DENVER – Mark Stone scored after 50 seconds of overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Tuesday night and advance 3-2 in the second round.
Max Passeurity grabbed the ball after a blocking shot and gave it to Stone, who was out of the races. Stone beat Philip Grobauer on the side of the gauntlet to silence what was a raucous crowd.
“That was a vintage Mark Stone,” said Vegas coach Pete Debor. “Play big time to win it to us.”
Having entered 2-0 for third, the Golden Knights found another instrument as Alex Tosh scored 1:03 in the period and Jonathan Marchesault tied only 3:04 later.
Really, though, Marc-Andre Fleury’s show, in which the Vegas goalkeeper blocked 28 shots, had many exciting shots. He stuffed the JT Compher after just 10 seconds of extra time.
“It was a bang, a bang,” said Captain Gabriel Landeskoge. “He is able to get a piece of him. Things didn’t go our way tonight.”
Florey claimed his 88th game win, which tied him with Billy Smith and Ed Balfour for a fourth place in National Hockey League history.
“He’s a Vezina candidate for a reason,” Stone said of Florey, the league’s top scorer winner. “He’s the winner of Vezina in my opinion for a reason and he stayed strong throughout the match.”
And Colorado emerged in command after taking a 2-0 lead thanks to courtesy of Brandon Saad late in the first and another from Jonas Donskoy in the second. The avalanche was unable to make it stand as their 13-game home run was cut short. It’s a series that dates back to March 27 – Losing Vegas overtime.
The Golden Knights in the driver’s seat, the winner of Game 5 will win the series 78.8% of the time the best of seven series in two games is tied.
Game 6 on Thursdays in Vegas.
It was another big performance from Marchessault, who had a triple in Game 4.
Grobauer, who was in control of his home ground, finished with 22 saves. He’s now 17-1-1 in his last 19 Ball Arena games.
Before the match, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar changed his lines in an effort to generate more energy and production. He paired Saad, Nathan McKinnon, and Miko Rantanen in the first row, while he transferred Captain Gabriel Landskog to the second unit.
It worked, as Saad scored 1.8 seconds before the break with a shot that seemed to pass Fleury. Saad has now scored in seven of his nine post-season games in Colorado.
Donskoi made it 2-0 late in the second with a precise pass from rookie Alex Newhook, who was re-introduced into the squad after missing out in the last two games.