LAS VEGAS – When Alex Pietrangelo signed with the Vegas Golden Knights in October, he didn’t explain why he left St. Louis after 12 seasons.
“Obviously the atmosphere; I mean, I think everyone agrees that this is the best place to play in the NHL right now,” he said. “They play the way I think the game should be played, so You want to go somewhere where you feel comfortable and you can help.”
His contributions on Thursday night helped the Golden Knights move to the NHL’s Final Four for the third time in the franchise’s four years.
Pietrangelo scored his first goal of the season and broke a tie late in the second period, and the Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6–3 in Game 6 of their second-round series to advance to the Stanley Cup semi-finals. .
Pietrangelo, who finished the series with 22 shots, 21 blocks and one point in all four wins, now has 16 career points from 17 potential series-cleaning games he has played.
“I thought he was the best player in the series on any team,” said Vegas coach Peter DeBoer. “He was an absolute monster for us. Defensively, blocking shots, offensively, the goal tonight – that’s what we brought him here for this time of year and those situations.”
Nick Holden, William Carlson, Keegan Koleser, William Carrier and Max Pacioretti also scored for Vegas, winning four straight in the series and the Montreal Canadiens next.
Marc-Andre Fleury blocked 30 shots and clinched 89 playoff victories for the only all-time fourth-place finisher.
Devin Toes, Miko Rantenon and Andre Burakovsky scored for Colorado. Philipp Grubauer made 17 saves for the Avalanche.
After firing a team-high 45 shots during the post season, Pietrangelo had 18 seconds left behind the net in his 46th attempt when he collected a rebound from a shot from Alex Touch, who was off the end board, and he topped the puck. Shelf and Vegas go up 4-3 to defeat Sent Grubauer.
“That’s a bad average,” Pietrangelo said with a smile about his 1-for-46 clip. “Sometimes they all go in, sometimes none of them go in and you just keep putting yourself in one place to score. You get chances, you want to be the look you want, and eventually things will turn out.
“With all the chances I had, I wouldn’t have guessed I’d get this bounce.”
The third period belonged to Fleury, who blocked 11 shots in the final frame, including a one-timer by Valerie Nichushkin from the bottom of the circle, with about 14 minutes left to maintain the 4-3 lead and Vegas. The pace was maintained. ‘ favor.
Colorado, who took a 2–0 series lead after winning Games 1 and 2 at home, became the eighth consecutive Presidents’ Trophy winner to be eliminated from the playoffs without making the Stanley Cup Finals.
“Nobody just wants to play a good regular season and lose in the second round,” Rantanon said. “I know we all wanted to win, that’s what we were pushing for.”
For Vegas, there were a lot of positives starting with its depth. The Golden Knights have registered 20 skaters for at least one point during the latter part of the season, including 12 with at least one goal against the Avalanche.
“That’s the hallmark of this team – our depth,” DeBoer said. “Guys have sat out and then come back into the lineup… We have so many contributions from so many people. How people have handled when they are out, and then to come back and make a difference for us. Their ability, that’s important. You can’t beat a team like Colorado without it. We are the sum of our parts. We don’t have the superstar power that they do.”
The Golden Knights didn’t need it, with the likes of Holden, Koleser and Carrier getting their first goals in the postseason.
“Dream to play in games like these,” said Koleser, who is one of the organization’s first players to take to the ice at the team’s first training camp in 2017. “So excited to continue this journey.”
The Avalanche did what it took to slow the trip to Vegas, as speedster Nathan McKinnon took advantage of the early trade, raced into the offensive zone with the puck and fed a streaking toe, which left Fleury only 23 with a snipe. beat in seconds.
But an energetic declared crowd of 18,149 reigned when Holden fired a shot from point and through Grubauer’s five-hole, tying the game just 52 seconds later.
Carlsen took a time between Grubauer’s skate and post for his third goal and seventh point in the series to give Vegas a 2–1 lead. From there the teams exchanged goals until the game was tied 3-all before the Golden Knights took charge in the final period to end the game.
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