J.T. Compher scored the tiebreaking goal at 11:33 of the third period as the Colorado Avalanche kept alive their hopes of earning the NHL’s West Division title with a 2-1 victory against the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.
Andre Burakovsky also scored for the Avalanche (37-13-4, 78 points) and Alex Newhook assisted on both goals. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves.
Alex Pietrangelo scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights (39-14-2, 80 points), who had a seven-game home winning streak snapped. Robin Lehner stopped 19 of 21 shots.
Vegas could have wrapped up not only the division title, but the Presidents’ Trophy as the team with the most points in the NHL. That comes with the No. 1 overall seed and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.
On the go-ahead goal, Compher jumped off the Colorado bench and picked up the puck at his own blue line. He skated through center ice before leaving the puck for Connor Timmons on the right wing just inside the Vegas blue line.
Compher continued to the front of the net as Timmons passed the puck to Newhook. His centering pass was tipped by Compher at the top of the crease and through Lehner’s pads.
Pietrangelo opened the scoring at 8:11 of the first period. Nicolas Hague’s shot was kicked aside by Grubauer, but the puck found its way to Pietrangelo in the right faceoff circle, and his one-time wrist shot beat the goalie before he could get back into position. Mark Stone also got an assist on the goal.
Burakovsky tied the score at 1-1 at 7:04 of the second. He took a pass from Nazem Kadri, skated over the blue line and found a bit of space between two defenders between the top of the faceoff circles. His wrist shot beat Lehner just inside the right post. Newhook also was credited with an assist on the play.
Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury. MacKinnon leads the Avalanche and is tied for sixth in the NHL with 65 points.
–Field Level Media