The Vegas Golden Knights got their first win of the second round against the Colorado Avalanche on consecutive goals late in the third period from offensive maestros Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
The series moves to 2-1 in favor of Colorado, but following the 3-2 victory, Vegas stays afloat and avoids the 3-0 deficit.
“The crowd was so awesome, the full building was so great, it was so nice to be back in that type of atmosphere again,” Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer told ESPN. “They were huge in the third period for us, sticking with us and keeping the energy levels up. It was awesome. It was nice to be back at home with a full house.”
The crowd of 17,000 was loud and brought the energy. The Knights will need them once more to make some noise on Sunday, June 6 for a pivotal game four. Puck drop is 5:30 p.m.
After a disappointing game two OT loss in Colorado, some thought Vegas would mail the series in and begin looking onward towards the offseason.
Center William Karlsson had other thoughts as he kick-passed the puck to the front of his stick before firing it past Colorado’s Philip Grubauer for the first goal of the game.
Colorado, like it has done all season, had an answer of their own no more than two minutes after Karlsson’s goal on a string shot from dead-center to knot the game at 1-1.
Early in the third period, the Avalanche capitalized on the power play from the ultra-reliable Mikko Rantanen, who has really hurt Vegas this series.
He streamed a shot past goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give Colorado the 2-1 lead.
More importantly, The Fortress grew anxious for the next 10 minutes as Grubauer and the Avs’ rejected every Vegas attempt towards the net until Marchessault used Grubauer as a decoy for a brilliant shot behind the net.
Marchessault, after regaining control of the puck, found himself behind the net. Rather than circling around, he fired the puck directly at Grubauer’s back which deflected off of his padding and into the net to set the crowd a frenzy.
No more than 45 seconds later, defensemen Nick Holden spotted Pacioretty to the left of the net and fired a slap shot in his direction.
Pacioretty lifted his stick and redirected the puck underneath Grubauer and just like that, the Knights took a 3-2 lead.
Colorado would provide a few more scares including a wide open shot from Rantanen, but Fleury delivered and saved two shots in the closing minutes to give Vegas life.
“You’re not going to completely eliminate them, they’re going to get their chances,” Vegas captain Mark Stone told ESPN. They’re one of the best lines in the league for a reason. But we see ourselves as one of the best lines in the league as well.”