The Vegas Golden Knights closed out a series on home ice for the first time in franchise history, topping the Minnesota Wild 6-2 on Friday night at TMobile Arena and moving on to a second-round clash with the Colorado Avalanche.
Max Pacioretty made a dramatic return to the Golden Knights lineup after missing 12 games and scored the game-winning goal. Meanwhile, Mattias Janmark, the Vegas Golden Knights NHL trade deadline acquisition, recorded a hat trick including icing the game into an empty net late in the third period.
Marc-Andre Fleury was solid in net, keeping Minnesota at bay and weathering the third-period push from the Wild as desperation set in.
Now, the Golden Knights will travel to Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday at 8 pm ET – 5 pm PT.
- High drama, but Max Pacioretty’s return to the Golden Knights lineup was incredibly impactful. From the emotional lift it provided to his scoring of the third (and as it turned out game-winning) goal, Pacioretty being back on the ice also re-balanced the scoring through the lineup. With Alex Tuch back down the lineup to provide his offensive talents, scoring was once again spread out more evenly throughout the lines.
- Also great to see Zach Whitecloud and Nic Hague finding the score sheet as well. Whitecloud’s goal was perfectly placed just inside the top corner and Hague’s seemed to have eyes, finding a way through Cam Talbot on the short side. Some nights things just go your way. This was one of them.
- The Golden Knights finally wore the Wild down. It took the entire series but they did it. Vegas was able to get more and better chances than in almost any other game in the series tonight. Hopefully that carries over to the next series.
- Congrats to Mattias Janmark who posted a playoff hat trick to drive the scoring for Vegas. Janmark has been such an important part of the Golden Knights success since his acquisition, and tonight it was fantastic to see him rewarded for it.