Avalanche moving on in playoffs for 1st time since 2008

By PAT GRAHAM

AP Sports Writer

DENVER — The brief message on social media from Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov was rhetorical in nature: “How is your bracket ?”

Because obviously, it’s pretty messy.

The eighth-seeded Avalanche certainly played a big role in that. Colorado knocked off the Calgary Flames — the top team in the West — in five games for its first playoff series win since 2008. It’s on to the second round, where Colorado faces the winner of the Vegas-San Jose series. The Golden Knights lead the Sharks 3-2.

While others may be surprised, Nathan MacKinnon and his teammates have been asserting that this postseason would be entirely different. This time, unlike a year ago, they wouldn’t be content with merely making the playoffs.

This time, they wanted to make some noise even if they again entered as an eight seed and faced a No. 1 seed.

“We’re not just happy to be here,” said MacKinnon.

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