It wasn’t an ideal game for the Vegas Golden Knights but they did earn a shootout point in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Both teams battled through regulation time, with the Golden Knights twice taking the lead and the Wild twice tying the game. William Karlsson and Brayden McNabb had the goals for Vegas in regulation, while Kirill Kaprizov and Jared Spurgeon scored for Minnesota.
Robin Lehner played well for the Golden Knights, making several big saves to keep the VGK in the game. He even made a massive stop on a wraparound right before overtime ended on Kaprizov to force a shootout.
- Brayden McNabb scoring was just icing on the cake for him in this game. McNabb has looked good since coming back from a broken foot and appears to really be getting his game going. Aside from Alex Pietrangelo who seemed as if he was everywhere, McNabb had the biggest impact on the game defensively in all zones. It was McNabb’s first goal in 67 games.
- Robin Lehner was run over during the overtime, drawing a penalty for goaltender interference. After a brief visit from the trainer, he stayed in looking ok. Certainly VGK fans hold their collective breath when that happens, but it appears he’s fine.
- Both Vegas and Minnesota had only gone to a shootout once previously this season, with each team entering the extra session 0-1.
- Vegas has now won just three of the last seven games, and this has the makings of a bit of a lull for the team. I’m not overly concerned at this point because every team goes through it. But with it happening less than two weeks before the trade deadline it might motivate the VGK to become more active than originally thought.
- What does concern me is that the Vegas Golden Knights had trouble defending the lead, losing it twice. Earlier in the season, they would take the lead and then find separation with a goal or two to stretch the lead. For some reason when Vegas has the lead lately they seem to take their foot off the gas and try to defend the advantage.
- It’s worth mentioning how well Cam Talbot played in the game. Talbot made 35 saves through OT and three more in the shootout to earn the win. He is definitely a standout reason the Wild ended up with two points tonight.
- Vegas was unexpectedly short two skaters when Ryan Reaves wasn’t ready to return from his lower body injury and defenseman Zach Whitecloud suffered an upper body injury. Plus Chandler Stephenson is suspended for three games, so the VGK had only 10 forwards in the lineup.