DENVER – Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog each had two goals and an assist, while Makar wedge got one net and three assists, to help the Colorado Avalanche knock down the Vegas Golden Knights 7-1 in Game 1 of the second round series, played at Ball Arena on Sunday.
Mikko Rantanen also had a good evening, with a goal and an assist, while Philipp grubauer made 24 saves for Colorado.
“I loved the way our team played tonight. We played the right way. From the start of the game, we skated, we were tenacious on the puck, we had a sustained forward failure and we took advantage of our chances. Our first line set the tone again, but the whole team was involved, ”said head coach Jared Bednar after the game.
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Among the Golden Knights, William karlsson was the sole marker, while Robin lehner made 30 saves, he who had replaced Marc-André Fleury for this game after having been his assistant in the seven games of the series against the Minnesota Wild.
The Avalanche hadn’t played since May 23, when they swept the St. Louis Blues with a 5-2 victory.
“Rest is a weapon, especially at this time of year,” said Landeskog. We played a lot of hockey and our coaches did a good job of managing our rest over the weeks and making sure we were going to be ready. We knew they had just played a series of seven games, that they had only had one day off before coming to play here at altitude, so we wanted to have a strong start. That’s what we did. «
The two teams face off again in Denver on Wednesday.
“We are definitely not happy with our performance,” said Vegas head coach Peter DeBoer. “But I think we have to put that behind us, because in the playoffs we have to have short memories and prepare for the next game. Whether you lose 2-1 or 7-1, it’s a loss, whether close or not at all. In the end, we weren’t good enough tonight. They have been very good. We will have to do better in Game 2. ”
Video: The Avalanche serves a correction to the Golden Knights
Rantanen gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 4:55 of the first period with a backhand shot from the right face-off circle after receiving a pass from Devon toews as Makar had just forced the turnaround on a 3-on-2 attack from the Golden Knights.
Landeskog made it 2-0 at 10:13, when Makar sent him a superb pass from the blue line to the left circle to give him an open net.
“I was just trying to be in the right place at the right time,” said Landeskog. With his vision and his talent, I knew he saw me and would make a great game. I didn’t have much to do. It’s a beautiful game of Cale. «
Brandon saad increased the lead to 3-0 at 1:04 of the second period, then MacKinnon increased the score to 4-0 at 4:03 with a shot between the pads of the left circle.
Landeskog scored his second of the game when he completed a superb tic-tac-toe maneuver with MacKinnon and Rantanen to go 5-0 on the power play at 14:23.
« We didn’t play well, » said the Vegas forward Mark Stone. They played a good game. They were ready from the start. They’ve been waiting for us for a long time and ready to start the series. We should have played smarter in the first half, and had a better start to the second. You can’t have a defeat like this. But we put it in the trash. «
Karlsson scored the first of his own as he redirected a pass in front of the net from Max Pacioretty at 2:59 pm, but MacKinnon used his speed to beat the Vegas defense and beat Lehner just over three minutes later to make it 6-1.
Makar was the last of his own at 3:49 p.m. of the third period, when the Avalanche took advantage of a nine-minute power play from game misconduct and two minor penalties from Ryan reaves, who hit the defender Ryan grave to the head while on the ice.
“It was a really long power play,” said Makar. We know we have to stick to our game plan, no matter what they use as a strategy. In my case, I made a few turnovers, so I’m going to have to sort this out. «
Golden Knights forward Mattias Janmark left the game at 8:26 of the second period following a check from Graves, who earned an obstruction penalty.
DeBoer did not give an update on the health status of his attacker.
“He was helpless,” Stone recalled. It was obstruction from the blind spot. We didn’t like the body checking. We lost a player. This is the kind of blow that we are trying to eliminate from the sport. But yes, at 4-0, if we had scored on this power play, it might have changed the look of the game a bit. «