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Gameday: Golden Knights face Avalanche with hopes of earning playoff berth

The Knights need only one point.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Following a disappointing loss to the Detroit Red Wings, the Vegas Golden Knights will visit the Colorado Avalanche in the hopes of securing a playoff spot. They need only one point to solidify their spot in the postseason.

Every Game is a Playoff-Like Game

The Golden Knights are currently trailing the San Jose Sharks by five points, and they’d surely like to surpass them in the standings. With six games left in the regular season, there is still an opportunity for advancement. It is looking more clear now that Vegas could play San Jose in the first round, and every game matters at this point. The Golden Knights will want to go into the postseason with a full head of steam by securing plenty of wins in these final matchups.

Hot Goaltending Leading a Late Surge

About two weeks ago, it seemed like the Avalanche were folding in their season in the hopes of landing Jack Hughes in the offseason (great job, Senators). However, the stunning play of goaltender Philip Grubauer has allowed the team to find some life in the final weeks of the season.

Colorado is 4-1-0 in their past five games, just barely holding on to the final wild card spot. Every game is just as important as Vegas', so expect the Avalanche to play a desperate game in order to keep their hopes alive.

Keys to the Game

It is expected that Grubauer will be manning the crease for the Avalanche, so it is important for Vegas to challenge him early and often. Colorado is currently down two of its top three players in Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, so an early lead can help propel the Golden Knights to a victory over the desperate club.

However, the Avalanche still have one of the NHL’s best players in Nathan MacKinnon, who has an incredible amount of speed and skill with the puck if left unchecked. By shutting him down, the Golden Knights will eliminate the greatest offensive threat that the opponent can throw at them.

Players like Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchesseault will be needed to step up to provide am offensive push for Vegas in order to keep their dreams of home-ice advantage alive in the coming weeks.


How to Watch

7:00 p.m. PT

TV: At&T SportsNet

Radio: Fox Sports 98.9 FM