The fireworks started early and lasted 60 minutes.
When they did end, the Colorado Avalanche had outlasted the Edmonton Oilers, 8-6, in game one of the Western Conference Final at Ball Arena on Tuesday night.
Evander Kane started the scoring for the Oilers at 5:04 of the first period. But 36 seconds later, J.T. Compher answered for the Avalanche and the race was on.
Colorado kept the pressure on, getting a goal from Nathan MacKinnon to go up 2-1. After Edmonton's Zach Hyman tied the game with 23 seconds left in the first period, the Avs again struck quickly. Cale Makar picked up the puck and fired it past Oilers goalie Mike Smith nine seconds later to give the Avs a 3-2 lead with 14 seconds remaining in the first period.
There was more offensive firepower in the second period. Nazem Kadri put home a power play goal 32 seconds into the period. Mikko Rantanen, Compher and Andrew Cogliano scored in succession to give the Avs a 7-3 advantage with 3:09 left in the second period.
The Oilers battled back. Connor McDavid closed the gap to 7-5 with a goal late in the second period.
Then Derek Ryan and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each scored to get the Oilers within 7-6 at 12:36. The Avs were able to survive a 6-5 advantage for the Oilers in the final couple minutes before Gabriel Landeskog scored an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining to seal it up.
Both teams had to go to their backup goalies. Edmonton starter Mike Smith left after allowing six goals in the first 26 minutes. Mikko Koskinen took over and saved 20 of 21 shots.
Avalanche starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper left in the second period and Pavel Francouz took over. He stopped 18 of 21 shots by the Oilers.
Colorado takes a 1-0 series lead with game two on Thursday, June 2 at 6 p.m. at Ball Arena in Denver.
Postgame comments from Avs forwards Nathan MacKinnon and J.T. Compher:
Postgame comments from Avs defenseman Cale Makar and goalie Pavel Francouz:
Postgame comments from Avs head coach Jared Bednar: