The Vegas Golden Knights (11-7) once again came out with a sloppy first-period start but were able to come back and defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets (9-6) by a score of 3-2. Laurent Brossoit started, Ben Jones played in his first career NHL game, and Max Pacioretty was unable to return.
It was also Hockey Fights Cancer night. The Golden Knights wore special purple jerseys in warmups and they were auctioned off during the game. Henderson Silver Knights head coach Manny Viveiros and Shea Theodore are notable members of the Golden Knights organization that have battled cancer.
In what has become a trend for the team, the Golden Knight opened up the first period with a lackluster effort. Just 45 seconds in, Jake Bean’s shot was tipped in by Gustav Nyquist and the Blue Jackets were up 1-0.
The Golden Knights found themselves down by two after a shorthanded goal from Alexander Texier who danced around Mark Stone, the only man back for the Golden Knights, and scored.
The Blue Jackets pressured the Golden Knights breakouts on the wall, played a simple game, and led in the shot department 13-7 after the first period. This is the sixth time this season the Golden Knights have given up at least two goals in the first period.
But the Golden Knights once more regrouped and came out in the second period looking like a completely different team. They cut the lead midway through the period with Keegan Kolesar scoring his first goal of the season.
The Golden Knights did a great job in the second period at sustaining pressure and pounding on the Blue Jackets off the forecheck. Late in the period both Brett Howden and Alex Pietrangelo missed wide-open nets.
The Blue Jackets had a prime opportunity to regain their two-goal lead with Kolesar taking a tripping penalty. But the Blue Jackets’ defense on the powerplay collapsed and gave up three separate breakaways. Kolesar was denied coming out the box and so was Chandler Stephenson.
But Reilly Smith was not as he scored his second shorthanded goal of the season and tied the game 2-2. Both teams scored shorthanded goals on the night, a rare occurrence.
Mattias Janmark was all over the ice for the Golden Knights Saturday night. He broke his career-high eight shots on goal and was an offensive weapon in every shift he had. He finally broke free in the third period and scored his first goal of the season to give the Golden Knights the lead.
Mark Stone is now the only forward on the Golden Knight’s current roster that does not have a goal this season.
There were two separate four-on-four spurts, a goaltender pulled, and a late push from the Blue Jackets. But the Golden Knights were able to hold on and win 3-2.
The team will take on the St. Louis Blues Monday night on the road for a 5:00 pm puck drop.