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Recap: Avalanche comeback falls short in loss to the Golden Knights

Avalanche can’t mount a third-period comeback and lose their 4th straight game.

Vegas Golden Knights v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Ashley Potts/NHLI via Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights came to town tonight hoping to beat the former champs. This one was fast and physical early on and stayed that way, giving fans in attendance their money's worth.

First Period

Things got off to an incredible start for the Avalanche as Nathan MacKinnon scored top cheese with assists from Mikko Rantanen and Artturi Lehkonen. Jared Bednar mentioned that he was looking for a quick start from his guys, but I'm sure he didn't think they would score 25 seconds in. One to nothing good guys.

The Avalanche saw two powerplays in the first but were unable to capitalize. They even had two seconds of a five-on-three, but it didn't amount to a goal.

Things began to heat up a bit in hits and extracurriculars. Andreas Englund and Keegan Kolesar dropped their gloves and gave the fans a grueling and entertaining tilt.

With about six minutes left, Cale Makar laid a heavy hit in his own end, MacKinnon was sprung, and a two-on-one developed with him and Mikko Rantanen. Unfortunately, Mikko's one-timer hit the crossbar. The Knights broke into their end, and Michael Amadio scored via deflection through a screened shot from Mark Stone, tying the game at one goal a piece.

Second Period

The Second period was not Colorado's best, to say the least. They ended up on the wrong end of a missed high-stick that should have been a double minor and gave up a goal seconds later.

The whole second period was controlled by the Golden Knights, capped off with another tally extending their lead to two goals.

Colorado was outshot and outplayed in the second period, but Martin Kaut did earn a late powerplay opportunity for the Avalanche. They hit the post again on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play ending with J.T. Compher's shot. A few more chances came and went, but nothing tickled the twine.

Third Period

Vegas tried their best to let Colorado back into the game by sending the Avalanche to the powerplay early in the third after Will Carrier held Devon Toews. Unfortunately, the Avs did nothing with the opportunity.

This period seemed to fly by until Mikko Rantanen attempted to poke a puck past Logan Thompson's pad. The whistle blew in a goal mount scramble, and Nathan MacKinnon insisted it was in. After the play was reviewed, Colorado was credited with the goal. One goal game with just under nine minutes left.

The comeback was on! What started as a lockdown third for the Golden Knights quickly shifted into them being on their heels without being able to clear the zone. A long and dominant shift from the top-line and top defensive pairing earned Colorado yet another powerplay chance and a good look at tying the game. Still, the Avalanche couldn't capitalize on their fifth powerplay chance.

Alexandar Georgiev was pulled with just over two minutes left in the third. The extra man couldn't help the Avalanche to an equalizer; that was all she wrote. Avs lose 3-2 to the Vegas Knights.

Takeaways

The Avalanche finally got a hot start but couldn’t overcome bad breaks and worse moments in the second period. According to Jared Bednar, starting well was the focus, but maybe the focus should have been on controlling possession five-on-five and taking advantage of powerplays.

Colorado better be careful in terms of dropping consecutive games. It's a slippery slope in a Central Division that's proving to be one of the more competitive divisions in the league this year.

J.T. Compher looked good again tonight, getting robbed by the post on the powerplay and flashing some of that elite defensive talent.

The big guns came out to play tonight as the top line earned both goals for Colorado. Colorado needs 62-29-96 to carry the scoring load. Hopefully, that's a sign of things to come.

I still think this is a playoff preview, and I'm hoping the Knights take this victory way too seriously. The Avs are a shadow of the team that they will be once fully healthy.

Upcoming

Up next for Colorado is a trip to Western Canada to face the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks are having a tough season, so hopefully, the Avalanche can get back into the win column.