Alex Tuch scored twice as part of Vegas’ three-goal spree in the second period, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots and the Golden Knights cruised to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Monday night. Fleury earned his 64th career shutout in the finale of the four-game series, with the Knights and Avs each recording two wins. Jonathan Marchessault also scored for Vegas in the pivotal middle period.
The setting for this one — inside Ball Arena — wasn’t nearly as picturesque what took place Saturday: an outdoor rink on the 18th fairway of a golf course on the shores of Lake Tahoe, with the Sierra Nevada mountains hovering in the background. This time, Colorado and Vegas didn’t have to endure an eight-hour break between periods. That’s what happened Saturday due to bad ice conditions, which forced the teams to play well into the night.
Fleury turned in a masterful performance Monday, making one splendid save after another. His 64 shutouts ties him with Henrik Lundqvist for 16th on the career list. Tuch got the Knights rolling early in the second by splitting a pair of defenders for a goal. He added another one 3:21 later when his shot bounced off Philipp Grubauer, then Avalanche defenseman Bowen Byram and caromed into the net. Marchessault rounded out the scoring in the second.
Grubauer made 25 saves for Colorado. Fleury turned in two exceptional saves to keep it scoreless in the first period. On one, he made a leaping stop to block a wrist shot from Nathan MacKinnon with his chest. Moments later, Fleury executed a sliding, left-leg-thrown-into-the-air maneuver to thwart Nazem Kadri’s attempt. Two of Fleury’s three shutouts this season have been against Colorado.
The Avalanche wore their reverse retro sweaters for a second straight game. The jerseys are part of the organization’s 25th anniversary season in Denver, with the design based on a version the team wore during its time as the Quebec Nordiques. “Best in the league in our opinion,” defenseman Devon Toews said of the jerseys. “They look great.”
Colorado defenseman Samuel Girard was removed from the league’s COVID-19 protocols list just in time for Saturday’s outdoor game. “Good to get some fresh air,” cracked Girard, who had a goal in Lake Tahoe.
They went to Lake Tahoe for the hockey. They’re going back for the scenery. It left that big of an impression. “A lot of us are starting to plan trips to go back sometime in the summer and visit again,” Toews said.
Colorado defenseman Dennis Gilbert will be sidelined for at least a month after facial surgery. Gilbert hasn’t played since being injured during a fight with Vegas forward Keegan Kolesar last week. … There’s no timetable on a return for Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (upper body) or goaltender Pavel Francouz (lower body). … Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (upper body) didn’t make the trip. … Vegas F Tomas Nosek (COVID-19 protocol related absence) is “progressing,” coach Pete DeBoer said, but there’s no return date.
Knights: At San Jose on Thursday.
Avalanche: Host Minnesota on Wednesday before heading on the road for four games.
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