Avalanche’s fourth line “outstanding” in tying Vegas for West Division lead | VailDaily.com

Avalanche’s fourth line “outstanding” in tying Vegas for West Division lead

Mike Chambers
Denver Post
Colorado Avalanche defensemen Devon Toews (7) and Sam Girard, left wing Andre Burakovsky (95) and right wing Valeri Nichushkin congratulate right wing Joonas Donskoi after Donskoi's goal in the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights in Denver, Thursday, March 25, 2021. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

The Avalanche’s fourth line was its best trio Thursday night in a 5-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights at Ball Arena.

To begin a two-game set between the West Division giants, center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and wingers J.T. Compher and Logan O’Connor were each plus-3 and the line had a hand in three goals. Bellemare and Compher scored and O’Connor had the primary assist on defenseman Cale Makar’s tally that gave Colorado a 3-1 lead midway through the second period.

With the win, the Avalanche (21-8-3) tied the Knights (22-8-1) with a division-high 45 points. The rematch is Saturday afternoon.

“Just playing the right way. I thought that was a great game by that group,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said of the Bellemare line. “They definitely set the tone for our team and definitely had a large part in helping us get the win tonight.”

Compher assisted on Bellemare’s goal 3:54 into the third period that gave the Avs a 5-1 lead — Colorado’s fifth consecutive tally after trailing 1-0 early. Compher scored with a backhand for the second goal in the Avs’ four-goal second period.

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