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Colorado Avalanche snag a shootout win over the Golden Knights

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In a goalie matchup of two titans, the Avs prevail in the skills competition

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

First Period:

The game started off really quickly, with some pretty even play throughout. JT Compher drew a holding penalty on Jon Merrill ten minutes in, and Colorado had its first powerplay opportunity.

The man-advantage resulted in zero shots, and the penalty ended. However, after a strong shift by the top line the Avs drew another penalty, this time an Erik Haula tripping call.

This time, Carl Soderberg scored on a fantastic play with 6 minutes left.

The Avs had Vegas on their heels a bit after this goal, yet the momentum was negated by a completely unnecessary slash by Blake Comeau. Due to some excellent penalty killing, especially by the likes of Soderberg and Johnson, the powerplay netted nothing for the Golden Knights. The Avs reapplied the pressure they had before the penalty, leading to some fantastic scoring chances.

The period ended with the Avs up by 1 goal, shots 13 to 11 in their favor. Marc-Andre Fleury had to stand on his head multiple times, especially when the Avs crashed the net. Let’s see more of this!

Second Period:

Jonathan Marchessault was called for tripping, putting the Avs on another powerplay early in the period. Colorado was unable to score, and Vegas was back to even strength. The game was really even, yet the Avs started to win control of the game. The defense was very staunch, clogging up the neutral zone and opening up the offense. What ensued was some of the most dominant hockey we’ve ever seen from this club, with high quality chance after high quality chance.

Things have slowed down a bit, and the period ended with the score still 1-0. Vegas had the edge on shots in the period, with the totals now closer 22-21 in the Avs’ favor.

Third Period:

The Vegas Golden Knights scored their first early in the period on a Jonathan Marchessault tally. Girard drew a penalty again soon after, this time on Ryan Carpenter. Tyson Barrie nearly scored, but it hit the post. The penalty ended with no score.

The game suddenly got a run and gun feel, with the most nerve-wracking games I have ever seen. No one could convert the entire period, as Fleury and Varlamov were both stellar. The game headed to the overtime period, with the score tied and the shots 33-28 Vegas’s favor.

Overtime Period:

As it usually is, 3-on-3 play was oh so scary to watch. Varly and Fleury again were amazing, especially the former. Varlamov had seven saves, and kept his team from falling to the Golden Knights. No one could score, and the game was ultimately decided in the shootout.

Shootout:

Vegas started with Perron, but Varly stopped it easily. MacKinnon missed his attempt high, and it went to Erik Haula went next. Varly stopped it like it was nothing. Soon it was Rantanen, and he hit the post. Varly made a stick save on a Marchessault shot, and it was up to Landeskog to win the game.

He went across on the right side, came into the slot, and scored just underneath Fleury’s blocker for the win!

Takeaways:

  • VARLY! VARLY! VARLY! If you didn’t notice, the crowd chanted his name several times, and deservedly so. What a bounce-back for the goaltender, having 39 saves and being perfect both in OT and the shootout. I don’t think first star honors are enough for him, he was incredible.
  • Landeskog was the best skater for the Avs with 8 SOG, he was incredibly physical as well as getting the shootout winner. No one could knock him off the puck, and I mean NO ONE. There was even an instance where two Golden Knights slammed into him on the boards and he still didn’t lose possession. We’ve been seeing this from the captain for a few games now, it’s great to see him turning it on when the team most needs it.
  • Mark Alt was noticeable in his debut as an Avalanche. He was physical and had some shot attempts. I hope we can some longer looks at him.

What’s Next:

The Avalanche head to Vegas to face the Golden Knights on March 26th at 8:00 PM Mountain time.