The Vegas Golden Knights (15-10-0) have won three straight games, all of which have tested them in different areas of their game. They were able to easily turn aside the Arizona Coyotes to end a losing streak, it was not much of a game but two points nonetheless. They got a big test against the Calgary Flames where they played arguably their most complete game of the season and won narrowly.
Wednesday night against the Dallas Stars continued this trend of the Golden Knights being tested. But instead of being the team that fended off a comeback, it was the Golden Knights who clawed their way back into the game. After a goaltending change and giving up three powerplay goals, the Golden Knights were able to come back and defeat the Stars 5-4 without even having to go to overtime.
“Coming back and battling that adversity was huge for our team and hopefully it can kickstart something big finishing off this homestand,” said Golden Knights captain Mark Stone postgame.
Robin Lehner was pulled in the second period of the game after giving up three goals, all of which he was screened by his defenseman. The goaltending change worked and the Golden Knights came back and won the game. But there may be another storyline centered around this goaltending change as fans were heard cheering when Golden Knights PA Announcer Bruce Cusick made the goaltending change announcement.
— Bryan Salmond (@BryanNews3LV) December 9, 2021
Many fans are still upset over Golden Knight’s general manager’s decision to ship out fan-favorite Marc-Andre Fleury in the offseason. Lehner has taken over as the starting goaltender in Vegas and has a record of 10-9 on the season along with a 3.02 GAA and .910 save percentage.
“You feel for the goalie because you can’t hang that all on him. That’s is a last resort for me, I don’t pull goalies very often. I just felt that it was the right thing to do tonight. You could argue all three hit something but they still went in. That’s on our penalty killers and goalie,” said Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer on his decision to pull Lehner.
Two players that had the biggest impact on the Golden Knight’s comeback were Mark Stone and Alex Pietrangelo. Stone had two goals including the game-tying goal and Pietrangelo had two assists. These two make up two of the most important veteran leaders on the Golden Knights roster and tonight it showed.
Stone has struggled to find the back of the net since coming back from injury but hopefully, tonight’s two-goal game can get him going even more for the Golden Knights. He continues to be one of the most emotional and passionate players for the Golden Knights.
“It’s crazy. I love it. I’ve never seen anyone get so excited. I think he almost broke my hand on the first one (on a high-five). When your leader is showing that much emotion is does trickle down. The good thing about it is that he gets just as excited when someone else scores and if he scores,” said Pietrangelo on Stone’s energy.
The crowd at T-Mobile Arena was loud on Wednesday night as the Golden Knights continued to win at home. Max Pacioretty even had some words for the Golden Knights fanbase postgame saying that he “hadn’t heard that place like that in a while.” The Golden Knights are now 8-2-0 in their last ten game and will continue to play at home for the next two games.
The Golden Knights have a perfect opportunity to extend their winning streak Friday night as they take on the struggling Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have not only lost ten-straight games but have had some unfortunate things happen to their center-ice logo. Friday’s game is slated for a 7:00 pm puck drop at home at T-Mobile Arena.