The Vegas Golden Knights fought back from a 2-0 deficit with two goals in the third period and the game-winner just 50 seconds into overtime to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Colorado Avalanche.
The series between the Golden Knights and Avalanche shifted to Denver for the ever-pivotal Game 5. The Golden Knights looked to carry over the momentum they had gained from both games in Vegas. which they were not able to do early before turning things around in the third period.
The Golden Knights did not have Ryan Reaves or Nic Hague in the lineup, replaced by Mattias Janmark and Nick Holden, respectively. Vegas once again turned to their star goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury, and he was excellent once again, aside for a blip at the end of the first period.
After getting outplayed in the previous three games, the Avalanche had a strong game early on and looked like a different team.
High-danger chances and extended time in the offensive zone were the new norms for Colorado, and Fleury had to come up big early in the period.
The Golden Knights went to a power play after Mikko Rantenen was whistled for kicking Fleury’s loose stick. Vegas was unable to get set up and did not capitalize on the opportunity, which would be their only of the game.
In the dying seconds of the period, Brandon Saad broke through on a last-second shot. Fleury reached across his body with his glove but appeared to just whiff on the shot.
It was an absolute back-breaker for the Golden Knights, who were only 0.8 seconds away from surviving Colorado’s early push.
Again, the Avalanche came out strong in the second period, though both teams were lively early on. But Fleury came up big on a Tyson Jost breakaway with a strong pad save.
The Avalanche began to tilt the ice in their direction, and it was all Colorado for the majority of the second period. However, Fleury was spectacular and was able to keep the Knights in the game.
He could only do so much, however. Joonas Donskoi finally was able to cap off Colorado’s dominant extended shift in the Vegas end, beating Fleury at 16:28 of the frame.
The Avalanche were controlling almost every facet of the game to this point, but Fleury kept them within reach.
The Golden Knights went to the locker room down two, without generating much on the offensive end of the ice.
That all changed in the third.
Vegas got off to a very quick start in the third period, as Janmark and especially Nicolas Roy forced a defensive zone turnover from Andre Burakovsky. Roy fed the puck to a darting Alex Tuch, who batted the puck out of the air and buried it past Philipp Grubauer.
Tuch made it 2-1 just 63 seconds into the third.
Just over three minutes later, Jonathan Marchessault tied the game on a 3-on-1 break for the Golden Knights after another turnover by the Avalanche. It was Marchessault’s fifth goal in three games and a huge game-tying tally for the Golden Knights.
The game accelerated at great pace, and Rantanen believed he had scored from a sharp angle, but the puck hit the crossbar and stayed out.
Fleury stoned Logan O’Connor, who was in all alone as the Avalanche continued to push.
Around the midway point of the period, Shea Theodore shot the puck over the glass for a delay of game penalty, the third time he has done so in this series. The Golden Knights were able to kill off the most important power play of the season, though, holding Colorado without a shot on goal.
Both teams had excellent chances down the stretch, but Grubauer and Fleury were able to push the game to overtime, which this game deserved.
Only ten seconds into overtime, Fleury had to make two huge saves, one from point-blank range, to keep the Knights alive.
But less than a minute later, Mark Stone ended the game with a dramatic finish following another turnover in the Avalanche zone.
Max Pacioretty picked off a pass and sent it to a darting Stone, who had gotten behind the Colorado defensemen. Stone walked in with pressure behind him but went bar-down to give the Golden Knights a 3-2 series lead heading back to Vegas.
It was the first road win of the series, and it marked the Knights’ third straight victory.
The Golden Knights did not play their best game tonight but were able to fight through a strong performance by the Avalanche with a roaring comeback in the third period and overtime.
Vegas looks to close out the series on Thursday in Game 6, which will be back at T-Mobile Arena.