- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Colorado Avalanche players were thrilled for center Darren Helm after he scored the series-winning goal in his side's 3-2 victory against the St. Louis Blues with just five seconds remaining in regulation.
With their Game 6 triumph away from home, the Avalanche secured a 4-2 series win, and will now play the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Finals, with the winner earning a chance at the Stanley Cup.
It was far from a comfortable win for the Avalanche, needing to come from behind twice.
Firstly, after Justin Faulk gave the Blues a lead in the first period, Colorado's J.T. Compher equalised five minutes into the second frame.
That tie would last less than five minutes before Jordan Kyrou got on the end of a build-up by Andre Burakovsky and Josh Manson, making it 2-1 for the home side, and that score would hold through the second period and the first 10 minutes of the last.
After a penalty gave the Avalanche a power play, Compher capitalised with his second goal of the game, tying things up with just under 10 minutes to play.
With both teams pushing for a late winner, it would be the away side to produce the breakthrough, as Helm found his way past Blues goaltender Ville Husso in the dying seconds to deliver the series win to the Avalanche.
Speaking to post-game media, Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog said it was a joy to see Helm be the hero, scoring his first goal of the postseason when his team needed it most.
"There's no other guy that deserves it as much as he does," he said.
"You talk about his work ethic, but he's the guy that comes to the rink with a smile on his face, gets along with everybody."
Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper shared similar sentiments, calling it "a super-clutch goal".
He added: "It's always fun to see someone like Darren, who plays the game so hard, (but) always doesn't get rewarded with the points – to come up with a big goal like that is really special."
Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said he could tell from the jump his side was up for the challenge, and that there is still plenty of work to do.
"From the drop of the puck, we were ready to go," he said. "You could tell the belief was there."
"We're only halfway to our goal... we're just getting started."
The Blues were left licking their wounds, convinced they side were good enough, but just failed the test.
"We feel like we're a good team and we let that series slip," Blues center Brayden Schenn said.
St. Louis coach Craig Berube added: "It's tough, a tough way to end it. That's the way it goes. Our guys battle hard."