Kraken hold off Avalanche in Game 7 victory, sending reigning Stanley Cup champions home

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Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice and Philipp Grubauer was stellar in stopping 33 shots in the Seattle Kraken’s defeat of the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche with a 2-1 win in Game 7 on Sunday night.

The Kraken became the first expansion team to beat the Avalanche in their inaugural playoff series, according to NHL Stats.

Bjorkstrand scored one goal on a fortuitous deflection — the puck hit off a stick and glove — and another with a liner past goaltender Alexandar Georgiev that clanged off the post. 

Seattle grabbed the lead in every game in the series.

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Yanni Gourde skates

Yanni Gourde #37 of the Seattle Kraken advances the puck against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 30, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Next up for the second-year Kraken is a second-round series against the Stars that opens in Dallas on Tuesday night.

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Mikko Rantanen was credited with a power-play goal for Colorado after a shot by Nathan MacKinnon clipped him and went in. MacKinnon appeared to score early in the third period to tie it at two, but Seattle challenged the play and the goal was disallowed because Colorado was offside.

Alexandar Georgiev in net

Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the Colorado Avalanche tends goal against the Seattle Kraken in the first period in Game 7 of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 30, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The Avalanche pulled Georgiev with under two minutes remaining but couldn’t get the equalizer. It allowed the Kraken to accomplish another franchise first — a series-clinching celebration.

Oliver Bjorkstrand celebrates goal

Oliver Bjorkstrand #22 of the Seattle Kraken celebrates his second goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period in Game 7 of the First Round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena on April 30, 2023, in Denver, Colorado. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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With Sunday’s loss, Colorado has now lost its last six Game 7s.



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