Golden Knights top Avalanche 6-3, reach Stanley Cup semis

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Vegas Golden Knights center William Karlsson, center left, and Vegas Golden Knights right wing Keegan Kolesar, center right, celebrate with teammates after defeating the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Thursday, June 10, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS – When Alex Pietrangelo signed with the Vegas Golden Knights in October, he didn’t mince words as to why he left St. Louis after 12 seasons.

“Obviously the atmosphere; I mean, I think everybody agrees it’s probably the best place to play in the NHL right now," he said. "They play the way I think the game should be played, so you want to go somewhere you feel comfortable and that you can help.”

His contributions Thursday night helped the Golden Knights move into the NHL’s final four for the third time in the franchise’s four years.

Pietrangelo scored his first goal of the postseason to break a tie late in the second period, and the Golden Knights defeated the Colorado Avalanche 6-3 in Game 6 of their second-round series to advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals.

Pietrangelo, who finished the series with 22 shots, 21 blocks, and a point in all four wins, now has 16 career points in 17 potential series-clinching games played.

“I thought he was the best player in the series, on either team,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “He was an absolute monster for us. Defensively, blocking shots, offensively, the goal tonight - that’s what we brought him here for, for this time of year, and those situations.”

Nick Holden, William Karlsson, Keegan Kolesar, William Carrier, and Max Pacioretty also scored for Vegas, which won four straight in the series and will next face the Montreal Canadiens.

Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 30 shots and moved into sole possession of fourth place all-time with 89 playoff wins.