DENVER--The Colorado Avalanche began its preseason slate on Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knight at Pepsi Center.
Vegas scored two, 5-on-3 goals in the opening period and had a 3-0 edge on the scoreboard at the first intermission.
Brad Hunt began the scoring for the Golden Knights with an even-strength goal at 5:16 of the first frame before the Avalanche got into penalty trouble. Vegas took advantage of Colorado's stick infractions as Jonathan Marchessault and Oscar Lindberg tallied power-play markers over the next 2:31 to give Vegas a commanding lead.
The Knights had four power plays in the first period and finished the game 2-for-6 with the man advantage. The Avalanche went 1-for-8 with an extra man on the ice.
"You come out of the gate and you get the 5-on-3's right away," said Avs head coach Jared Bednar. "All we did was brush that up with a couple video clips and on the board before the game, so that is still coming into our plan this week for practice and in between game days. I thought at times we were OK and other times we made some mistakes."
Video: Jared Bednar after the Avs first preseason game
Nathan MacKinnon scored Colorado's lone marker with 2:57 left in the second period after the club got a late power play from a Paul Thompson tripping penalty. MacKinnon tallied off a rebound as Erik Johnson's shot from the point caromed right to him in front, and he swatted the puck into the net while it was still in the air.
Tomas Hyka closed the scoring for the Knights with his first tally of the preseason with 4:54 left in regulation.
Avalanche goaltender Spencer Martin played the entire game and finished with 24 saves. Vegas goalie Maxime Lagace played the first two periods and stopped 10 shots before being replaced in the third period by Oscar Dansk.
Colorado had a strong final frame as it peppered Dansk with 18 shots but couldn't find the back of the net again.
"I thought we did get a little jump in our step," Bednar said of the Avs' play in the last stanza. "I thought we were tentative and standing around a lot in the early part of the game and just unsure. It has to do with some of those guys playing their first games."
Video: Conor Timmins after first preseason game
Defenseman Conor Timmins was one of the Avalanche skaters that was making his NHL preseason debut after the team selected him No. 32 overall in this past summer's draft.
"It would have been nice to get the win. I think our team could have done a little better," Timmins said. "We had some penalties early on that killed us. For myself personally, I felt pretty good out there and I think I got better as the game went on."
The Avs' next preseason contest is Thursday when they host the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center. The Knights, who improve to 2-0 in the exhibition schedule, play at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.