DENVER, CO – The Colorado Avalanche came out guns blazing.
Unfortunately, that did not last long.
An extremely sloppy second period from the Avalanche that resulted in two goals from the Golden Knights was the difference, giving Vegas all the ammunition they needed on their way to a 3-2 victory.
Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen each picked up a goal for the Avalanche.
For Vegas, Nicolas Roy scored two goals, with Michael Amadio adding the other goal.
The teams traded goals in the first period, but the Avalanche were the ones that came out flying.
Just 25 seconds into the game, Artturi Lehkonen hit Mikko Rantanen on a great cross-ice breakout pass. Rantanen led a flying MacKinnon with a backhand saucer pass, and the superstar would come in at full speed and fire a perfect shot over Logan Thompson to give the Avalanche the lead.
The Avalanche had plenty of chances to extend their lead, with a great powerplay halfway through the period, but they couldn’t finish.
Late in the period, Rantanen hit the post at one end off a pass from MacKinnon. The Golden Knights would regroup and take the puck down the ice, with Amadio deflecting a Nicolas Hague shot past Alexandar Georgiev to tie things up heading into the intermission.
The second period was one to forget for the Avalanche.
For as long as he could, Georgiev held the Golden Knights down, as the Avalanche came out of the intermission playing sloppy hockey.
He could only hold them in it for so long.
At 7:14 of the period, Nicolas Roy found himself alone in the left circle and fired it past Georgiev on the glove side. Brad Hunt was slow to recover on the play due to an apparent high stick he took in front of the net.
Roy got himself on the board again later in the period, as the Avalanche were caught on a bad line change, giving the Golden Knights an odd man rush. Roy would tip a William Carrier shot past Georgiev and the Golden Knights would take a 3-1 lead.
In the third period, the Avalanche started to push back, led by their top line.
After making a move at the blue line, Lehkonen outworked his defender and threw it in front of the net. The pass ended up bouncing off Golden Knights defenders before Mikko Rantanen took a swipe at it.
The play ended up being reviewed, with the review showing the puck just barely crossing the goal line, putting the Avalanche within one.
That was as close as they would get.
The team would push late, led by their big guns, but couldn’t get another puck past Thompson.
Now on a four game losing streak, the team will travel to Vancouver to take on the Canucks Thursday night. The game starts at 8 PM MST.