The showdown draws closer.
On Wednesday, the Colorado Avalanche and Tampa Bay Lightning will open the Stanley Cup Final at Ball Arena.
Sunday, Avalanche captain Gabe Landeskog said the Avs are excited to have the opportunity to take on the two-time defending champion.
"To be the best you have to beat the best," Landeskog said. "These guys are the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions. We're excited. [It will] be a good matchup."
While the Avs beat the Lightning in the two meetings in the regular season, Tampa Bay has more playoff experience than the Avs, who are making their first trip to the Stanley Cup Final since the 2000-2001 season.
Tampa Bay is looking to win its third straight Cup.
Avalanche rookie defenseman Bowen Byram is experiencing the playoffs for the first time.
"The biggest thing for me playing through the last couple rounds is learning from my mistakes," Byram said. "Stuff happens. You have to put it behind you, reflect on it, learn from it. Experience is a huge thing but we've been through three rounds so I would say our team has a lot of experience as well."
A large reason for the Lightning's success is goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. In three close-out games in the playoffs, he is 3-0 with a .980 save percentage, stopping 99 of 101 shots.
"He's big. He's mobile. He makes good reads. He's a calm goalie that makes the stops he needs to make. Best goalie in the league," Landeskog said.
The Avalanche will practice again on Monday.
Click/tap on the picture below for the full remarks from Landeskog and Byram.