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DENVER (AP) The third-string goalie nicknamed ”Hamburglar

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DENVER (AP) The third-string goalie nicknamed ”Hamburglar” stole a game for Colorado in Nashville.No time for Andrew Hammond to revel in his thievery Custom Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys , though. Game 6 awaits Sunday at the Pepsi Center. Once again, the Avalanche and their surprise goalie with the catchy moniker – he used to have a mask with the McDonald’s “Hamburglar” character on the side – will try to ward off elimination trailing Nashville 3-2 in the first-round series.”Backs against the wall in an elimination game seem to bring out the best in us,” Hammond said Saturday after the team arrived home.In Philadelphia, Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth faces the same kind of pressure Sunday with his team down 3-2 heading home against Pittsburgh. He stopped 30 shots in Game 5 to help the Flyers extend that series.”I’ve been practicing well and feeling good about my game,” said Neuvirth, who’s been banged up this season. ”I believe in myself that I can bring my `A’ game on the big stage.”Hammond certainly brought out his best in what Colorado coach Jared Bednar called ”one of the biggest games he’s had in his career.”The 30-year-old Hammond turned back 44 shots from the top-seeded Predators in Game 5. This after he was thrust into action for the third period of Game 4 when Jonathan Bernier went down with a lower-body injury. Bernier was filling in with starter Semyon Varlamov sidelined by a knee injury.To think, Hammond was essentially a throw-in player during the three-team deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa in November. The Avalanche already had a surplus of goalies, so Hammond spent time in the American Hockey League. Eventually, Hammond was called up, but before making an appearance with Colorado he suffered a concussion. And once he recovered www.officialpenguinsproshop.com , he was briefly sent back to the AHL.Hammond’s only NHL game of the season came on March 28 against Philadelphia, stopping 31 shots in a 2-1 loss.On Friday, Hammond made his first playoff start since April 17, 2015, with Ottawa.”I won’t lie. There are days you wonder if it would happen again for you,” Hammond said. ”As cliche as it is, you stick to the process and try to get better. Fortunately, it all worked out last night. We’re not satisfied, though. We want to keep going and win tomorrow night, and extend the series Pittsburgh Penguins T-Shirts Authentic , and go back to Nashville and play another meaningful hockey game.”The Predators now find themselves trying to avoid becoming the fifth Presidents’ Trophy winners to be eliminated in the first round since 2005-06.”There’s a lot of confidence in the room and belief in the room that we can go to Colorado and win a game,” Predators coach Peter Laviolette said.ABOUT THAT NICKNAMEHammond is ambivalent about being called the ”Hamburglar,” a nickname that’s followed him since his college days at Bowling Green.”To be honest, I don’t know if anyone actually calls me that to my face outside of maybe fans,” said Hammond, who had the “Hamburglar” character on his mask while in Ottawa. ”I have no problem with it. I think the side story it’s taken on has been pretty funny. It adds to it.”Does his family call him that?”No,” he laughed. ”No.”ROAD SCHOLARSThe road team is 4-1 in the Penguins-Flyers series as it shifts back to Philadelphia. Even more, the Penguins are 4-0 in Philly this year, winning by a combined score of 20-4, including 10-1 in Games 3 and 4.”I’m not a huge believer you carry momentum over from one game to the next Pittsburgh Penguins Hoodies Authentic ,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. ”You have to re-generate it. We played some really good hockey games at home down the stretch. We didn’t do it the last two.”ON THE MENDThe Penguins could have forward Patric Hornqvist back in the lineup after he skated with the team Saturday. He’s missed the last two games with an upper-body injury.Hornqvist has 20 career playoff goals, including one in this series.READY TO GOVegas coach Gerard Gallant plans to pick up the intensity at practice, maybe with some 3-on-3 scrimmages featuring a little contact. He doesn’t want his team to become too rusty given the layoff in between series. The expansion Golden Knights could go more than a week between finishing the sweep of Los Angeles on Tuesday and starting their second-round series against San Jose.”In a perfect world, I’d soon have three or four days off and get back at it,” Gallant said. ”I’m sure San Jose is the same way. Any coach would say the same thing.”—AP Sports Writers Teresa M. Walker and Will Graves contributed to this report.— LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Kings spent much of the season waiting for their role players to step up.The contributions they had been seeking finally came, putting the Kings on the verge of making the playoffs.Dustin Brown had a short-handed goal, and Torrey Mitchell and Kyle Clifford also scored to help Los Angeles move back into third place in the Pacific Division with a 3-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night.Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the Kings, who are one point ahead of Anaheim and can secure a postseason berth by earning one point from their final two games.”It’s a big step,” Brown said. ”Things have to go really wrong for us and really good for other teams, but you’re never in until you’re in.”Alexander Kerfoot had a power-play goal and Jonathan Bernier stopped 22 shots for the Avalanche.Colorado leads St. Louis by one point for the second Western Conference wild card Pittsburgh Penguins Hats Authentic , but the Blues have a game in hand. The Avalanche host the Blues on Saturday in the final game of the regular season for both.”We have a young team, but there are still no excuses,” Colorado defenseman Nikita Zadorov said. ”We know we should be in the playoffs. We are a good team and we’ve worked hard all season. We’ve got to get creative.”The Kings played more than 56 minutes with just five defensemen after Derek Forbort was injured when he was checked into the boards by Gabriel Bourque. Alec Martinez played a career-high 32:11, one of four Kings defensemen to play at least 20 minutes.”You ask big minutes out of those guys, to dig in and play with different partners, possibly play the wrong side and different matchups than you’re accustomed to,” Kings coach John Stevens said. ”I thought that effort on the back end in terms of how far they dug in and how hard they competed was excellent.”Stevens could not update the condition of Forbort, who left the dressing room on crutches and unable to put any weight on his right leg.While their defensive depth was pushed to the limits, the Kings got some much-needed offense from their bottom two lines.Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead at 9:29 of the first period thanks to an opportunistic goal by Mitchell. Bernier was caught by surprise when Nate Thompson’s shot hit the boards and bounced into the crease, jumping into the air to avoid sending it back into his own net. Mitchell charged in to score his sixth of the season.Brown made it 2-0 at 12:32 Custom Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys , scoring his 24th on a wrist shot from the edge of the left circle.Clifford scored on a wraparound two minutes into the third period to restore a two-goal lead for the Kings after Kerfoot cut the deficit to 2-1 at 4:33 of the second, going top shelf over Quick’s glove for his second goal in two games.Clifford ended a run of 12 games without a goal. Mitchell hadn’t scored since Feb. 20.”You see what guys are willing to do this time of year and emotionally invest in a game,” Stevens said. ”I thought everybody was willing to dig in when the game mattered. We all know the enormity of this game for both teams, and we knew it was going to take a second and third effort on a lot of plays to get it done.”NOTES: The Kings swept the season series against the Avalanche, limiting them to one goal in each of the three games. … Avalanche forward Colin Wilson had an assist after missing the previous five games with a lower-body injury.UP NEXTAvalanche: Visit the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.Kings: Host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.—

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