Vegas Golden Knights: Tuch the hero in Overtime to secure No. 1 seed

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Alex Tuch #89 of the Vegas Golden Knights is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche during overtime in a Western Conference Round Robin game.

Alex Tuch #89 of the Vegas Golden Knights is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Colorado Avalanche during overtime in a Western Conference Round Robin game. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

The Vegas Golden Knights are Kings of the Western Conference.

With the No.1 seed on the line heading into today’s final round-robin game, the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Colorado Avalanche in Overtime to set up a Round 1 matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Jonathan Marchessault lit the lamp in the second after a scoreless first period, while Nathan MacKinnon, Nicolas Roy and Joonas Donskoi also got on the board in a wild middle frame.

Marchessault then scored his second goal of the game in the third period via a penalty shot, before J.T. Compher forced the puck home in the dying minutes to make it a tied game.

However, despite that setback, the Golden Knights were the better team in Overtime and Alex Tuch recorded his third goal of the restart to win the game and secure the top seed for Vegas.

The actual Stanley Cup Playoffs are slated to start on Tuesday.

Back to today’s contest, though, and it was another big win for the Golden Knights who went a perfect 3-0-0 in the round-robin games.

They beat the Dallas Stars, the St. Louis Blues and then the Avalanche to climb from a No.3 seed to the top seed in the Western Conference, outscoring their opponents by a combined score of 15-10.

This was perhaps the most impressive win of the bunch, however, given Colorado’s offensive prowess, and we will break down the contest period by period…

First Period

For all of the firepower on display, though, the first period was scoreless with Robin Lehner coming up big in his second start since the restart.

Chicago hit the post on the power play and William Karlsson forced a fine save from Philipp Grubauer on the man advantage, although both teams were playing fantastic defense.

The best save of the game also came in the First Period as Lehner somehow robbed Mikko Rantanen with a stunning glove save as the Knights thrived on the PK once more.

Second Period

It is fair to say that the middle frame really made up for the lack of goals in the first period as this game exploded into life offensively.

The scoring started at 1:34 in the second as Jonathan Marchessault tipped home a shot from the point by Shea Theodore on the power play.

Nathan MacKinnon, who was sat in the box for that PP, more than atoned for his error at 6:46, however, after the forward picked up a loose puck amid a scramble and beat Lehner as Colorado responded with their own power play goal.

Vegas lit the lamp again though and this one was an ugly goal too with Nicolas Roy being credited at 12:55.

But, as was the pattern of this frantic second period, the Avalanche made it a tied game again thanks to Joonas Donskoi, who buried a rebound at point-blank range.

Third Period

Marchessault, who had been an offensive force in this game, was tripped early in the third period by defenseman Ryan Graves, and the forward showed slick moves to bury the resulting penalty shot glove side.

Cold-blooded is probably the best way to describe that goal.

Lehner made some big saves but, with time running out in regulation, he was finally beat as J.T. Compher made it a tied game with 1:02 left to play.

Overtime

It was all the Golden Knights in OT and it was one of the stars of the restart who delivered when it mattered most.

After Vegas won the puck back in their own zone, Alex Tuch carried the puck in on the rush before going top-shelf with an absolute snipe of a shot.

It was a fitting way to win the No.1 seed in the West for the Golden Knights, who went a perfect 3-0-0 in the round-robin games and will now face the Chicago Blackhawks in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Let’s take a look at our Three Stars of the Game…

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