Golden Knights open 2023 with 3-2 win against Avalanche
DENVER (AP) — Nicolas Roy scored twice in the second period, Mark Stone extended his road point streak to a franchise-record eight games and the Vegas Golden Knights held off the banged-up Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night.
Michael Amadio also scored for the Pacific Division-leading Golden Knights. Stone had an assist on Amadio’s first-period goal to break a team road point record he shared with Jack Eichel (November 2022), Max Pacioretty (2019-20) and Paul Stastny (2018-19). Stone has three goals and six assists during his streak.
It was a memorable night for Roy, who scored twice in a regular season game for the second time in his career. This was his 200th NHL contest.
“Our first line has been doing a great job. They’ve been scoring a lot of goals. So it’s nice to help them,” said Roy, who scored his first goal since Nov. 25.
Logan Thompson stopped 27 shots as he settled in after giving up a goal to Nathan MacKinnon just 25 seconds into the game. It was the fastest game-opening goal by an Avalanche player since MacKinnon scored 11 seconds into a contest on Oct. 13, 2018, according to NHL Stats.
“They got off to a good start, obviously, and we didn’t let that get to us,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You’ve got to be careful that one doesn’t turn into two and three with a high-octane line like them.”
Down 3-1 midway through the third, Mikko Rantanen pushed in the puck for a goal that was awarded after a brief review. The Avalanche couldn’t capitalize on a late power play (they went 0 for 5) or tie it up after pulling goaltender Alexandar Georgiev with around two minutes left.
“They’re not coming easy for us,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said of goal scoring. “If we put in the work and we focus on the process ... when you’re doing the right things, we’re going to get the result. We’ve just got to stay with it. Stay positive, stick together.”
Georgiev made 25 saves for the Avalanche, who dropped their fourth straight game (0-3-1). They had shots from Rantanen and J.T. Compher ring off the post.
“It’s a good hockey team we played,” MacKinnon said. “The effort was there tonight. If we repeat that kind of performance, minus some turnovers, I think we can win some games.”
MacKinnon quickly scored in his second game back from an injury that caused the speedy forward to miss nearly a month. Later in the first, MacKinnon nearly had an assist, only to have Rantanen’s shot clang off the crossbar. The Golden Knights picked up the rebound, skated down the ice and tied it on Amadio’s sixth goal of the season.
“That was unlucky,” MacKinnon said. “It would’ve been 2-0 early and who knows from there.”
Colorado forward Darren Helm made his season debut after working his way back from a lower-body injury. Helm became the 38th different player the Avalanche have used, which is one away from tying the team’s record for most in a single season.
“It felt great being back out there with the guys,” Helm said. “I definitely have got a lot more to give.”
AROUND THE ICE
Avalanche C Evan Rodrigues was a late scratch with an upper-body injury. ... Bednar said captain Gabriel Landeskog was “nowhere close” to a return from arthroscopic knee surgery he had in October. ... D Josh Manson (lower body) was slated to start skating Tuesday. ... Avalanche D Andreas Englund and Knights F Keegan Kolesar picked up five-minute major penalties for fighting.
Golden Knights: Host Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
Avalanche: At Vancouver on Thursday night.
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