Wearing the brand new gold jerseys for the first time, Vegas Golden Knights waited until the last minute to get the offense going. William Karlsson scored to tie the game at 18:38 with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, and Max Pacioretty ended the game just seven seconds into overtime as Vegas pulled out a 2-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night.
Here are Tom Callahan’s quick takeaways and analysis.
Fleury Looked Sharp
Marc-Andre Fleury looked really sharp against the Ducks Saturday night. He was aggressive without being ridiculous, responsive, reactive, and seemed to be one step ahead of the Ducks on several occasions. He even pulled out a classic poke check along the way. Fleury seemed to be tracking pucks well and aware of rebounds when they were present. All good news. The reason Vegas was able to tie the game late starts and ends with Fleury.
Mark Stone Keeps Rolling
Stone, along with his linemates Max Pacioretty and Chandler Stephenson, are flying around out there. While Stephenson hasn’t figured as prominently in the mix yet, Stone is on fire. He set up both the game-tying and game-winning goals yesterday. Starting overtime with Pacioretty, Stone stole the faceoff at center, broke in on the left side in a 2-on-1 and fed Pacioretty for the game-winning goal pretty as you please. This combo is going to cause massive damage to opposing defenses this season.
Gibson Couldn’t Stop Them All
Without another fantastic effort from John Gibson, the Ducks would have been down a few goals in regulation. Gibson once again made save after save on prime VGK scoring chances to keep his team in it. One wonders how much more people would notice him on a winning team. Put him on the Oilers for example, and that team is a Cup favorite.
Gold Jersey Debut
The brand-new VGK gold jerseys made their debut last night, and for 58 minutes I was worried. When teams drop a new kit fans usually love it, the players say the right things and they sell like hotcakes. But then there’s the actual business of wearing them in a game. If you wear the golds and get blanked by the Ducks, that starts a bad mental image of those jerseys for the players. Fortunately Vegas pulled the game out, so the jerseys are so far safe from this fate. I’m not kidding when I say NHL players and coaches can kill an alternate uniform just by believing it’s bad luck. So winning that game in those jerseys was big.
Marc-Andre Fleury Nets Win 100 in 3-2 OT Victory at Anaheim
William Karlsson scored twice including the overtime game winner and Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 100th win in a Vegas Golden Knights uniform with a 3-2 overtime win against the Anaheim Ducks Saturday night.
Karlsson’s second goal ended the game as he broke in alone behind the Ducks defense at 3:23 of overtime. After being hooked up on the backcheck, Karlsson still maintained the puck and deked to his backhand, sliding it past the outstretched left pad of Ducks goalie John Gibson.
Alex Pietrangelo also had a big night offensively for the Golden Knights, scoring once and setting up a beautiful goal by William Karlsson for his first of the night on a long stretch pass in the second.
falling for you 🙃 pic.twitter.com/QzK6RYHvLH
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 28, 2021
Marc-Andre Fleury was his typically terrific self in net, turning aside 28 shots for his 100th victory in a VGK uniform.
Adam Henrique and Rickard Rakell scored for the Anaheim Ducks.
- The lack of a game Thursday was a nice rest for Marc-Andre Fleury, who was making his 8th consecutive start. Fleury made several tremendous saves including two big ones in the overtime to preserve the win.
- Marc-Andre Fleury also hit a milestone with the victory, marking his 100th win in a Vegas Golden Knights uniform.
- Alec Martinez had a rough night, heading down the tunnel twice after blocking shots during the game. A tremendous effort to be sure, but Martinez will be reaching for the ice packs tonight.
- William Karlsson scored twice for his fourth multi-point game of the season.
- Both of Vegas’ overtime wins this season have come against Anaheim.
- The new line combinations for the Vegas Golden Knights show a lot of scoring distribution, and even though it’s been only one game I’d expect head coach Pete DeBoer to give them some time to gel after what we saw tonight.
Tuch Scores Twice; Vintage Marc-Andre Fleury Blanks Avalanche 3-0
Alex Tuch scored the first two goals of the game for the Vegas Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury turned in a vintage performance making 34 saves to shut out the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Monday night.
With the win, Vegas earns a split in the four-game series between the two clubs and improves to 11-4-1 on the season. The Avalanche drop to 9-5-1 and lose on home ice for only the second time this season.
Fleury recorded his third shutout of the young season with 34 saves, 15 coming in the third period as he shut down the Avalanche attack. Not only did Fleury make several top-quality stops, but also received 17 blocks to help secure the win.
Tuch got the Golden Knights off and running with a power play goal off the rush at 2:53 of the second period. Just over three minutes later he banked a shot in off the stick of Avs defender Bowen Byram for the second straight game to make it 2-0.
Jonathan Marchessault scored the third goal for Vegas, beating Philipp Grubauer five-hole to wrap the scoring.
- William Karlsson recorded two assists in the game, the second time in three outings he has done that.
- Fleury’s shutout was his 64th of his career, tying him with Henrik Lundqvist for 16th all-time.
- It was also Marc-Andre Fleury’s 99th win in a Vegas Golden Knights uniform.
- Fleury is the only goalie to blank the Avs this season and has already done it twice.
- These two teams will not see each other again until March 25 for a two-game set.
Avalanche Beat Golden Knights on Kadri’s Late Goal
Nazem Kadri broke a 2-2 tie with just 39.7 seconds left in the third period on Tuesday night to give the Colorado Avalanche two big points in regulation against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena.
Twice Colorado took the lead in the game, and twice the Golden Knights battled back to tie it on goals from Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault. For most of the game, the Avalanche did a good job of limiting the Golden Knights scoring chances to the perimeter or squelching them entirely. The few times Vegas did manage to penetrate to the front of the net they were dangerous, but did not do it enough.
Marc-Andre Fleury took the loss in net for Vegas with 21 saves, while Philipp Grubauer was solid for the second straight game making 27 saves for the win.
- The game was nothing short of what you’d expect from two top teams in the NHL. Opportunities were few and far between. Both goalies were very good. Mistakes were few. Overall, these two teams showed why they’ll battle it out tooth and nail for the top spot in the Honda West Division all season.
- It was nice to see Vegas once again score on the power play, with Max Pacioretty slotting a shot over the glove hand of Grubauer. The Golden Knights need special teams to continue to be sharp in this shortened season.
- Alex Pietrangelo returned to the lineup after missing a few games due to injury and skated 24:33 with four blocks, two shots and one hit.
- Cale Makar once again did not play for the Colorado Avalanche due to an upper-body injury.
- Nazem Kadri scored his first marker in five games and only his fourth of the season when he beat Marc-Andre Fleury with 39.7 seconds left.
- Tonight marked the first time in nine games this season the Vegas Golden Knights didn’t win when Jonathan Marchessault records a point.
- Game three of the current four-game set between the two teams will come this Saturday outdoors at Lake Tahoe. Puck drop is set for noon PT with national coverage on NBC.