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game recap

Fleury makes 34 saves, Golden Knights shut out Avalanche

Tuch scores two goals for Vegas, which gets split of four-game set

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

Fleury blanks Avalanche

Fleury stops all 34 shot attempts in a 3-0 victory

Marc-Andre was perfect between the pipes, saving 34 out of 34 shot attempts, helping the Golden Knights to a 4-0 win over the Avalanche

  • 06:40 •

DENVER -- Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves for the Vegas Golden Knights in a 3-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on Monday.

"It was fun, I felt good today," Fleury said. "We played in altitude, and sometimes when they buzz around the net, you breathe harder a bit, but it's fun. I feel good. Everything's holding up."

It was Fleury's third shutout of the season and the 64th of his NHL career. He made 30 saves in a 1-0 win against the Avalanche in Las Vegas on Feb. 14 in the first of the four straight games between the teams.

"It's as good as I've seen him play," Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. "Maybe the Stanley Cup year in the expansion year (2017-18). For me, he's been dialed in right from training camp for us and really has consistently been our best player."

Video: Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout: Fleury and Quick

Alex Tuch scored two goals, and William Karlsson had two assists for Vegas (11-4-1), which earned a split of the four-game set after losing the previous two games.

Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves for Colorado (9-5-1), which won its previous four games at Ball Arena and was coming off a 3-2 victory against Vegas in the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday at Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada.

"We had some chances, we just didn't capitalize on them," Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar said. "Obviously, Fleury's always going to have a good night, and you have to be prepared for that, but I think this one lies on us more than anything. We made some mistakes, especially me personally, and we definitely have to tighten up in the [defensive] zone a little bit."

Tuch moved up to the No. 1 line, taking Max Pacioretty's regular spot with Chandler Stephenson and Mark Stone, and helped shut down the Avalanche's top line of Andre Burakovsky, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen.

"You have an elite skater like that, stick-handler, shooter," Tuch said of MacKinnon. "The guy's world class. A lot of plays are going to go through him, and we know that because of how good he is. We didn't want to give him any time and space. We wanted to frustrate him as much as possible. I guess we were out there a lot against him. It was great."

DeBoer said, "Tuch's had a great year. He's earned everything he's got with hard work and coming prepared to have a good start to the season. He's a really effective guy. I liked him as much defensively tonight as I did offensively. With his speed defensively, he's one guy that can really hunt down guys like MacKinnon from behind because he has that speed. I thought he was very effective defensively, as well as the two goals he kicked in for us."

Video: VGK@COL: Tuch finishes Karlsson setup on power play

Tuch gave the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead at 2:53 of the second period when he split between two defenders while skating down the slot and scored on a power play.

Tuch made it 2-0 at 6:14 when the rebound of his backhand shot from low in the left face-off circle went in off defenseman Bowen Byram's right skate.

"Cale gets beat wide by Tuch, he throws it off the net, and they get a lucky bounce," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I mean, he blasts by our D on that one. That's an earned goal by them. Great speed, he's bringing it, it's not fancy, but it's funneled to the net. It's a lucky break, but that's one of those goals where you earn your luck."

Jonathan Marchessault scored with a shot from the left hash marks to make it 3-0 at 11:06 of the second.

"The message to Colorado was that we can play with them," DeBoer said. "There was some question after the first three games of the series whether we could. We were looking for a response that way, and I thought we got that. Guys were committed right from the start tonight."

NOTES: The Golden Knights killed all nine Avalanche power plays in the four games and have killed 14 straight in their past six games. … Colorado is 0-for-16 on the power play in its past six games. … MacKinnon played his 539th game to pass Paul Stastny for 10th in Avalanche history.

Video: Fleury's shutout spurs Golden Knights to victory

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