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.