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Sport Fleury, Golden Knights shut down Avalanche despite MacKinnon’s return

06:11  15 february  2021
06:11  15 february  2021 Source:   nbcsports.com

MacKinnon injured in Avalanche loss to Wild

  MacKinnon injured in Avalanche loss to Wild He did not play in the third period due to an undisclosed lower-body injury.Already playing without Erik Johnson, Matt Calvert, and Devon Toews, the Avalanche lost superstar forward Nathan MacKinnon to an undisclosed lower-body injury in their 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.

The Vegas Golden Knights only needed one goal to beat the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. Marc-Andre Fleury and a tight-checking Golden Knights defense managed to pull off a 1-0 win against the Avalanche in a clash of West Division powers.

Fleury adds to his legacy, and hot start

Remember all of the talk about how Marc-Andre Fleury could serve as an important partner for Robin Lehner during this shortened season? Between Lehner’s injury and Fleury’s hot start, the Golden Knights are likely glad they haven’t traded him.

(At least yet?)

Fleury made 30 saves to shut out the Avalanche on Sunday. It’s his second shutout of the season, and the 63rd of his career. The 36-year-old improved his impressive career wins total to 473.

Avalanche grind out rugged win over Wild without MacKinnon

  Avalanche grind out rugged win over Wild without MacKinnon The Avs managed to beat the Wild at their own game on Tuesday.In what ended up becoming a bit of a goalie duel, Philipp Grubauer got the upper hand over Cam Talbot, but both were sharp. Then again, space wasn’t always easy to come by.

MAF already came into Sunday’s game with a .934 save percentage. So, yeah, he’s off to quite the start. Maybe his back healed up from that sword?

Rested (but rusty and understaffed) Avalanche vs. Golden Knights

Sunday’s Golden Knights – Avalanche game presented an interesting scenario of rest and rust. Thanks to COVID-19-related disruptions, Colorado last played on Feb. 2. Meanwhile, Vegas was closing off a back-to-back set after beating the Sharks 3-1 on Saturday.

Combine those factors with Nathan MacKinnon appearing in his first game since Jan. 31, and you’d think it would be advantage: Avs.


Video: Fleury denies Ducks with another spectacular save (NBC Sports)

Naturally during these times, it wasn’t quite that simple. Between continued COVID protocol absences and injuries to the likes of Cale Makar, the Avalanche weren’t exactly at full-strength vs. the Golden Knights.

Colorado avalanche: Three skiers are missing after getting caught in a large avalanche

  Colorado avalanche: Three skiers are missing after getting caught in a large avalanche Three skiers are missing after getting caught in a large avalanche between the Colorado towns of Silverton and Ophir, according to a preliminary report from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. © From Colorado Avalanche Information Center The group of skiers' tracks are still visible to the right of the avalanche, according to the Colorado The three belonged to a larger group of back-country skiers who were traveling Monday and triggered the avalanche in an area locally known as "The Nose."Four people were caught in the avalanche and fully buried in debris, the report said.

Maybe you can chalk some of the tight play to those factors for both teams. Sure, Nathan MacKinnon did what he could, despite Vegas having even more incentive than usual to smother the speedy center.

… And it’s also fair to note that there were moments when the game could’ve gotten a bit more freewheeling. Chandler Stephenson may still be haunted after getting handcuffed by an absolutely golden opportunity set up by Mark Stone.

Ultimately, it was Max Pacioretty who beat Philipp Grubauer with the kind of goal you can only really expect from a true sniper.

Former Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader signs in Switzerland

  Former Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader signs in Switzerland In his prime, Abdelkader was a capable top-six power forward, twice reaching the 40-point mark while recording at least 100 hits in all of his 11 full NHL seasons.  However, his offensive production dried up considerably in recent years, including a goalless 2019-20 campaign during which he managed just three assists in 49 games that resulted in the Red Wings opting to pay him more than $6M in total over the next six years to get out of his contract.

That was Pacioretty’s first goal since he generated a hat trick against the Blues on Jan. 26. “Patches” also broke a three-game pointless drought with what would end up being the lone goal of the Golden Knights’ win against the Avalanche.

NBC Sports will premiere Doc Emrick – The Voice of Hockey, Presented by Discover – detailing the illustrious career of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and eight-time Sports Emmy Award winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick – on Sunday, February 21 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, leading into coverage of the NHL outdoor game at Lake Tahoe featuring the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Fleury, Golden Knights shut down Avalanche despite MacKinnon’s return originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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