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DENVER — Oliver Bjorkstrand scored twice, Philipp Grubauer was stellar in stopping 33 shots and the Seattle Kraken eliminated the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche with a 2-1 win in Game 7 on Sunday night.

The Kraken became the first expansion team to defeat the reigning Stanley Cup champs in their inaugural playoff series, according to NHL Stats.

“I think they are about as highly competitive as any team we played,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “They are deep and every line is the same.”

Bjorkstrand scored one goal on a fortuitous deflection — the puck hit off a stick and glove — and another with a liner past goaltender Alexandar Georgiev that clanged off the post. Seattle grabbed the lead in every game in the series.

“Within the group, we believe in ourselves,” Bjorkstrand said in his bench interview on TNT after the win. “It’s been like that all series. … We knew what we had to do to come in here and win the game.”

Next up for the second-year Kraken is a second-round series against the Dallas Stars that opens on Tuesday night in Texas.

“They are playing the way they were taught how to play and Grubauer was incredible in this series,” Bednar said. “They make it hard on you to create chances. They are a 100-point team. They are a good team.”

Grubauer, who played three seasons for the Avalanche, finished the series against his former teammates with 231 saves and a 2.68 goals-against average.

“He was unbelievable. Every shot he was seeing, he would stop. He was excellent back there,” Seattle forward Yanni Gourde told TNT outside the locker room. “He was our rock, and there’s no way we win this series if he’s not in there.”

Mikko Rantanen was credited with a power-play goal for Colorado after a shot by Nathan MacKinnon clipped him and went in. MacKinnon appeared to score early in the third period to tie it at 2, but Seattle challenged the play, and the goal was disallowed due to Colorado being offside.

The Avalanche pulled Georgiev with under two minutes remaining but couldn’t get the equalizer. It allowed the Kraken to accomplish another franchise first — a series-clinching celebration.

“We had success when we played them tight and simple,” Bjorkstrand said of the Avalanche. “When they were at their best, they had space. The success came from moving our feet and putting pucks deep.”

Colorado has now lost its past six Game 7s, and Seattle’s win continued an historic road-team trend this postseason. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, road teams are 31-18, the most road victories in the opening round since the NHL went to four rounds of seven-game series in 1987.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Stanley Cup champion Avalanche out, as Kraken win 1st series