round of the 2017 NHL draft with the fourth-pick, Makar has amassed 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in the playoffs so far, helping the Avalanche past the Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Oilers.

Makar said to the media: "Obviously it's a cool accomplishment. You're making it to the biggest stage of the world in hockey, and it's exciting. You take it in for the night and then, for me, kind of move on and turn the focus to the next step.

"That's what's made this team successful so far this year. We don't look too far ahead. We stay in the moment."

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