Jonathan Marchesault and Max Pacioretti separated 45 seconds in the third period to take the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3–2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.
LAS VEGAS: Vegas Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said Thursday that a goal could draw home crowds and make a difference in a playoff game.
His words came true on Friday night.
Jonathan Marchesault and Max Pacioretti scored 45 seconds late in the third period to give Vegas a 3–2 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of their second-round playoff series.
Marchesault’s goal ignited a declared sell-out crowd of 17,504, which helped revive the Golden Knights, who had lost the first two games in Denver. Vegas halved Colorado’s lead of the series to 2-1. Game 4 is to take place in Las Vegas on Sunday.
“The crowd was so awesome, the whole building was so great, it was great to be back in that kind of atmosphere again,” DeBoer said. “They were huge for us in the third period, stayed with us and kept the energy level up. it was awesome. It felt good to be back home with the whole family.”
William Carlson also scored for Vegas and Marc-Andre Fleury intercepted 18 shots, including two point-blank saves inside the final two minutes to maintain the win.
With Vegas trailing 2–1, Marchesault whispered on a shot but stayed with the puck and, from behind his own net, pulled the puck from the back of Colorado goalkeeper Philippe Grubauer to tie the game with 5:18. tied for
Less than a minute later, Pacioretti deflected defenseman Nick Holden’s shot off Grubauer for the advancing goal.
“It’s hard to believe when you miss so many chances, but with Marchi breaking the ice, it’s really got us going,” Pacioretti said. “So when that floater comes off the hold, you have a little more confidence that you’re going to tip it and that’s how it played.”
Karl Soderbergh and Mikko Rantenen scored for Colorado. Grubauer, who dropped 6-1 this post season, made 39 saves. They won their last 10 playoff decisions from the previous season.
“Maybe we went too far behind in the third,” Soderbergh said. “We have given him a lot of opportunities. We were almost there. “
Vegas fed off the energy of the crowd early on, beating the Avalanche 15-3 to dominate the first period and take a 6-0 lead with high-risk opportunities. It was a major turnaround for the Vegas team which was led 10-3 in the first two games.
The Golden Knights were able to completely neutralize the sharp top line of Colorado’s Nathan McKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantenon, who have combined for 36 points and a plus-22 rating through seven games this post season. They also controlled the neutral zone better, which made it difficult for the avalanche to build momentum and create congestion.
“You’re not going to completely eliminate them, they’re going to get their chances,” said Vegas captain Mark Stone. They are one of the best lines in the league for some reason. But we also see ourselves as one of the best lines in the league.”
Colorado’s top line had no high-threat prospect in Game 3, forcing Colorado coach Jared Bedner to switch in the third period.
“What would you do? Did you see something happening?” An agitated Bednar said after the game. “Nothing offensive is happening all night. Zero. So would you just leave it like that? No, no.”
As Vegas continued to feed off energy, Carlson sent fans into a wild frenzy when he was able to hit defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s shot from a loose puck on his backhand to give Vegas the first lead of the series. Fired it by Grubauer.
The lead would last only 1 minute, 29 seconds, as Fleury failed to catch a shot by former Vegas teammate Pierre-एडdouard Bellemare, leaving a live rebound and wide-open net for Soderbergh.
Rantenon scored his third goal of the series in a few seconds into the power play, as his one-timer was too quick for Fleury’s glove. Colorado’s power play ranks No. 1 (11 out of 23) during the playoffs, including a top street power-play threat that has converted four out of eight chances. Rantenon has points in each of his last 17 playoff games last year, a franchise record for longest playoff point streak, including multiple postseasons.
After leading the league with an 86.8% success rate during the regular season, Vegas is 12th with a penalty kill during the post season, which has allowed seven goals against 24 power plays.
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