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Outdoors at Lake Tahoe Rapid Recap: Avalanche 3, Golden Knights 2

Nathan MacKinnon factored on all three Colorado goals in the win

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Nathan MacKinnon factored on all three Colorado Avalanche goals in its 3-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe on Saturday at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada.

Samuel Girard tallied in his return to the lineup in the first period, his second career NHL outdoor game goal. The first period ended at 1:55 p.m. MT, then the game underwent an eight-hour delay in the interest of player safety due to ice conditions before resuming with the second period at 10:03 p.m. MT.

MacKinnon finished the contest with a goal and two assists, and Devon Toews scored in his outdoor debut as well. Mikko Rantanen had two helpers in the matchup while Toews also added an assist to record a multi-point game. Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves in the outing.

Alec Martinez and Alex Tuch scored for Vegas while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 36 shots. 

The Avs outshot Vegas 39-29 in the outing. The clubs conclude their four-game series on Monday at Ball Arena in Denver.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights

THE GOALS

1st Period
2:58 COL (1-0) - Samuel Girard scored his second career NHL outdoor game goal by finishing a cross-ice pass from Nathan MacKinnon with a wrist shot.

2nd Period
7:37 VGK (1-1) - Alec Martinez tied the game after pinching in while Jonathan Marchessault was in front of the Colorado net.
11:18 COL (2-1) - Nathan MacKinnon skated the puck from the D-zone into the offensive end and scored far side during 4-on-4 play.

3rd Period
13:11 COL (3-1) - Mikko Rantanen won a faceoff and Devon Toews scored from the left point while Rantanen was screening Marc-Andre Fleury. Nathan MacKinnon also assisted on the goal.
14:25 VGK (3-2) - Alex Tuch cut Vegas' deficit to one with a backhand shot.

Final: Avalanche - 3 | Golden Knights - 2

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 0 for 4
Vegas: 0 for 4

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer started an outdoor game for the second consecutive season and stopped 27 shots.
Vegas: Marc-Andre Fleury played in his third outdoor game and allowed three goals on 39 shots.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

Defensemen Bowen Byram, Devon Toews and Conor Timmins all made their NHL outdoor debuts in the contest. Prior to the game, 18 Avalanche players had participated in an NHL outdoor game, led by Brandon Saad and Nazem Kadri who both played in their fourth NHL contests in the open air on Saturday.

It was the third regular-season outdoor game for the Avalanche, with its previous such games being the 2016 Stadium Series at Coors Field in Denver against the Detroit Red Wings and the 2020 Stadium Series at the U.S. Air Force Academy versus the Los Angeles Kings. Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon are the only players to participate in all three of Colorado's outdoor games.

NOTEBOOK

Samuel Girard scored the first goal of the game and now has two tallies in two career outdoor games… Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, his second three-point game of the season. Through 13 contests this year, the center has 18 points (four goals, 14 assists)... Mikko Rantanen registered two helpers in the outing, his fourth multi-point game of the year... Devon Toews scored in his NHL outdoor debut, his fourth tally of the campaign... The first period ended at 1:55 p.m. MT before the game underwent an eight-hour delay in the interest of player safety due to ice conditions. The outing resumed with the second period at 10:03 p.m. MT... Colorado has scored the first goal of the game in 11 of its 14 contests, and the team that scores first in the NHL's outdoor games improved to 17-9-5... The penalty-kill unit has extinguished 32 of its last 34 shorthanded situations, which included a streak of 24 straight kills from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2... MacKinnon participated in the One Million Dollar Hole-in-One Challenge presented by Bridgestone. He attempted to relive a memorable moment from the same spot Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic had a hole-in-one at the 2011 American Century Celebrity Golf Championship. He missed the shot, but the NHL is still donating $25,000 to the Mile High Mites Learn to Play program... The contest was played at 6,224 feet above sea level, the second-highest for an NHL regular-season outdoor game behind the 2020 Stadium Series between the Avalanche and Kings at Falcon Stadium (6,621 feet). Colorado also competed in the outdoor game with the third-highest such figure (5,200 feet; 2016 Stadium Series at Coors Field)… The matchup was the first NHL games played atop a golf course... The Avalanche debuted its Reverse Retro jersey in the contest. The sweater is based on the uniform the organization wore during its time in Quebec City as the Nordiques.

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: VGK@COL: MacKinnon blazes past defenders and scores

IMAGE OF THE GAME

The Outdoor Stage

ROSTER REPORT

Forwards Matt Calvert, Tyson Jost and Gabriel Landeskog and defensemen Samuel Girard and Cale Makar returned to the lineup for the outdoor matchup. Calvert had missed seven games with an upper-body injury while Makar had been out for the past two contests with an upper-body injury. Girard, Jost and Landeskog all played their first games since being added to the NHL's COVID list during Colorado's eight-day layoff from Feb. 3-10. Landeskog and Jost began on a line centered by J.T. Compher while Calvert was on a trio with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Valeri Nichushkin. Makar started the contest on a defensive pairing with Devon Toews while Girard was with Ryan Graves.

INJURY UPDATE

Defenseman Erik Johnson (upper body) and goaltender Pavel Francouz (lower body) remain out long term with their ailments. Rear guard prospect Dennis Gilbert is also out with an upper-body injury.

UP NEXT

Colorado and Vegas conclude their four-game set on Monday at Ball Arena in Denver. The Golden Knights are the first opponent to ever face the Avalanche/Nordiques four consecutive times in the regular season. The Avs and Wild were supposed to face off in four straight from Jan. 30-Feb. 4, but the final game of that stretch was postponed.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on start of the game

Forwards

95 Andre Burakovsky - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 96 Mikko Rantanen
20 Brandon Saad - 91 Nazem Kadri - 72 Joonas Donskoi
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 37 J.T. Compher - 17 Tyson Jost
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 11 Matt Calvert

Defensemen

7 Devon Toews - 8 Cale Makar
4 Bowen Byram - 22 Conor Timmins
49 Samuel Girard - 27 Ryan Graves

Goaltenders

31 Philipp Grubauer
30 Adam Werner

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