The two proud teams went off to a bad start to the season and drew on Tuesday night at the Ball Arena.
But the injury-plagued Vegas Golden Knights, seeking to thwart a four-game loss, ended up winning, scoring twice in the first 10 minutes of the game and holding the Avalanche 3-1.
Vegas scored a goal with an empty net with 29.9 seconds left.
The ABs (2-4) and the Knights (2-4) drew 82 points in the NHL last season before Vegas knocked out Colorado in the second round of the playoffs in June. Since the playoffs, the Knights have won five consecutive victories over Av.
“We weren’t ready to start the game on time,” said Avs coach Jared Bednar. “It was a big game for me tonight against a team we don’t really like, that got us out of the playoffs last year and then we started badly. Therefore, I cannot say that this is not a cause for concern. “
He added: “It just seems like we are not putting together the whole package right now.”
The ABs, who have lost three of their last four games, finally scored a goal in the last minute of the second period, cutting their 2-0 deficit in half. It happened during a 4v4 game after a hard hitting by Colorado defender Jack Johnson resulted in a long stop and a 37-minute penalty. Avs defender Kale Makar scored a long-range shot from the wrist as the puck went past the goal line and into the legs of goalkeeper Robin Lehner.
Johnson’s hit on Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar was ruled by a five-minute major for interference. The Knights striker Nicholas Roy pursued Johnson and was found guilty of incitement to minor infractions, serious fighting and breaking the rules of the game.
Vegas, which lost 2-0 to the New York Islanders on Sunday, took the initiative early. Chandler Stevenson scored in the 2nd minute of the game, and Reilly Smith – 9:37.
Stevenson got a good bounce after a rebound, and he knocked the puck past Darcy Kuamper in front of the left post. Smith struck from a short distance while his teammate Nicholas Haig served the minor. In the offensive zone, “Avs” Makar was unable to cope with a reckless pass by JT Kompher, and Smith fart checked the puck outside the zone and went into the lead. He defeated Cuemper when Compair chased him from behind.
Colorado had a 0-2 power play but lost 2-0.
“They score two (goals), we spend two games on the majority,” Bednar said. “We wasted these strength games because we were not ready to start. I would say it probably lasted 13, 14 minutes, and then I started making us move a little bit in the last part of the period. Second and third, I didn’t like them, but they were good. But you dig a hole against a good team, losing 2: 0, and cling, trying to recoup. “
Vegas was short on several long-term players due to injuries, including forwards Mark Stone, Max Pacioretti, Alex Tuch and Nolan Patrick, as well as defenders Zach Whitecloud and Alec Martinez. Avs still lacks forward Valeriy Nichushkin, defender Devon Toews and goalkeeper Pavel Francouz due to injuries.
Footnotes… Avs defender Sam Girard suffered an upper body injury during overtime on Saturday in Tampa Bay. He was replaced by Curtis McDermid, who appeared in his third game. … Colorado will travel to St. Louis on Wednesday and battle the Blues at the Enterprise Center on Thursday.