DENVER — The Colorado Avalanche course-corrected, only to wind up on the brink of elimination.
Colorado got back to its brand of hockey at home, but Vegas showed a willingness throughout Game 5 to sacrifice its shins. The Golden Knights blocked their 26th shot of the night before Max Pacioretty pushed the puck forward to Mark Stone. Stone had half a step on the Avalanche defense and put the game away 50 seconds into overtime, 3-2.
The Avalanche’s first home loss since March 27 — also in overtime against the Golden Knights — put them down 3-2 in the series as they head back to Vegas, where the hosts won Games 3 and 4.
“We have to go into Vegas and win a hockey game,” Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. “It’s simple as that.”
It took the better part of two periods to build. Four minutes, seven seconds into the third period Tuesday, Vegas had erased Colorado’s tidy 2-0 lead.
Andre Burakovsky turned the puck over in front of the blue line about a minute into the third period. Alex Tuch kept complete control of a bouncing puck and batted it past Philipp Grubauer.
Jonathan Marchessault tied it with his fifth goal of the series. He finished off an odd-man rush, waiting at the post for a pass from William Karlsson.
Logan O’Connor, who reentered the lineup on the third line after having surgery and missing more than two months, said he felt the Avalanche carried the play.
“Just a couple bad plays," he said. "That's all it takes against a good team like Vegas."
Instead of letting the clock wind down on the first period, Brandon Saad accepted the puck near center ice and faked a slap shot. With 1.8 seconds left, Saad buried a shot in the upper corner from the top of the faceoff circle. Marc-Andre Fleury swatted at it with his glove but missed and reacted in disgust.
Alex Newhook was denied a wraparound goal by a diving Fleury, but his fourth line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Joonas Donskoi continued to develop and transcend their role. At the end of a long, hard-working shift, Newhook teed up Donskoi, who put so much on the shot it spun him around. He made it 2-0 Avalanche.
Grubauer made 22 saves. The goal was the only shot he faced in overtime. Landeskog and J.T. Compher had shots turned aside before Stone’s breakout.
In order to rally and advance past the second round for the first time since 2002, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said a similar effort is needed.
“It’s a game of mistakes,” Bednar said.
“I’ll say that I love the way we played tonight. I loved it.”