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Stone scores early in OT, Knights beat Avs 3-2 in Game 5

Stone scores early in OT, Knights beat Avs 3-2 in Game 5
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DENVER (AP) — Mark Stone scored on a breakaway 50 seconds into overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Tuesday night and take a 3-2 lead in their second-round series.

Max Pacioretty corralled the puck after a blocked shot and fed it to Stone, who was off to the races. Stone beat Philipp Grubauer on the glove side to hush what had been a boisterous crowd.

Trailing 2-0 entering the third, the Golden Knights found another gear with Alex Tuch scoring 1:03 into the period and Jonathan Marchessault tying it up just 3:04 later.

Really, though, it was the Marc-Andre Fleury Show, with the Vegas goaltender stopping 28 shots, many of the sensational variety. He stuffed J.T. Compher just 10 seconds into the extra period.

Fleury picked up playoff win No. 88, which ties him with Billy Smith and Ed Belfour for the fourth-most in NHL history.

Colorado appeared in command after a 2-0 lead courtesy of Brandon Saad late in the first and another from Joonas Donskoi in the second. The Avalanche couldn’t make it stand as their 13-game home winning streak was snapped. It’s a string that dated to March 27 — an overtime loss to Vegas.

The Golden Knights are in the driver’s seat, with the winner of Game 5 going on to take the series 78.8% of the time when a best-of-seven series is tied at two games.

Game 6 is Thursday at Vegas.

It was another big performance from Marchessault, who had a hat trick in Game 4.

Grubauer, who’s been dominant at home, finished with 22 saves. He’s now 17-1-1 in his past 19 games at Ball Arena.

Vegas Golden Knights left wing Max Pacioretty, left, fights for control of the puck with Colorado Avalanche defenseman Conor Timmins during the first period of Game 5 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in Denver.

Before the game, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar switched up his lines in an effort to generate more energy and production. He paired Saad, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen on the top line, while moving captain Gabriel Landeskog to the second unit.

It worked, with Saad scoring with 1.8 seconds left in the first period on a shot that appeared to cross up Fleury. Saad has now scored in seven of Colorado’s nine postseason games.

Donskoi made it 2-0 late in the second on a pinpoint pass from rookie Alex Newhook, who was reinserted into the lineup after sitting out the last two games.

BACK IN ACTION

Returning to the lineup for Vegas was Mattias Janmark, who was hurt on a check from Ryan Graves in Game 1. Back for Colorado was forward Logan O’Connor, who hasn’t played since since March 31 due to a lower-body injury.

SUSPENSION UPHELD

Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri saw his eight-game suspension for an illegal hit in the St. Louis series upheld by an arbitrator hours before Game 5. Kadri will be eligible to return if there’s a Game 7 — or if the Avalanche advance.
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