Well, you can’t win them all. After strong showings in their first 2 games against St Louis and Dallas, Colorado loses 4-3 in overtime to Vegas. Meaning that they clinch the second seed in the western conference. Before we dissect who Colorado will match against come playoff time, let’s go through this game!
The first period saw no goals, although the competition was fierce. Colorado outshot Vegas 10-5 in the first and was as dynamic offensively as ever. To continue the theme of penalties in these playoffs, we saw a total of 4 in the first period alone.
Colorado had three power-play opportunities to the Golden Knights one, and both teams did not capitalize. The Avs even had a 5 on 3 man advantage to try and get on the board first, but Robin Lehner had other plans.
We go to the second where there is far more high scoring action. Only it wasn’t Colorado who got on the board first. They got into some penalty trouble when captain Nathan Mackinnon went to the box for interference. Cue Shea Theodore snapping a puck from the blue line and Jonathan Marchessault with a slick tip-in behind Grubauer. Golden Knights 1-0.
Playing the catch-up game for any team sucks, especially when scored on first. After being upset for the penalty early in the period, the Avs had another powerplay. After an absolute barnstorm in front of Lehner, Nathan Mackinnon redeems his past mistake with a slick spin-o-rama move to tie it up. 1-1 tie game.
The tie was short-lived after another scramble, this time in front of the Avs net. After a misread by Philipp Grubauer led to him getting out of position, the puck was eventually banged in by Nicolas Roy, sending momentum back to Vegas. 2-1 Golden Knights
The forecheck was strong with Colorado though, as they responded quickly after that 2-1 goal. After great pressure by Joonas Donskoi in deep, J.T. Compher manages to put a nifty move on Lehner to deke him out of the crease. This led to Donskoi cashing in and once again we are all knotted up at two goals apiece. 2-2 tie.
As if you don’t see enough in these crazy playoffs, we get something rare. A playoff penalty Shot! Jonathan Marchessault once again this time, after Ryan Graves trips him up. A simple move on Grubauer and once again, Vegas goes out in front. 3-2 Golden Knights.
Surely that would be all she wrote right? Well, you should know the Colorado Avalanche by now. This team never quits. Avs pull the goalie and we see the pressure being at full force. Nazem Kadri hits the crossbar, J.T. Compher bangs it home and once again folks. We’re tied. 3-3 tie.
Hey, overtime in a round-robin game! Fun! Considering this is not the official playoff rules for these two clubs, we get 3 on 3 OT! In the final 20 seconds of overtime, Alex Tuch streaks into Colorado’s zone and fires a dart into the back of the net. 4-3 Golden Knights in Overtime.
3 Stars of the game.
1st Star: J.T. Compher ( 1 goal, 1 assist)
2nd Star: Nazem Kadri (2 assists)
3rd Star: Mikko Rantanen (2 assists)
Vegas Golden Knights:
1st Star: Jonathan Marchessault (2 goals )
2nd Star: Alex Tuch (1 goal, GWG)
3rd Star: Robin Lehner (32/35 saves, .914 Sv%)
Like I said before, sometimes you just can’t win every game. Colorado was able to keep pace with Vegas for the entire 60 minutes of regulation and fought incredibly hard. Shots were 35-26 on the night for Colorado, meaning that Robin Lehner had a heck of a night.
Philipp Grubauer was not the sharpest in goal, but here’s hoping he bounces back in time for their next series. The Avs are set to take on the Arizona Coyotes, fresh off their series win over the Nashville Predators. I am personally excited, as well as many other fans, to see just how far this team can go in the playoffs. Now is the time for this club when the real fun begins!
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