It wasn’t easy, but the Vegas Golden Knights answered every Colorado Avalanche goal and overcame a gutsy Colorado effort from the Colorado Avalanche to win Game 6 6-3 and advance to the Stanley Cup Semi-Final to face the Montreal Canadiens. The winner will get the Clarence Campbell Bowl, which is awarded annually to the Western Conference winner.
In the most back-and-forth game of the Round Two series, both teams took turns attacking and defending. Colorado stormed the Golden Knights at the opening puck drop. Nathan MacKinnon set up defenseman Devon Toews just 23 seconds into the game, and it Colorado served notice they would not gently into that good night.
But the Golden Knights always had an answer.
After Toews scored, the Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden scored one minute later. Then Wiliam Karlsson scored late in the first period for a 2-1 lead.
Each team scored twice in the second period, including a VGK goal by fourth-liner Kegan Colesar. The period culminated in Alex Pietrangelo’s late rebound goal, and the Golden Knights finally had a lead, 4-3.
VGK closed out the series with a couple more third period goals, including another greasy fourth-line goal by William Carrier and Max Pacioretty popped the open net.
The Vegas Golden Knights won four straight and trailed in every one of those games, including their 5-1, Game 4 beatdown of Colorado.
After Pietrangelo’s marker, the Golden Knights never trailed again, and it stood as the game-winner.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t have his fastball on Thursday night. He admitted to NBCsn that “my legs felt a little heavy,” but Fleury got the job done, including a pair of sparkling saves on Valeri Nichuskin in the second period. Those brought “Fleury, Fleury” chants.
Fleury made 30 saves and again outdueled fellow Vezina Trophy nominee Philipp Grubauer.
— Vegas Hockey Now (@VegasHockeyNow) June 11, 2021
- How about that VGK fourth line? Big game, big goals from these guys. William Carrier gets his first of the playoffs to make it 5-3 and really put the arrow through the Avs heart. Keegan Kolesar also finds the scoresheet. We know Vegas prides itself on its depth, but tonight it really showed. Great game at the best possible time.
- Marc-Andre Fleury just went 4-1 against the Avalanche but was quick to give credit to his teammates for bouncing back from a Game One trouncing and for everything they’ve done along the way. Make no mistake, Fleury is a major reason why the VGK is one of the last four teams left with a chance to hoist the Stanley Cup.
- With the win, Fleury is now alone in fourth place all-time among NHL goaltenders in playoff wins with 89.
- Nazim Kadri really burned his team. Again. This is the third year in the last four he sat in the press box while his team was eliminated from the playoffs. He plays the game hard, and if he’s in the lineup, the series probably has a different feel. But I have to wonder how much longer the Avs – or NHL teams in general – put up with the shenanigans.
- Nathan MacKinnon did everything he could, but the Avs are still just a one-line team and don’t have the depth to match the Golden Knights. Over the course of a seven-game series, this is how things play out. Before Colorado lifts a Stanley Cup, they need to be deeper. Advantage Vegas Golden Knights.
- Alex Pietrangelo is looking better and better as he plays more games with the Vegas Golden Knights. It took him a little while to really get it together, but since returning from injury, he’s done nothing but gets better every game.
- Vegas will host Montreal in Game One Monday at 6 pm PT.