Jonathan Marchessault and Max Pacioretty scored 45 seconds apart late in the third period to lift the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game 3 of their second-round NHL playoff series.
Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer had on Thursday said that one goal could get a raucous home crowd involved and make the difference in a playoff game.
His words rang true on game night.
Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY
Marchessault’s goal ignited an announced sold-out crowd of 17,504, which helped breathe life into the Golden Knights, who lost the first two games in Denver.
Vegas cut Colorado’s series lead to 2-1.
Game 4 in Las Vegas is to begin tomorrow morning Taiwan time.
“The crowd was so awesome, the full building was so great, it was so nice to be back in that type of atmosphere again,” DeBoer said. “They were huge in the third period for us, sticking with us and keeping the energy levels up. It was awesome. It was nice to be back at home with a full house.”
William Karlsson also scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 shots, including two point-blank saves inside the final two minutes to preserve the win.
With Vegas trailing 2-1, Marchessault whiffed on a shot, but stayed with the puck and, from behind his own net, banked the puck off the back of Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer to tie it with 5 minutes, 18 seconds left in the game.
Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY
Less than a minute later, Pacioretty deflected defenseman Nick Holden’s shot from the point past Grubauer for the go-ahead goal.
“It’s tough to believe when you miss so many chances, but with Marchy breaking the ice, it really got us going,” Pacioretty said. “So when that floater comes in from Holdy, you just have a little more confidence that you’re going to tip it and that’s how it played out.”
Carl Soderberg and Mikko Rantanen scored for Colorado. Grubauer, who dropped to 6-1 this post-season, made 39 saves.
He had won his previous 10 playoff decisions dating to last season.
“Maybe we stepped back too much in the third,” Soderberg said. “We gave them a lot of opportunities. We were almost there.”
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Carey Price made 30 saves for his eighth career playoff shutout as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Winnipeg Jets 1-0 to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round playoff series.
Tyler Toffoli scored a short-handed goal 1 minute, 41 seconds into the second period.
“We’re playing well on both sides of the puck,” Price said. “We’re just making smart decisions and backing each other up all over the ice.”
Game 3 is to be played in Montreal tomorrow morning Taiwan time.
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