NHL Playoff Buzzer: Avalanche top line looks unstoppable; Vasilevskiy leads Lightning

NHL Scores
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  • Andrei Vasilevskiy helps the Tampa Bay Lightning take Game 1 from the Carolina Hurricanes.
  • The Colorado Avalanche top line looked absolutely unstoppable against the Vegas Golden Knights.
  • Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves could be suspended for his actions late in that game.

Tampa Bay Lightning 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1 (TBL leads 1-0)

Barclay Goodrow scored the game-winning goal with seven minutes to play in regulation to help the Tampa Bay Lightning take Game 1, 2-1, over the Carolina Hurricanes. Brayden Point also scored on the power play while Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 37 shots. Even when the Lightning do not play their best game they are nearly impossible to beat because they have the best goalie in the league. He played like it on Sunday.

Colorado Avalanche 7, Vegas Golden Knights 1 (COL leads 1-0)

Total domination. The Avalanche jumped all over the Golden Knights right from the start in a 7-1 win that featured their best players dominating all night. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Cale Makar were way too much for the Golden Knights as their plan to start Robin Lehner in goal did not work out as they had hoped or planned. It also ended with chaos as Ryan Reaves ended up getting ejected. He could be suspended for Game 2 and beyond.

Three Stars

1. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning. The benefit of having the best goalie in the league is you can still win a playoff game against a great team when you do not bring your best performance. That is what happened for the Lightning on Sunday in their 2-1 win over the Hurricanes. Vasilevskiy kept them in it early through a slow start and then hold on in the third period as the Hurricanes tried to get the equalizer in the closing minutes. Goaltending was the difference in this game.

2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche. Honestly you could have picked any member of the Avalanche top line. They were all amazing. They were all dominant. MacKinnon, though, is the main guy here and he was especially dominant in the Game 1 win with two goals and an assist. His speed was so much that it made the Golden Knights look like they were moving in slow motion all night.

3. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche. Simply a world class player that was at his best on Sunday. Makar’s passing was incredible all night, resulting in a four point game (one goal, three assists). He might already be the best defenseman in the entire NHL and should be a cornerstone player in Colorado for years ahead.

Highlights Of The Night

Barclay Goodrow sneaks this shot by Carolina Hurricanes goalie Alex Nedelkjovic for the game-winning goal for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Mikko Rantanen opens the scoring for the Colorado Avalanche with this absolutely ridiculous backhand shot off the rush to beat Robin Lehner.

The brawl that could result in a suspension for Ryan Reaves.

Monday NHL Schedule

Game 7: Montreal Canadiens At Toronto Maple Leafs (Series Tied 3-3), 7 p.m. ET — CNBC (livestream)
Game 2: New York Islanders At Boston Bruins (BOS leads 1-0), 7:30 p.m. ET — NBCSN (livestream)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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