It still means absolutely nothing, but the right players found the scoresheet. Ryan Johansen, Oskar Olausson, and Kurtis MacDermid scored goals for Colorado, while Jonathan Drouin picked up a primary assist. Alexander Georgiev was barely tested, facing only 7 shots in his 30 or so minutes in net.
Only four preseason games remain until the start of the regular season.
The game started slow, even for what you’d expect in preseason. Colorado’s first shot on goal came about 7 minutes in from Ryan Johansen, and he finished with three of their five shots in period one.
After Vegas got on the board with a screened shot on the powerplay, it was time for the Colorado’s powerplay to go to work. It was ultimately two of the new additions that connected to tie the game up.
The Avalanche kept the puck in the zone for an extended period of time, and eventually Jonathan Drouin found Ryan Johansen wide open in the bumper spot. Johansen corralled it and wired it past Thompson in one motion, tying the game up.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) September 26, 2023
Less than two minutes later, the Avalanche took the lead on a goal created by effort. It should come as no surprise that Logan O’Connor played a role in it.
It looked like the Golden Knights were going to leave the zone with possession, but O’Connor took it away and chipped it down the boards. Ben Meyers protected it from the defender, and the puck squeaked out to Oskar Olausson. The young Swede took it straight to the net, making a nice move to slide it through Thompson’s legs, giving Colorado the one goal lead. Preseason doesn’t matter much for veterans, but for a player like Olausson, a play like that can mean a lot in the grand scheme of things.
Colorado took that one goal lead into the second period.
The second period brought very little action, as Vegas registered just four shots on goal. Halfway through the period, Justus Annunen replaced Alexandar Georgiev. Annunen only faced one shot, but it was a good one, stopping a mini-breakaway with less than 10 seconds left in the period.
Colorado had plenty of chances to extend their lead on the powerplay, but were unable to find an insurance goal. Drouin kept looking backdoor, but couldn’t connect with anyone.
No goals were scored by either team, so the Avalanche carried that 2-1 lead into the third.
Kurtis MacDermid is in a fight to make the roster at forward, but his strong shift halfway through the period will look good on his resume. The gigantic forward laid a big hit on the forecheck, then immediately went to the net with his stick on the ice. Peter Holland sent a great pass to the front, which MacDermid deflected past the Vegas goalie for the 3-1 lead.
The shift quickly flipped the other way for MacDermid, as moments later he lost his man in the defensive zone, allowing the Golden Knights to cut the lead to 3-2.
That’s as close as Vegas would get, as the Avalanche held them off, and walked away with the 3-2 victory.
Colorado will practice the next two days, and then fly to Minnesota on Thursday night. That game starts at 6 PM MST.