William Karlsson played the role of hero for the Vegas Golden Knights, notching the game-winning goal with just 43 seconds remaining in a scoreless game to give the VGK the 1-0 victory Sunday afternoon.
With cheers coming from what sounded more like a partisan Vegas crowd, Jonathan Marchessault dug out a puck from behind the Coyotes net and centered to Karlsson. Karlsson made no mistake, burying the puck on the stick side of Darcy Kuemper (26 saves) for the game-winning goal.
Marc-Andre Fleury posted his 62nd career shutout on 16 saves. The victory was his third straight to open the 2021 season.
For the Vegas Golden Knights, the win is redemption after giving up five goals to the Coyotes on Friday night for the team’s first loss of the season. This time Vegas never really let Arizona into the contest, giving up only four shots in the first period.
The game felt sluggish at times, perhaps due to the afternoon start but also the fact that these same two teams were facing each other for the fourth straight time. Fortunately for Vegas, they were able to break through late and steal the victory.
“The name of the game was patience,” Karlsson said with a relieved laugh after the game. “We had a lot of chances and sooner or later they will go in. I thought we had a great game. Eventually (it) has to go in and it did.”
When the Golden Knights had the energy up and forechecked aggressively in the game they generated chances. Nowhere was that on display more than the game-winning goal. Alex Tuch dumps the puck into the corner from neutral ice as Marchessault attacks with speed into the Coyotes zone, beating out an icing call. Marchessault puts the puck into an area just off the net in the slot where Karlsson was able to follow up and immediately shoot the puck, not allowing Kuemper to set up for the shot.
WILD BILL SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST 🤠🚨 pic.twitter.com/UBlTugE2y5
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 24, 2021
Vegas was definitely the better of the two sides throughout regulation, out-shooting and out-chancing the Coyotes especially in the later stages of the game. Darcy Kuemper deserves the credit for yet another great start for Arizona, making save after save to give the Coyotes a shot at the win.
The Vegas Golden Knights return home for the team’s toughest test so far, a pair of games against the St. Louis Blues starting Tuesday evening.
- I feel like I’m beating the same drum over and over, but when the Vegas Golden Knights are generating scoring chances, it’s because of the forecheck. This team is built on speed and being aggressive, chasing down pucks and setting up scoring chances from that. Today’s game-winning goal was a perfect example of that.
- Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t busy the entire time, but made every single save he needed to including a breakaway stop on Phil Kessel that could have spelled disaster for the VGK. I’ve never seen a goalie who stays so completely game-ready regardless of work schedule. Fleury won’t receive the credit he deserves for the work he did in this one, but without him being perfect, perhaps Vegas doesn’t win.
- The Vegas Golden Knights have never gone past regulation with a 0-0 score, and came within 43 seconds of that happening against Arizona.
- Once again Cody Glass sat and Nic Hague was back in the lineup, giving Vegas the traditional six defensemen and 12 forwards. Hague looked good and to underscore another point I’ve been making, this team is much better with six defensemen in the lineup.
- Vegas also dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 61% of the draws.
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.
Vegas, Fleury Blank Avs 1-0
Marc-Andre Fleury continues his stellar play in net for the Vegas Golden Knights, posting a 30-save 1-0 shutout of the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
The game is the first of four straight between the two clubs and if this serves as any indication, it will be a closely contested mini series. Fleury was tested several times by the Avalanche but held strong.
Max Pacioretty scored the only goal of the game for the Vegas Golden Knights in the second period, beating Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer low to the glove side with Mark Stone cutting in front to provide a screen.
The next meeting between the two teams will be this Tuesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas Golden Knights
- Marc-Andre Fleury continues his stellar play (something you’ll hear about much more from me shortly) and posted his 63rd career shutout. That puts him one behind Henrik Lundqvist for 16th all-time.
- Max Pacioretty’s goal is his team-leading seventh of the season.
- Vegas is now 10-2-1 and 8-1-1 at home this season.
- The game marked the first time this season the Avalanche has been shut out.
- Colorado had not played since February 2 due to COVID-19 protocols postponing games.
- Cale Makar missed the game with an upper body injury and is day-to-day.