The Vegas Golden Knights are confident they will bounce back in Game 2 of their Stanley Cup Second Round series at the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).
Vegas allowed a season-high in goals in a 7-1 loss at the Avalanche in Game 1 on Sunday.
“I think when we look at that game as a group, we didn’t do enough things well enough for long enough in order to deserve to win,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said Monday. “I think our group’s been real good all year about fixing that when we’ve had games like that. We got what we deserved last night, and I know we’ll bounce back.”
The Golden Knights had one day of rest following their 6-2 victory in Game 7 of the first round against the Minnesota Wild on Friday. Colorado, which swept the St. Louis Blues in the first round, had not played since May 23.
DeBoer said Sunday that he did not want to use lack of rest as an excuse for allowing six goals through two periods, but there will be two days off before the teams play Game 2.
“Part of our problem last game is that we didn’t skate, and then you look for reasons for that,” DeBoer said. “Is fatigue a piece of that? I’m sure it probably is a little piece of that. I think any time you’re getting past the first round of the playoffs, any extra day of rest you can get, especially if you’ve played a long series, is advantageous.”
DeBoer said he thought the Golden Knights played OK in the first 10 minutes, noting early scoring chances and the opportunities they created on the rush.
A notable moment came during a Vegas 3-on-2 during the first period. Forward Jonathan Marchessault‘s centering pass was broken up by Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar, who turned it into a 3-on-2 the other way for Colorado. That led to Mikko Rantanen‘s goal at 4:55 that gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead.
Makar scored a game-high four points (one goal, three assists). Colorado’s top line of Nathan MacKinnon (two goals, one assist), Gabriel Landeskog (two goals, one assist) and Rantanen (one goal, one assist) also were key in the attack.
“You just can’t get down like that,” Golden Knights captain Mark Stone said after the game. “But we’ll flush this one. We’ll see what we did wrong. There’s a few areas that we were actually not bad at, but there’s a lot of things we need to improve going forward.”
DeBoer said he’s not concerned about Colorado’s collective speed, as the Vegas found a way to keep it in check for most of the season. The Golden Knights were 4-4-0 against the Avalanche during the regular season, and outscored them 18-17.
“We know how to do that,” DeBoer said Monday. “We just didn’t execute last night.”
DeBoer did not have an update on the health of forward Mattias Janmark, who left the game at 8:26 of the second period after a hit from Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves. The forward scored his first NHL hat trick in Game 7 against the Wild.
DeBoer did not name a starring goalie for Game 2. Robin Lehner allowed all seven goals Sunday in his game since May 10. Marc-Andre Fleury was the backup after playing all seven games in the first round.
“For me, we’re not concentrating on the win,” DeBoer said. “We’re concentrating on playing a really good road game in Game 2 and give ourselves a chance to win, which we didn’t give ourselves a chance to do in Game 1.”