The Vegas Golden Knights (16-11) took care of business Tuesday night and defeated the Boston Bruins (14-9-2) 4-1. They have now outscored their opponent 11-2 in their last two road games. Max Pacioretty scored two goals, Reilly Smith reached 400 career NHL points, and Robin Lehner stopped 23 of 24 shots.
The Bruins were without both Craig Smith and Brad Marchand Tuesday night as they were placed in COVID-19 protocols before the game. Nicolas Roy was a late scratch for the Golden Knights and Brett Howden drew into the lineup as a result.
For the majority of the game, the Bruins had little to nothing in terms of offense. Lehner was not tested much by the Bruins offense at all in the first two periods.
Former Golden Knight Erik Haula had a couple of good chances, and Charlie Coyle got a partial break, but other than that the Bruins offense was non-existent.
The Bruins were booed coming off the ice in the second period by their home crowd.
The Golden Knights controlled more of the offensive zone chances and they got their first goal from Shea Theodore. With a bit of puck luck, Theodore’s shot from the point hit Derek Forbort in the back and went in to make it 1-0 Golden Knights.
Fresh off a career-high four-point game, Chandler Stephenson continued his stellar season with a great stretch pass to Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty then went in and scored once more, his eleventh goal of the season in just eleven games. This marks seven straight games in which Pacioretty has scored since returning from injury, a Golden Knights record.
The Golden Knights got a bit more puck luck late in the dying seconds of the first period on the powerplay. For the first time this season, the Golden Knights have scored on three-straight powerplay attempts.
Jonathan Marchessault’s intended pass hit a pair of Bruins and found the back of the net to make it 3-0. The goal came with just 0.4 seconds left in the first period.
This game essentially boiled down to the Golden Knights being both the better team and luckier team. Two of the Golden Knight’s goals were greatly helped by some added puck luck. But the Golden Knights also showed just how talented they are in their quick transition game.
This continued in the second period as the first line of Mark Stone, Chandler Stephenson, and Max Pacioretty combined yet again for another goal. It was Pacioretty who scored his second of the night and 12th goal of the season in just 11 games.
Many people are pinning Jack Eichel up as the Golden Knight’s future first-line center once he gets comes back from injury. But with the current success of Stephenson, Stone, and Pacioretty it will be hard for Peter DeBoer to shuffle up the lines.
Stephenson has seven assists in the last two games. Unreal.
I understand it's Jack Eichel- but how do you take Stephenson off that first line? Imagine…
?- Eichel- ?
Patches- Stephenson- Stone
Marchy- Karlsson- Smith#VegasBorn
— Owen Krepps (@OKrepps85) December 15, 2021
The Bruins finally found a tad bit of offense to start the third period. Patrice Bergeron ruined Lehner’s shutout bid as he buried home a nice pass from Taylor Hall in the slot.
Nonetheless, the Golden Knights were able to close things out in the third period against the Bruins. They are now 12-0 this season when leading after two periods.
That will do it for game one of the Golden Knights four-game road trip which will take them right up until Christmas week. The team has Wednesday off before they take on the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils back-to-back on December 16th and 17th. Both games will start at 4:00 pm PST.