Max Pacioretty scored his NHL-leading fourth overtime goal as the Vegas Golden Knights came from behind twice to beat the Colorado Avalanche by a 3-2 score on Saturday afternoon.
The game resembled a classic heavyweight matchup, with each team trading punches throughout regulation. In a game that featured strength vs. strength at every turn, it didn’t disappoint anyone who tuned in.
Twice Colorado took the lead, and twice Vegas clawed back to tie it up. At times the Golden Knights controlled the play, at other times it was the Avalanche.
Particularly key in this one was the second and third period swings. Thursday night the Golden Knights were blown away by the Avs in the middle frame, out-scored 4-0 in a 5-1 loss. Today things were different as the VGK came in trailing by a goal and tied it on Will Carrier’s second of the season on a fantastic tip in front of Philipp Grubauer.
And in what has been the strongest VGK period all season, Vegas dominated in the third but were thwarted by Grubauer on several high caliber chances and the game headed to overtime.
The other sore spot for the Golden Knights this year has been the start, and while Vegas did fall behind just 1:16 into the game, they did come back instead of having a massive letdown.
“Coming out of here with a split is good, but we know we have room for improvement,” said Pacioretty.
Certainly today’s game will feel better and allows them to leave Denver with a Rocky Mountain high as the extra point in OT keeps them ahead of the Avalanche by one point.
- A key early moment in the game was when Vegas was down 1-0 and head coach Pete DeBoer absolutely ripped into the officials. Keegan Kolesar had just had a scrap trying to change the momentum, and DeBoer felt there was a missed penalty. DeBoer exploded from the bench, laying into the officials and in the process waking up the bench. Don’t look past this moment in the game. Afterwards heads were up and there was chatter despite being down 1-0 early. Sometimes coaching isn’t about X’s and O’s, it’s about motivation and momentum.
- Vegas is now 6-0 in overtime this season.
- Max Pacioretty leads the NHL with four OT GWGs.
- Marc-Andre Fleury started for the second straight game and made 22 saves.
- Importantly, the Golden Knights generated more power plays than they gave up this game, and Alec Martinez scored with the man advantage to get the VGK on the board in the first period.
- As the VGK dominated the third period, they only allowed four total shots for the Avalanche while taking 10 on Grubauer.