Gabriel Landeskog scored the lone goal in the shootout and goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 39 shots through overtime plus all three shootout contestants as the Colorado Avalanche momentarily stopped the Vegas Golden Knights from clinching a playoff spot with a entertaining 2-1 win in NHL action Saturday afternoon in Colorado.
Varlamov denied David Perron, Eric Haula and Jonathan Marchessault in the shootout at the Pepsi Center as the Avalanche kept hold of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
It’s a matter of time before the Golden Knights become the first expansion team to make the playoffs since the Edmonton Oilers and Hartford Whalers joined the league from the World Hockey Association in 1979-80, but they couldn’t celebrate with just a single point.
Some people may believe low-scoring games are dull, but this one was a thriller.
Colorado’s Carl Soderberg, who returned to the lineup after missing a pair of games due to illness, opened the scoring at the 13:52 mark of the first period. While the Avs were on the power play, Soderberg drove to the net and received a cross-slot pass from J.T. Compher, which he promptly one-timed a close-in shot over Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for his 16th goal of the season.
With the number of comeback victories they’ve pulled out this season, it should come as no surprise Marchessault pulled the Golden Knights even just 75 seconds into the third period. Marchessault entered the offensive zone on a one-on-two rush, cut to his forehand and ripped a top-corner wrist shot for his 24th tally of the campaign.
Shortly after, Fleury made a dangerous but successful play when he darted almost out the blue line to attempt a poke check on Blake Comeau when the Avs forward had a breakaway. Comeau kept the puck, but stumbled and couldn’t sweep it into an open net while he was sliding.
Fleury made 29 saves through overtime.
The Avalanche were without goalie Jonathan Bernier, slated to serve as backup, because of a cut and infection to his upper body, while forwards Colin Wilson and Sven Andrighetto missed the game due to lower-body injuries. That forced the Avs to dress 11 forwards, and defenseman Mark Alt suited up for his first game with Colorado.
—Field Level Media