Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche – Game 31

Franchise Sports Media



The Vegas Golden Knights traveled to Denver Colorado to take on the Colorado Avalanche for the fifth time this season looking to break the season series tie.


Golden Knights vs Avalanche
Photo Credit: NHL

Things were looking up for the VGK early as Max Pacioretty scored the game’s opening goal in his return from injury just forty seconds after the initial puck drop. The Knights continued to apply pressure early in the first three minutes as Reilly Smith had a great breakaway chance and Ryan Reeves rang a puck off the post, but they could not cash in on their early opportunities.

The Colorado Avalanche answered back with some quality chances of their own shortly after as Devon Toews hit the post, and former Knight Pierre Edward Bellemare had a breakaway chance of his own but was thwarted by Marc Andre Fleury. Both teams traded powerplay opportunities in the ensuing minutes but were unable to score with the extra man and went into the intermission with the score still at 1-0.

Considering the fact that the VGK was 18-0-1 when scoring first heading into tonight’s game they had plenty of reason to feel confident heading into the second period.


Colorado entered tonight’s game having scored goals in twenty straight periods and while that streak was broken, they definitely made up for it in the second period.


Golden Knights vs Avalanche
Photo Credit: Knights on Ice

Just over two minutes into the second period Tomas Nosek took a tripping penalty, giving the Avalanche their second powerplay of the night. This time they were able to convert as Jonas Donskoi scored after burying a fluttering puck as it hit the ground and tied the game, it was the Avs first powerplay goal against the VGK this season. After the Knights had killed off too many men on the ice penalty, JT Compher gave his team the lead scoring a backhand shot from outside the faceoff dot for Colorado’s second goal of the period.

With 10:13 remaining the Knights took yet another penalty and while they were able to negate that one as well, it was noticeable that the momentum had swung in Colorado’s favor. Cale Makar added to the Avs lead with a little over seven minutes left as he went tweeners beating Marc Andre Fleury through the five-hole to put his team up 3-1.

At this point, the VGK had been outshot 8-1 in the 2nd as they were unable to generate any sustained offensive pressure due to being shorthanded three different times in the middle frame. To make matters worse, Gabriel Landeskog scored with 4:19 remaining to give his team a 4-1 lead after burying a rebound from right in front of the Knights crease. Vegas was outshot 16-4 by the time the period had ended and had surrendered four goals in a period for the second time this season, the first occurrence happening against Minnesota earlier this year.

When facing a team as good as the Avalanche are you simply cannot take as many penalties as the VGK did in such a short amount of time. As good as the Knights penalty kill has been all year, taking that many penalties force the coach to shorten the bench and does not allow players to find any kind of rhythm or flow in their game.


It was not unfeasible to think that the Knights may have been able to put together a third period comeback as it has been their best period all season long, but the Avalanche squashed any kind of hope early on.


Less than four minutes into the final frame, Pierre Edward Bellemare added insult to injury as he buried a one-timer past Fleury to give his team a 5-1 lead. That goal was the final dagger as the VGK was not able to come up with another goal. With a little over five minutes left it appeared that Nicolas Roy had brought his team within three, but the goal was eventually waved off as it was ruled that Vegas was offsides as they entered the offensive zone.

Colorado won the game 5-1 and took a 3-2 season series lead against Vegas.


Looking Forward:


The Knights have proven that they are more than capable of beating the Avalanche this season, but tonight’s effort was definitely not the way to do it. Taking three different penalties in a single period gives a team like the Avalanche the chance to completely take over a game as they did on Thursday night. With such a high-powered offense the VGK needs to find a way to mitigate their mistakes and limit the amount of space given to players like Nathan Mackinnon and Gabriel Landeskog rather than giving it to them. On a positive note, the last time the Avalanche outplayed the Knights they responded with a 3-0 shutout win and erased any doubts that they were completely overmatched.


The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play Saturday afternoon against The Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. The puck drop is set for 12:00 p.m. and will be on AT&T Sportsnet and FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340.


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-D.J. Wood– Franchise Sports Media

Follow D.J. on Twitter @DJwoody97

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