NHL Sunday NBC Sports Network Preview: Colorado Avalanche at the Vegas Golden Knights.
Vegas looks to even the West Division finals at 2-2 after winning their first game of this series with a 3-2 victory on Friday. The puck drops on the NBC Sports Network at 8:38 PM ET.
The Golden Knights began the scoring in Game 3 with William Karlsson registering a goal at the 4:38 minute mark of the second period. Carl Soderberg tied the game for Colorado a minute and a half later. Mikko Rantanen gave the Avalanche the lead on a power-play goal at 5:04 of the third period. Jonathan Marchessault evened the score again with 5:18 left in the game. Max Pacioretty scored the game-winning 45 seconds later for the Knights. Pacioretty has generated four points in the four games he has placed since Game 7 of the opening-round series with Minnesota after missing the first six games of that series.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced in the winning effort. He has a 1.88 goals-against-average and a .922 save percentage in the postseason.
Mark Stone leads the team with four goals and six points in the playoffs. William Karlsson has added three goals and three assists. Mattias Janmark has another three goals and three assists in the postseason.
The Avalanche had their 11-game winning streak end with the loss on Friday. Colorado swept St. Louis in four games in the opening round of the playoffs. They won the opening game of this series, 7-1, before outlasting Vegas in Game 2 with a 3-2 win in overtime.
Colorado is averaging 4.57 goals per game in the playoffs. They have scored a power-play goal in six of their seven postseason games, with multiple power-play goals in four of those contests. They have a 44% success rate on the power play in the playoffs with 11 goals in their 25 opportunities with the man advantage.
The top forward line of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, and Rantanen have outscored their opponents by a 13 to 1 margin when they have been on the ice in the postseason. MacKinnon leads the team with eight goals and 13 points. Landeskog has four goals and eight assists. Rantanen has added four goals and seven assists.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 40 shots for the Avalanche in the loss. He has a 6-1 record in the playoffs with a 1.86 goals-against-average and a .941 save percentage.
Colorado will continue to be without second-line center Nazem Kadri, who continues to serve out the eight-game suspension he got issued for an ill-advised hit in the opening round against the Blues.
The Golden Knights get back Ryan Reaves tonight after serving his two-game suspension for his antics at the end of Game 1. Janmark is questionable from the head injury he sustained in that opening game. Top-four defenseman Brayden McNabb remains questionable in quarantine after a positive COVID test. Fourth-line center Tomas Nosek is questionable with the injury that has kept him out for the last eight games.
BookMaker lists Colorado as a -113 money line road favorite with the total set at 5.5.
Computer prediction: Vegas Golden Knights 4 Colorado Avalanche 3