Just call former Montreal Canadiens winger Artturi Lehkonen the Western Conference Clincher!
For the second straight year, Artturi Lehkonen scored the overtime winner to clinch the Western Conference Final and send his team to the Stanley Cup Final. He became the first NHL player to clinch a Stanley Cup berth with an overtime goal in two straight seasons since Gordie Drillon did in 1938-39 for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Of course Canadiens fans will never forget the goal Artturi Lehkonen scored 1:39 into overtime in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final last June and sent the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993. Well, 18 days short of the year anniversary of that momentous goal in Canadiens and Stanley Cup playoff history, Lehkonen didn’t waste time again. On Monday night, Lehkonen scored the overtime winner for the Colorado Avalanche 1:19 into the extra frame of Game 4 of the 2022 Western Conference Final to propel the Avalanche past Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers and into their first Stanley Cup Final since 2001.
Here’s a great parallel clip of Lehkonen’s goal on Monday night in Edmonton and one of his goal just over a year ago at he Bell Centre on June 24, 2021:
— Nathan “Grav" (@NathanGraviteh) June 7, 2022
Since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for defenceman for 20-year old defenceman Justin Barron and a 2024 2nd round pick just prior to the March 21 NHL Trade Deadline, Artturi Lehkonen has been even more of a God send for the Avalanche than he was for the Canadiens last season. Lehkonen had six goals and five assists in 18 regular season games after the trade and now has six goals and five assists in 14 Stanley Cup playoff games for the Avs. While Artturi Lehkonen was still a very solid player for the Canadiens, he is prospering even more playing in a high octane offense with the Avalanche as he skates on the second line with centre Mikko Rantanen and right winger Andrei Burakovsky.