DENVER (AP) — Max Pacioretty scored at 1:56 of overtime to give the Vegas Golden Knights a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Vegas rebounded from a 5-1 loss in the series opener Thursday night to move a point ahead of Colorado atop the West Division.
“As a group we were really disappointed with our effort (Thursday night) and we responded,” Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer said. “What tonight showed when we play our game and dialed into details and execution and the things we have to do to win on the road we’re a hard team to beat. What we learned about them is if you’re off your A game even a little bit they’re going to make you look really bad, and that’s what they did in game one.”
Pacioretty also had an assist, Alec Martinez and William Carrier scored, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 22 saves.
“We had a lot to prove after getting spanked in the last game,” Pacioretty said. “We knew it also wouldn’t come with playing well for one period. We never really got away from our game. We know a team like that is going to get their chances, they did and Flower stood tall.”
Joonas Donskoi and Devon Toews scored for Colorado, and Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves. The Avalanche had won seven straight at home.
“We knew they were going to be better tonight, as they were. We were not physical enough,” Donskoi said. “When they get the cycle going it’s hard to stop it. We were battling for the first spot in our division, so obviously we wanted to get two points, but we were not able to do it.”
Pacioretty scored when Toews broke his stick as he tried to clear a rebound from in front of the net. Pacioretty skated to the crease and poked the puck past Toews and in.
“I intercepted that puck and it was sitting there,” Toews said. “I was trying to play it with my stick and the next thing I know my blade is in the corner. I thought I had the leverage on it, I thought I had the play and unfortunately the stick let me down a little bit there.”
Vegas had a 34-24 shots advantage, the first time Colorado has been outshot in 20 games. The last time an opponent outshot the Avalanche was Vegas on Feb. 16.
Donskoi put Colorado ahead with his 12th goal just 1:16 into the game. Martinez tied it at 16:32 with his fourth of the season, a power-play goal, and Toews answered 1:03 later. Carrier’s tip at 3:40 of the second period evened it again at 2.
Colorado defenseman Bo Byram was scratched with an upper-body injury he likely suffered when he was hit by Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar on Thursday night. Byram left the game after getting checked against the boards with a hit the Avalanche felt was excessive.
Dan Renouf took Byram’s spot in the lineup and quickly showed support for his teammate by dropping the gloves with Kolesar.
Bednar confmired Byram was injured on the hit by Kolesar and could miss multiple games.
“I’ve got him day-to-day right now but it could turn week-to-week,” Bednar said. “We’ll just keep evaluating him on a daily basis. He seemed to be doing pretty good today but not well enough to get back in the lineup.”
NOTES: Colorado LW Matt Calvert missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. … Golden Knights RW Mark Stone entered Saturday leading the NHL in points in March with 22 (eight goals, 14 assists).
Golden Knights: Host Los Angeles on Monday and Wednesday nights.
Avalanche: Host Anaheim on Monday night.
This post will be updated throughout the game
PRE GAME: Marc-Andre Fleury will be in net for the Knights, playing back-to-back games in Colorado.
FIRST PERIOD: Avalanche goal Joonas Donskoi (12) (Wrist shot), Assist: Samuel Girard (21). AVALANCHE 1, KNIGHTS 0, early in first period.
Knights Alec Martinez (4) scores a power play goal. Assist to Chandler Stephenson (13). KNIGHTS 1, AVALANCHE 1.
Avalanche goal Devon Toews (6) (Slap shot), Assist: Nathan MacKinnon (26) , AVALANCHE 2, KNIGHTS 1 after one period. Shots on goal: Knights 11, Avalanche 11.
SECOND PERIOD: Knights William Carrier (2) (Tip-in shot), Assists: Shea Theodore (20) and Tomas Nosek (6). KNIGHTS 2, AVALANCHE 2, early in second period.
KNIGHTS 2, AVALANCHE 2, after two period. Shots on goal, Knights 22, Avalanche 18.
THIRD PERIOD: KNIGHTS 2, AVALANCHE 2, heading to OT. Shots on goal: Knights 32, Avalanche 23.
Knights Max Pacioretty scores in OT. KNIGHTS 3, AVALANCHE 2, OT
Vegas Golden Knights (22-8-1, first in the West Division) vs. Colorado Avalanche (21-8-3, second in the West Division)
Denver; Saturday, 12 p.m. PDT
BOTTOM LINE: A pair of the NHL’s best scorers, Mikko Rantanen and Mark Stone, meet when Colorado and Vegas hit the ice. Rantanen ranks fifth in the NHL with 39 points and Stone currently ranks seventh in the league with 39 points.
The Avalanche are 21-8-3 against division opponents. Colorado ranks second in the NHL recording 9.7 points per game, averaging 3.5 goals and 6.2 assists.
The Golden Knights are 22-8-1 in division play. Vegas has scored 101 goals and ranks seventh in the NHL averaging 3.3 goals per game. Max Pacioretty leads the team with 17.
The teams square off for the second straight game.
TOP PERFORMERS: Rantanen has 39 total points for the Avalanche, 19 goals and 20 assists. Gabriel Landeskog has nine assists over the last 10 games for Colorado.
Pacioretty leads the Golden Knights with 17 goals and has 31 points. Shea Theodore has eight assists over the last 10 games for Vegas.
LAST 10 GAMES: Avalanche: 8-1-1, averaging 4.3 goals, 7.8 assists, 3.1 penalties and 6.7 penalty minutes while giving up 1.6 goals per game with a .928 save percentage.
Golden Knights: 6-4-0, averaging 3.1 goals, 5.4 assists, 2.9 penalties and seven penalty minutes while allowing 2.6 goals per game with a .904 save percentage.
INJURIES: Avalanche: Matt Calvert: day to day (undisclosed), Conor Timmins: day to day (upper body), Dennis Gilbert: out (face).
Golden Knights: Max Pacioretty: day to day (lower body).