A scramble at the feet of Vegas’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury ended up favoring the Colorado Avalanche as center Nazem Kadri tapped in the game-deciding goal with a little over 40 seconds left in regulation.
Colorado took game two of the four-game series between the two teams at Lake Tahoe with a final of 3-2.
Vegas moves to 10-3-1 on the season while remaining atop of the West Division. The clutch win for Colorado moves them to 8-4-1 on the year and third in the same division.
Vegas has a four-day break before playing the Avalanche Saturday, Feb. 20 for game three of the four game series at Lake Tahoe
Puck drop is set for Noon.
The game got off to a heated start as Colorado’s Dennis Gilbert and Vegas’ Keegan Kolesar dropped the gloves and exchanged blows for about a minute.
Both were given major penalties.
Expect this trend to continue between the two teams as they battle throughout the season for positioning within the Western Conference.
The Avalanche got on the board first with a goal from center Nathan McKinnon early in the first period.
The game would remain 1-0 for the next 30 minutes of play between the first two periods before Vegas’ top left wing Max Pacioretty scored on a power-play goal to tie the game.
The tie would be short-lived, however.
Colorado responded shortly after with a goal from left-wing Brandon Saad, who also assisted on McKinnon’s goal in the first period.
Entering the third period, Vegas was playing from behind, something they had not been doing in the first part of the season.
And once again, Vegas would tie the game off the stick of center Johnathan Marchessault.
The game would stay knotted at two apiece till Kadri’s late-game heroics.
Tuesday’s tilt featured two of the top goalies in the NHL as Colorado’s Philip Grubauer played a terrific game.
Fleury’s elite play, to go along with starter Robin Lehner’s unavailability, might have propped him back to the team’s top goalie moving forward.
It is unclear when Lehner will make his return from the undisclosed upper-body injury. Tuesday was Fleury’s fifth straight start.
Fleury finished with 22 saves while Grubauer had 27.