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Keegan Kolesar Nets First NHL Goal as VGK Beat Blues 5-1

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Keegan Kolesar First NHL Goal Vegas Golden Knights

Keegan Kolesar scored his first NHL goal and Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone scored twice in a four-goal third period as the VGK knocked out the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Monday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Both of Stone’s goals came in the third period as did Kolesar’s first NHL marker. The VGK rookie followed his nose to the net, slipping behind the defense to pick up a loose puck and tuck it past Jordan Binnington in the Blues net at 11:19 of the third period.

Vegas also netted a pair of power play goals in the third period, one from Stone and one from William Karlsson who followed up on his own rebound off the pads of Binnington.

Robin Lehner earned the win with 15 saves.

Golden Grades

Goaltending – A

Sometimes the hardest game to win is the one where you have very little action. Kudos to the Vegas Golden Knights defense for keeping most of the shots away from Robin Lehner, but he still came up with the saves he needed to. Perhaps his biggest stop was early in the third period when the game could have gone either way, but Lehner was there and the Golden Knights offense took over after that. This is what I would call an “easy A” in net tonight.

Defense – A

They managed to eliminate the early turnovers in the defensive zone that have plagued the team’s slow starts. In fact, the defense really did a good job of eliminating almost all of the Grade A chances for the St. Louis Blues all night. Vegas recorded 18 blocks and 19 takeaways in the game with only three giveaways all night.

Offense – A

Heading into the third period this grade was going to be lower, but then the team comes out with a four-goal third period and you have to tip your cap. Two on the power play, two at even strength and a 1-1 game became a blowout quickly. One Keegan Kolesar notched that third goal, you knew the game was over.

Special Teams – A

Hard to find something to criticize tonight as the power play converted twice and showed some great puck movement. Especially encouraging in that puck movement was the player movement off the puck. That’s what really opens up seams for passes and shots is movement away from the biscuit. Vegas executed to a “T” in the third. The penalty kill stopped both chances against.

The Takeaways:

  • The entire Vegas Golden Knight team was pumped for Keegan Kolesar to score his first NHL goal. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch the highlights right through the celebration on the boards and his high five line at the bench. This is a team that takes pride in each other’s accomplishments, and I can’t tell you how important it is to have that type of camaraderie in the locker room.
  • Closer and closer to a full 60-minute effort for the Vegas Golden Knights. Tonight was a complete game in all ends of the ice against a tough Blues team.
  • It was good to see Vegas score the first goal of the game after swarming the Blues net repeatedly, finally squeaking one through the body of Binnington. When you’ve seen your best effort go without reward as sometimes happen to the Golden Knights, it’s good to convert early and feel like the ball is rolling.
  • These are the perfect types of games for Robin Lehner to get his sea legs back under him. Not too much work, but enough challenge that he has to stay sharp. You get the sense that the VGK understand how critical it is to clean up in front of their goaltender when he’s just getting back in the swing of things, and they did a great job with that tonight.
  • Now the Golden Knights will face a stiff test with a pair against the red-hot Colorado Avalanche, winners of seven in a row.
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[…] The Vegas Golden Knights exploded for four goals in the third period last night to beat the St. Louis Blues going away. Here’s our recap and report card for you. (VegasHockeyNow) […]

[…] Vegas: Keegan Kolesar scored his first NHL goal, and Vegas keeps rolling. […]

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