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Golden Knights Takeaways: Two Firsts, Huge Penalty Kill, Defense First

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Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg first NHL Goals (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights)

For the first time this season, the Vegas Golden Knights are two games above .500. The Golden Knights held onto their 3-2 lead against the Minnesota Wild and now have won two straight.

It was a night of firsts for many Golden Knights. Backup goaltender Laurent Brossoit got both his first start and win at home at T-Mobile Arena. This was Brossoint’s third start this season and first at home.  He has 24 saves on 26 shots.

“It feels great. It was a loud building. It has been the most t fun building that I have ever been a part of,  with the best fans and it feels good to get the first one and the monkey off the back with a first regular-season win in this arena,” said Brossoit.

In the first period alone, both Paul Cotter and Jonas Rondbjerg scored their first NHL goals as well. On the same fourth-line both forwards scored from a similar angle on Wild goaltender Cam Talbot.

“I don’t think it gets much better than that. I think that is my default move I have done that a few times and I was comfortable doing that,” said Paul Cotter on his first NHL goal.

“I think I was more excited for Jonas’ goal. I almost killed him when I ran into him. It was so cool that we could both share that moment together,” said Cotter.

Golden Knights Takeaways vs Minnesota Wild

Cotter, Rondbjerg have a chance to stay

Having two first-NHL goals scored certainly helps the case for the Golden Knight’s fourth-line to stay together. Alongside Brett Howden, both Cotter and Rondbjerg had an incredible game.

The goals are easy to point out, but it is the consistent tenacity and grit that these young players have started to show for the Golden Knights that stands out.

“From the moment they showed up they have been playing good hockey all over the ice and it’s good for them to get rewarded,” said Jonathan Marchessault on Cotter and Rondbjerg.

With the Golden Knights slowly but surely getting healthier it will be interesting to see how long both Rondbjerg and Cotter will stay in the lineup. They now currently both have more goals than Mattias Janmark and Keegan Kolesar on the season.

Good teams need young depth, and Cotter and Rondbjerg are showing that they can provide that for the Golden Knights.

Penalty kill shows resilience

The Golden Knights penalty kill went a perfect six-for-six on the night stopping the Wild’s multiple powerplay opportunities. In the second period, there were two different five-on-three chances for the Wild, and the Golden Knights penalty killers were able to persevere.

“That’s a really gutsy effort by our group. Going into the game with the lineup that we have, and then losing Martinez early, and then with all the penalties and the over-the-glass stuff, we had a lot of reasons not to win tonight,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer.

The Golden Knights shot blocking and ability to force teams to the outside was on its game Thursday night. While players like Brayden McNabb, Shea Theodore, Nicolas Roy, and Chandler Stephenson did not show up all over the scoresheet, their penalty-killing efforts paved the way for the Golden Knights’ victory.

“We take a ton of pride in it. It’s been off-and-on as of late and we wanted to fix it. I thought we did a great job tonight. LB played awesome and made some big saves,” said McNabb.

Up Next: the Golden Knights take on the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night at 7:00 local time at home.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps is the new beat writer covering the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now. He has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, Pittsburgh Sports Castle, Pittsburgh Hockey Now, and The Titusville Herald.

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