DENVER (AP) — Mikko Rantanen scored a power-play goal 2:07 into overtime, Philipp Grubauer outdueled fellow Vezina Trophy finalist Marc-Andre Fleury and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in their second-round playoff series.
Rantanen took a cross-ice pass from Nathan MacKinnon and sent a liner over the glove of Fleury. The goal came with Reilly Smith in the penalty box for slashing Rantanen.
Brandon Saad and Tyson Jost also scored for the Avalanche, who’ve won six in a row to start the postseason, tying the franchise mark set in 1987 when the team was based in Quebec.
Grubauer had 39 saves in becoming the first Colorado/Quebec goaltender to pick up six straight postseason victories.
Alec Martinez and Smith had goals for the Golden Knights. A fresh Fleury provided a big boost. He didn’t play in the series opener following a grueling seven-game series with Minnesota. Fleury stopped 22 shots.
The series heads to Vegas for Game 3 on Friday.
CANADIENS 5, JETS 3
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Eric Staal scored early goals and Montreal beat Winnipeg in Game 1, a victory tempered by a scary late-game hit on Canadiens center Jake Evans.
Evans was taken off the ice on a stretcher with 57 seconds left after being crushed in the head and shoulder area by Jets center Mark Scheifele an instant after tucking in an empty-net goal. Evans chased down the puck behind the net, tightly circled back around the goal cage and scored just before Scheifele’s sent him crashing to the ice.
Scheifele was given a major for charging and a game misconduct.
Nick Suzuki and Brendan Gallagher also scored for Montreal, Joel Edmundson and Jeff Petry each had two assists and Carey Price made 27 saves. Adam Lowry, Derek Forbort and Kyle Connor scored for Winnipeg, and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 28 shots.
Game 2 is Friday night in Winnipeg.
Fans were allowed inside Bell MTS Place for the first time this season, with the Manitoba government allowing 500 fully vaccinated health-care workers to attend.
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