The first period completely belonged to the Avalanche. Malcom Subban robbed several Avalanche players of goal opportunities early on, including Nathan MacKinnon. The goalless drought didn’t last long, though, as Matt Calvert drew first blood at 14:21 in the first.
Vegas struggled to get decent scoring opportunities early on, and the Colorado’s penalty kill eventually made matters even worse. The Avalanche kept giving Subban a run for his money without that fifth player, and it paid off. MacKinnon was able to score the last goal of that period, bringing the score up 2-0.
In the second period, though, the Golden Knights came out on the prowl. That fire appeared to flicker out momentarily as Colorado’s Tyson Barrie managed to squeak one past Subban to make it a 3-0 game in favor of the Avalanche.
It took the Golden Knights nearly 31 minutes to get on the board. Paul Stastny finally scored for Vegas. Reilly Smith would follow suit soon after, giving Vegas a little glimmer of hope for this game as well as a 3-2 score. Unfortunately, the Avalanche weren’t ready to roll over just yet. Gabriel Bourque immediately answered with a goal of his own, giving Colorado another two-goal lead.
There were plenty of chances in the third period for Vegas, but Philipp Grubauer was impenetrable. That was, until 3:23 left to go when Stastny and Mark Stone set up Alex Tuch to get Vegas within one. Subban was pulled for an extra skater, and Vegas took that inch and tried to stretch it for a mile. The excitement picked up with just moments to go, and Vegas had plenty of solid opportunities, but they were unable to beat Grubauer for a fourth time. resulting in the devastating 4-3 loss in Denver.
All Vegas needed was one point tonight to clinch a playoff berth. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait just a little bit longer for the Knights to finally punch their ticket. Vegas hosts the Minnesota Wild Friday at T-Mobile Arena. Once again, they will only need one point to clinch their spot in the postseason.