Jonathan Marchessault’s bank shot off the back of Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer for the tying goal in Game 3 felt like a significant moment for the Golden Knights in the West Division final when it happened.
“A huge goal,” center William Karlsson said afterward. “Time will tell how huge it’s going to be.”
It turned out to be the turning point in the series against Colorado.
Along with Max Pacioretty’s go-ahead goal 45 seconds later, Marchessault’s effort started the Knights down the comeback trail. They went on to win four straight and eliminated the favored Avalanche with a 6-3 victory on Thursday in Game 6 at T-Mobile Arena.
Despite taking it on the chin in the opener and being backed against the ropes at various points in the best-of-seven series, the Knights’ postseason know-how was enough to overcome the high-end talent of the Presidents’ Trophy winner.
“I think we saw firsthand the importance of character, leadership, maturity, resilience, determination, all those traits that really carry the day at this time of year when you’re talking about teams that all have lots of good players,” general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Friday.
“The age of our team, the maturity of our team, the makeup of our team, I think all of those things are what you hang onto when you really need a big goal. At this time of year, you need people to make plays.”
The Knights leaned on their experience…