The Flyers conclude the magical round-robin with a Golden Knights win, earning the NHL’s top postseason seeds

With a shootout to determine the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and kick off time, Alex Tuch scored 4:44 in overtime as the Vegas Golden Knights won the round-robin tournament in Edmonton, beating Colorado Avalanche 4-3 . Saturday.

The Golden Knights, who made a coaching change in January with the team stuck at No. 7 in the West, brought in Pete DeBoer to replace Gerrard Gallant, went 3–0 in the round robin, before winning to Dallas and St. Louis Beat. On Colorado. Vegas secured a first-round matchup with the No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks, a team that finished regular-season 12th in the West before upsetting Edmonton in the qualifying round.

The Philadelphia Flyers also have a new coach this season, however, unlike DeBoer, Ellen Vigneault has been with the club since the offseason. He led the Flyers to the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference round robin and, like Vegas, Philadelphia also marked the 3–0 mark to secure the No. 1 seed.

Nicholas Aubé-Kubel scored twice and Carter Hart scored 23 as surprise flyers – out of the playoffs last season – defeating the Toma Bay Lightning 4-1 in Toronto on Saturday night, defeating Round Robin, the first. The round earned the series with the Montreal Canadiens, another surprising No. 8 seed who overtook Pittsburgh in the qualifying round.

“We’ve worked really hard,” Hart said in his postgame interview on NBC. “It is always difficult to do this at intervals of three or four months – but we have barely returned, and all four lines are rolling.”

In the Eastern Conference round robin the Flyers outscored the Bruins, Lightning and Capitals, 11-3.

“What’s very unexpected with what’s going on in the world, but we had a chance to come back, and we all looked forward to coming back,” Hart said. “We’ve got a lot of work, and it’s showing now.”

Tampa Bay, formerly the No. 1 seed last season, will play either Columbus or Toronto in the first round. The Blue Jackets and Maple Leafs will play a decisive Game 5 on Sunday to conclude the qualifying round.

Star defenseman Victor Hedman, who lost power, appeared to bend his right ankle while going down the untouched mid-way through Philadelphia for the first time. And they are already without captain Steven Stamkos indefinitely with a leg injury.

Vegas, which advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018, received two goals from Jonathan Marchlesault, with one on a penalty shot, as well as another tally from Nicholas Roy as the Knights completed their undefeated tournament.

“We came here to take care of every challenge we faced. We did a good job,” said Marchsault. “We wanted the first seed after the round robin and we did it. So I think it’s very positive. We’re really happy where our game is as a team.”

Goaltender Robin Lehner led the way to a 32-run win, setting up a unique series against the Blackhawks, before halting the game in March. Many Blackhawks, a day after eliminating the Oilers in their home rink, saw the Knights win from the stand.

Tuch scored the winner on a shot to the shoulder of the Avalanche goalkeeper Philip Grubauer. The Avalanche tied the game with 1:02 left in regulation when JT Compher caught the puck. It was Tuch’s third goal in round-robin play.

“Looks great,” Took said. “Honestly, it was a big goal to get the first seed. I didn’t care who scored it as long as we did.”

Juno Donskoi and Nathan McKinnon scored for the Avalanche. Grubauer was over Pavel Francoz, stopping 27 shots in a win over Dallas on Wednesday. The experienced Grubauer was solid in saving 22 shots.

With the loss, Colorado finished second in the round robin, and would take on Arizona in the first round.

“We’re talking like we lost and our game was bad. I don’t see it that way. I don’t look at it that way,” Avalanche coach Jared Bedner said. “If we were expecting this thing to be easy, then we are in the wrong tournament. It’s going to work. It’s a real hockey team. I’m not really disappointed.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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