Playoff Performer of the Night | Andrew Hammond
Andrew Hammond helped keep the Colorado Avalanche's postseason dreams alive with a 44-save performance in a 3-2 win Friday night to force a Game 6 in the club's first-round series.
Andrew Hammond helped keep the Colorado Avalanche's postseason dreams alive with a 44-save performance Friday night that backed his club to a 3-2 win, forcing a Game 6 in their first-round series against the Nashville Predators.
The start marked Hammond's second in the NHL in over 14 months, and it was the first win in what was just the third start of his NHL postseason career.
"You want to play meaningful hockey," Hammond spoke of his performance postgame. "When the games mean more, I think I try and take my game to another level, and obviously I was able to do that tonight. The guys just kept battling, didn't waver. Even when we got down 1-0 I think we were playing the right way, so I just think it speaks to the character we have here and the no quit. That's the same approach I expect for Game 6 now."
Hammond was dialed in all night and staved off a 17-shot barrage in the final frame, surrendering just one goal to Nick Bonino. Avs teammate Sven Andrighetto beat Preds goaltender and Vezina Trophy finalist, Pekka Rinne, to score the go-ahead goal at 18:32 of the third period.
"We're excited to get another game," Hammond continued to reporters. "We didn't want this one to be the last one of the season, and I think to a man we did whatever we could to make sure that wasn't the case."
It wasn't the first Cinderella story for Hammond either. Most hockey fans will remember Hammond's 2014-15 campaign that earned him the moniker "The Hamburlgar", for going 20-1-2 (which included a 14-0-1 run in his first NHL career starts) to help the Ottawa Senators to an unlikely postseason berth. He allowed two or fewer goals in each of his first 12 career starts to match an NHL record over 75 years old, and it's clear that even Hammond's former teammates are still impressed by his ability to step up when called upon.
🍔🍔🍔 wow...— Mark Stone (@MStoner61) April 21, 2018
With a job well done, the Western Conference series heads back to Pepsi Center Sunday, where the Avalanche will look to take advantage of home ice with puck drop at 7 p.m. ET.