Mark Stone blocked a shot on the defensive end and by the time he spun around, a pass was waiting for him with nothing but clear sailing ahead.
A burst of speed — even as tired as he was — and a wrist shot later, he was being mobbed along the boards by teammates.
The captain to the rescue.
Stone scored on a breakaway 50 seconds into overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights overcame a two-goal deficit to beat the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2, Tuesday night at Denver and take a 3-2 lead in their second-round series.
“He was exhausted and you saw how hard he skated all the way down the ice,” teammate Alex Tuch said. “He’s the heart and soul on this team. He wears his character on his chest. He’s the captain we’ve always wanted. It was a huge goal.”
Max Pacioretty corralled the puck after two blocked shots on that end and fed it to Stone, who was off to the races. Stone beat Philipp Grubauer on the glove side to hush what had been a boisterous crowd.
“That was vintage Mark Stone,” Vegas coach Pete DeBoer said. “Big-time play to win it for us.”
Trailing, 2-0, entering the third, the Golden Knights found another gear with Tuch scoring 1:03 into the period and Jonathan Marchessault tying it up just 3:04 later.
Really, though, it was the Marc-Andre Fleury Show, with the Vegas goaltender stopping 28 shots, many of the sensational variety. He stuffed J.T. Compher just 10 seconds into the extra period.
“Fleury makes a big stop there. It happened bang, bang,” Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. “He’s able to get a piece of it. It didn’t go our way tonight.”
Fleury picked up playoff win No. 88, which ties him with Billy Smith and Ed Belfour for the fourth-most in NHL history. It was also Fleury’s 12th career playoff overtime win, which trails only Tuukka Rask (15) and Braden Holtby (14) for most among active goaltenders, according to NHL Stats.
“He’s a Vezina candidate for a reason,” Stone said of Fleury, who’s up for the league’s top goaltender award. “He’s the Vezina winner in my opinion for a reason and he stayed strong throughout the whole game.”
Lightning advance to semifinals
Brayden Point and Ross Colton scored and Andrei Vasilevskiy controlled the crease, helping the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Carolina Hurricanes, 2-0, Tuesday night at Raleigh, N.C., to win the second-round playoff series in five games.
Vasilevskiy finished with 29 saves and stumped the homesteading Hurricanes for the third time in as many series games at PNC Arena. The former Vezina Trophy winner as the NHL’s top goaltender and a finalist this year had allowed just two goals on 70 shots through the first two games to open this series.
Alex Nedeljkovic had 23 saves for the Central Division champion Hurricanes.
UMass’s Cale Makar, Harvard’s Adam Fox among finalists for Norris Trophy
The Colorado Avalanche made Cale Makar the fourth pick in the 2017 NHL Draft. In just two seasons as a pro, Makar has a Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year and on Wednesday was named one of three finalists for the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL’s top defenseman.
Makar, who played two seasons at UMass, is joined by Adam Fox, who played three seasons at Harvard. Fox was a third-round pick of the Calgary Flames in 2016. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in 2018, and shipped to the Rangers in 2019.
Makar won the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA men’s player, in 2019, and Fox was among the finalists that season.
The other Norris finalist is Victor Hedman of the Lightning.
Makar scored 44 points (eight goals) in 44 games for the Avalanche. Fox was second among defensemen in scoring with 47 points (five goals) and was plus-19 in 55 games.
Hedman is a finalist for the fifth straight season, and he won the award in 2017-18 and finished third each of the past two seasons.
Shero joins Wild
The Minnesota Wild hired longtime NHL general manager Ray Shero as a senior advisor to general manager Bill Guerin, who played for and worked under Shero with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Shero was fired last year by New Jersey, midway through his fifth season as general manager for the Devils. Prior to his time there, he spent eight years as general manager of the Penguins — overseeing the 2009 Stanley Cup champions.
Shero is a native of St. Paul, where the Wild play. He was assistant general manager of the Ottawa Senators (1993-98) and Nashville Predators (1998-2006).
His father, Fred Shero, coached the Philadelphia Flyers to Stanley Cup titles in 1974 and 1975.