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NHL - US Sports: Sakic additions proving pivotal

The Colorado Avalanche have reached the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 21 years, and General Manager Joe Sakic says his in-season acquisitions have proved crucial to their run.

The Avalanche are 1/2 to be crowned Champions after sweeping the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Final to win the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl.

Oilers no match for Avalanche

One such addition, winger Artturi Lehkonen who arrived from the Montreal Canadiens, scored the overtime series clinching goal in Game 4 against the Oilers taking his post-season points tally to 11 (six goals, five assists) over 14 games.

A year ago, Lehkonen also scored in overtime to send the Canadiens to an unlikely Stanley Cup Final, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Lightning or Rangers to come

This season, it was for the Avalanche who will appear in the Final for the first time since last winning it in 2001, and they will face either the Lightning or New York Rangers.

Defenceman Josh Manson was also added from the Anaheim Ducks to provide stability on the blue-line, and Andrew Cogliano (from the San Jose Sharks) and Nico Sturm (from the Minnesota Wild) brought in to provide strength at centre.

All have produced in big moments for Colorado in the playoffs, with game-winning goals or assists with Sakic saying to the media: "You look at any championship team, they have depth on all lines and they all have to chip in somewhat. Your best players still have to be your best if you want a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup, that's for sure, but you also need those [others] contributing and taking some of the pressure off of them."

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