The Colorado Avalanche visits the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday for the second contest of the team’s four-game set.
The Avs fell 1-0 to the Knights on Sunday to open the series, moving to 7-4-1 on the campaign. It was the first time in over a year that Colorado had been shutout in a game, dating back to Jan. 6, 2020 when the club lost 1-0 at the New York Islanders. Goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 23-of-24 shots while defenseman Devon Toews led the Avalanche in ice time, playing a season-high 25:56.
Max Pacioretty broke the tie early in the second period, firing a wrist shot under the glove of Grubauer, earning the Golden Knights (10-2-1) their second straight victory. Marc-Andre Fleury continued his hot start to the season by collecting his second shutout of the campaign and improving to 7-1-0 on the year, denying all 30 shots.
The clubs meet at T-Mobile Arena for the second matchup in a row before heading to the Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada, for the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe game. The series concludes on Monday at Ball Arena in Denver.
Avalanche at Golden Knights
T-Mobile Arena | Las Vegas, Nev.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare played two seasons with Vegas after the Golden Knights selected him in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft… Nick Holden played three seasons with Colorado from 2013-2016.
The Avalanche faces off against the Golden Knights for the 10th time in franchise history, playing its seventh all-time contest at T-Mobile Arena. After Sunday’s meeting, the Avs own a 5-4-0 record versus Vegas, including a 2-4-0 mark on the road.
Through the first nine matchups between the teams, Nathan MacKinnon leads Colorado with one goal and seven assists, while Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (three goals, two assists in three games) and J.T. Compher (one goal, four assists in eight games) are tied for second in scoring with five points apiece. For Vegas, Jonathan Marchessault is the franchise-leading scorer when facing the Avs, tallying three goals and four assists. William Karlsson’s five points (two goals, three assists) ranks second all-time and Alex Tuch’s four points (two goals, two assist) is tied for third with Paul Stastny and Nate Schmidt, now with the Winnipeg Jets and Vancouver Canucks, respectively.
Tuesday’s meeting is the fourth straight, regular-season contest at T-Mobile Arena between the two clubs.
Cale Makar could return to the lineup after missing Sunday’s game with an upper-body injury, according to head coach Jared Bednar. Colorado held an optional practice on Monday, so its lineup likely won’t be known until after morning skate. Philipp Grubauer is expected to make his third-straight start in net.
Matt Calvert (upper body), Pavel Francouz (lower body) and Erik Johnson (upper body) are all on injured reserve, but Calvert has started skating again back in Denver. Tyson Jost, Gabriel Landeskog and Samuel Girard will miss their second straight games due to being in the league’s COVID-19 protocol, but Bednar said they could be available for Saturday’s outdoor contest. Goaltender Hunter Miska entered the NHL’s COVID protocol on Monday.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS
Allowing just 2.08 goals per game, the Golden Knights are tied with the Avalanche for the lowest goals-against average in the NHL. Vegas’ strong defense has put the club into first place of the West Division with 21 points (10-2-1), which is tied for the third-most points in the league with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
When scoring first, Vegas has a 7-0-1 record but is 3-2-0 record when giving up the first tally. The Golden Knights have scored 14 goals in the first frame, which is tied for the 12th most in the first period.
(OPPOSING) PLAYER TO WATCH: Max Pacioretty
The Vegas forward tallied his team-leading seventh goal of the season on Sunday against Colorado, the only marker of the game.
Since debuting with the Golden Knights in the 2018-19 season, Pacioretty has led the team with 61 regular-season goals, and he’s also added 57 assists for 118 points in 150 games. He’s recorded 287 goals and 279 assists for 566 points during his 13-season career (776 games) with Vegas and the Montreal Canadiens.
The Avalanche is 5-2-0 this year when outshooting an opponent. It had a 30-24 edge in shots in the first meeting against the Knights.
Colorado has allowed just six goals in the first period in 2020-21, the second-fewest in the league behind the New Jersey Devils (five), who have played only nine games.
The Avalanche leads the NHL on the penalty kill, extinguishing 38 of its 42 shorthanded opportunities this season (90.5 percent).
The Avs set season highs in hits (33) and blocked shots (19) in Sunday’s game at Vegas… Valeri Nichushkin (300) and Brandon Saad (600) skated in milestone contests last game… Samuel Girard’s streak of 231 consecutive regular-season games played came to an end on Sunday due to a COVID protocol-related absence. His streak was the second-longest ever by an Avalanche defenseman… The Avs ranks 12th in goals per game (3.17) an eighth in faceoff-win percentage (52.2)… Andre Burakovsky needs two more points for 200 in his career.