LAS VEGAS – At the start of the second round on Monday, the Avalanche played like the more hungry of the two teams pushing for a playoff position. Two penalties brought the Avs on their heels and gave the Vegas Golden Knights in the T-Mobile Arena the necessary momentum.
The Knights started 2: 3 in power play and dominated the third round in a 4-1 victory that reached a point of elimination for the first year's expansion team. The loss was expensive for Colorado, which remains in playoff position, but is only one point ahead of the white-hot St. Louis Blues – who won five in a row and have played one game less than the Avs.
"For the first two seasons, we played hard and dictated the game," said Avs left winger Gabe Landeskog, who played in his 500th NHL game of career. "It depends on special teams and Powerplay was not good enough tonight, and the penalty was not good enough."
The Avs, who have six games left, will be hosting the Blues at the regular season finale on April 7th Pepsi Center.
When Colorado (90 points) finishes with playoff seed # 7, it would likely open against the Knights (1
"I will not talk about a match in the first round," said Av's coach Jared Bednar following the frustrating game on Monday. "We have to get there first."
Colorado drew 2: 1 after 2 periods and played 10: 1 to start the third – including Shea Theodore's wrist-tossing between the circles, which stretched Vegas' lead to 3: 3. 1. The Avs shot out Vegas 13-6 in the first half and had a lead of 25:15 after the second round. Knight's goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (28 parades) was consistently excellent.
"I loved our first period, loved many things we did in the second, but we got a penalty, got three penalties and scored two goals," said Bednar. "Down One (goal) to start the third we got away from our game, you try too early and pucks come back to you, we passed many pucks and felt like we were trying the first ones winning three or four shifts. "
Vegas scored its power-play goals 4:14 and 14:16 in the second half with Alex Tuch and Jonathan Marchessault passing the pucks to goalkeeper Semyon Varlamov
Avs defensivman Erik Johnson converted the 1-1 with 13:14 and stayed in the second, and on the subsequent center ice face-off Colorado Rookie stood in front of Tyson Jost. Edouard Bellemare with a high stick to send the knights in a four-minute power game. With a shot from Marchessault from the right circle, they quickly shot to a 2-1 lead.
Jost was also in the penalty area when Tuch scored the first goal of the match, but the penalty was too small for too many men
After two seasons, Vegas was 2 of 4 in power play and the Avs were 0 out of 2.  The Avs start Wednesday and Friday with a two-game home game against Philadelphia and Chicago. Colorado travel to Anaheim on Saturday for a three-game California trip, on Monday in Los Angeles and on April 5th in San Jose.