Colorado Avalanche goalie Andrew Hammond (35) warms up before game five against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on April 20, 2018. (Photo: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
And happy to be home.
The Colorado Avalanche returned to Denver on Saturday, fresh off its dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind win over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Friday night.
Down 1-0, Avs forward Nathan MacKinnon patiently feathered a pass to Gabriel Landeskog in front of the net and Landy put it home to tie the game at 15:49.
Not even three minutes later, Sven Andrighetto put rebound home and the Avs hung on over the final 1:28 for the improbable win, one that snapped a seven-game road losing streak against the Predators.
Now, it's back to Pepsi Center for game six on Sunday.
"It was our goal to come back here, playing on home ice in front of our fans. We're really excited for tomorrow," Andrighetto said shortly after the Avs landed at DIA on Saturday.
Look for third-string goalie Andrew Hammond to be back in net Sunday for the Avs. With the top two goalies, Semyon Varlamov and Jonathan Bernier sideined due to injuries, Hammond stepped in Friday night and was phenomenal, making 44 saves and tying the Avalanche record for most saves in a regulation playoff game.
There's something about the big moments that brings out the best in Hammond.
"If I could put my finger on it, I would," Hammond said Saturday. "I guess I enjoy the pressure of it and you enjoy knowing you need to be a difference-maker. As a goalie, that's something I've always tried to thrive on. You want to be the one that makes the last save to win the game."
While not playing perfectly in the series, the Avs have not been overwhelmed by the moment at all, playing very well in a 5-3 win in game three then bouncing back after a tough loss in game four.
It's all part of the growing process for head coach Jared Bednar's young club.
"If you're going to win, you have to, at some point, enjoy your wins, struggle through your losses and then turn the page," Bednar said. "That's what our guys are learning. I think that approach is a winning approach."
The Avs took little time to enjoy Friday night's game five win, knowing they still trail in the series three games to two.
"Lot of work left," forward Gabriel Landeskog admitted on Saturday. "We don't want to lose two in a row here at Pepsi Center so it's going to be a fun one."
Bring it on.
Saturday comments from Landeskog.
Saturday comments from Andrew Hammond.
Saturday comments from Sven Andrighetto.
Saturday comments from head coach Jared Bednar.