Golden Knights look to eliminate Avalanche in Game 6

If there is one lingering criticism of the Golden Knights in their brief but successful postseason history, it’s their inability to close out a series.

That lack of a knockout punch nearly proved costly last season in the bubble and again during the first round against Minnesota, which pushed the series to seven games.

The Knights can’t afford to swing and miss Thursday when they look to close out the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of the West Division final at T-Mobile Arena.

“We know the task at hand and how difficult it’s going to be,” coach Pete DeBoer said. “I think Mark Stone said it (Tuesday) night, we all know the last one’s always the toughest. Especially against a team like this. Excited about the home crowd. We’re going to need that extra boost of energy.”

After falling behind 2-0 in the series and in Game 5, the Knights are in position to eliminate the Presidents’ Trophy winner following Stone’s goal 50 seconds into overtime Tuesday in Denver.

However, potential series-clinching games have not been the Knights’ strength since their inaugural season when they wasted no time sending Los Angeles, San Jose and Winnipeg to the golf course.

The Knights are 3-8 in their past 11 closeout games, including a 6-2 victory over Minnesota in Game 7 on May 28. They were unable to hold a 3-1 series lead against San Jose in 2019 and nearly squandered a 3-1…

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