Mikko Rantanen nets OT winner, Avs take 2-0 series lead over Golden Knights

Mikko Rantanen scored at 2:07 of overtime and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in Game 2 of the West Division final in Denver on Wednesday night.

Tyson Jost and Brandon Saad also scored goals, Samuel Girard had two assists and Philipp Grubauer stopped 39 shots for the Avalanche, who lead the series 2-0.

“It’s not easy to take when you lose in the playoffs,” Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. “I thought we deserved better. I really liked a lot of the things we did and our effort but got to find a way to bury one of those chances and win a game. They held serve at home; we’ve got to do the same.”


Colorado is the third President’s Trophy winner to start a postseason 6-0. The 1994 New York Rangers and the 1999 Dallas Stars both did it on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.

Alec Martinez and Reilly Smith had goals, Shea Theodore added two assists and Marc Andre-Fleury had 22 saves for the Knights.

Game 3 is Friday night in Las Vegas.

Mikko Rantanen nets OT winner

The Avalanche got a power play 44 seconds into overtime when Smith was called for slashing. Nate MacKinnon had the puck on the left side of the Knights’ zone and sent a pass across to Rantanen. His snap shot went off Fleury’s left shoulder and in for his third goal of the playoffs.

“It’s all over the League that if you slash the other guy’s stick out of his hands or break his stick, it’s always a penalty,” Rantanen said. “I’m a pretty strong guy too, so I can hold on to my stick, but that was a pretty hard slash. I don’t think I would purposely drop my stick in the [defensive zone].”


Saad gave Colorado a 1-0 lead when his whiffed shot crossed up Fleury and went through his pads at 3:39 of the first.

It was Saad’s fifth goal of the playoffs.

Knights in a hole

avalanche versus golden knights
Jun 2, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) shoots and scores on Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer (31) in the second period in game two of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Knights got even on a power play midway through the first. Max Pacioretty had the puck near the left circle and sent a pass to Martinez at the opposite circle, and his one-timer beat Grubauer at 9:32. It was Martinez’s second of the postseason.

The Avalanche made it 2-1 on a power play when Jost got a pass from Girard in the slot and beat Fleury at 17:08. It was his second goal of the postseason.

Smith tied it in the second period when he roofed a backhander past Grubauer at 10:28 for his second of the playoffs.

Both teams had chances in the third period, with the best coming when Alex Tuch came out of the penalty box and went in alone on net, but Grubauer made a glove save to keep it 2-2.

–Field Level Media