In 2008, the Avalanche had a 3-2 series lead and this time, they didn't let it slip away.
Starting quickly, Joe Sakic made a nice defensive play shorthanded and dished it to Ben Guite who had a breakaway. Guite simply flicked the puck between the glove of Backstrom and the Avs were up 1-0.
The Wild managed to tie the game in the second period with a goal from Aaron Voros, but Ryan Smyth managed to respond for the Avs.
With a 2-1 lead, the spotlight was firmly on Jose Theodore and the defense and both of them delivered. Adam Foote did a terrific job on Marian Gaborik, who ended up with a mere one point (an assist in Game 6) in the series while Ruslan Salei and Scott Hannan did great jobs containing the other Wild Stars - notably Demitra and Rolston.
Theodore turned in another brilliant performance, making 34 saves on 35 shots.
The Avs are the only team in the first round to have every player average over 10 minutes of ice time a game. It was a real team effort for Colorado. In the playoffs, you need secondary scoring and in this game, the third and fourth lines really stepped up.
As the final seconds ticked down, Sakic made defensive play after defensive play and it is no surprise the veteran presence on the Avalanche played flawlessly in the dying moments.
Three Stars of the Game
1. Ryan Smyth (GWG, really came to play and showed why the Avs signed him)
2. Adam Foote (No one else to thank for giving Gaborik nightmares)
3. Jose Theodore (MVP of the series, saved 199 of 211 shots)
So, Who Will The Avalanche Play?
That question will be answered on Tuesday when Calgary and San Jose play Game 7 of their respective series. If Calgary wins, the Avalanche will play the Dallas Stars. If San Jose wins, the Avalanche will face the Detroit Red Wings.
Both teams seemed to have had our numbers this year, but at this point, I'd much rather play the Stars and Marty Turco, rather than the Red Wings who have Hasek and Osgood as a tandem.
Last Night...In The Playoffs
(1) Detroit defeated (8) Nashville
3-0 (Detroit Wins Series 4-2)
(7) Calgary defeated (2) San Jose
2-0 (Series Tied 3-3)
(5) Dallas defeated (4) Anaheim)
4-1 (Dallas Wins Series 4-2)
Note: If you want any proof about how hard it is to repeat as a Stanley Cup champ: this marks the third straight year the defending champion will lose in the first round.
Tonight...In The Playoffs
(1) Montreal vs (8) Boston
Game 7 - 7:00 PM EST
(3) Washington vs (6) Philadelphia
Game 6 - 7:00 PM EST - VERSUS
Try To Watch
There's nothing more exciting than a Game 7 in the NHL Playoffs. Boston has won two straight over the heavily favored Canadiens and they're trying to prove all of the critics wrong. Most said that this would be the most lopsided matchup in the first round but the Bruins have proved otherwise.
The following teams have been eliminated:
(4) New Jersey
After Sean Avery's antics of turning his back to the play and waving his hands in front of Martin Brodeur in an attempt to screen him, both players chose not to shake hands after the Rangers eliminated the Devils.
Here's a look at what Sean Avery did to get on the bad side of Martin Brodeur. The NHL has now clarified that it will be considered a penalty.