The Vegas Golden Knights (23-13-1) played a solid neutral zone and offensive game Thursday night against the New York Rangers (22-9-4) and won by a score of 5-1. Mark Stone, Mattias Janmark, Brett Howden, and Jonathan Marchessault all scored for the Golden Knights.
It was Pride Night at T-Mobile Arena and as a part of the “Hockey is For Everyone” campaign the Golden Knights wore special “Love” jerseys during warmups. The jerseys were auctioned off through the game with proceeds being donated to the Vegas Golden Knights Foundation.
Both Ryan Reaves and Gerard Gallant returned to T-Mobile Arena and got video presentations honoring their time with the team. Gallant received his prior to puck drop and Reaves’ followed during the first media timeout.
In terms of lineup changes, the Golden Knights got a good bit of reinforcements as both Stone and Robin Lehner returned for the team. Lehner stopped 18 of 19 shots en route to his 15th victory of the seasons and Stone scored his seventh goal of the year.
Both Lehner and Alexander Georgiev stole the show in the early portions of the first period. Georgiev was in net for the Rangers as their typical starter in Igor Shesterkin had been placed in COVID-19 protocols. He made a couple of big saves on Stone, Marchessault, and Alex Pietrangelo on a solid rush chance for the Golden Knights.
The Rangers’ and their seventh-best powerplay in the National Hockey League had a couple of great chances to get the game’s first goal. Jacob Trouba just missed the net and hit the right post as the Rangers’ threatened to score.
But it was the Golden Knights on a powerplay of their own that broke the scoreless tie Thursday night. After a tripping call on Rangers’ defenseman Ryan Lindgren, Marchessault scored his 17th goal of the season after a mad net mouth scramble.
The Rangers answered back just 52 seconds into the second period with their own leading goal scorer, Chris Kreider. On a shot that Lehner would want back, Kreider simply slipped one by Lehner from the right circle to tie the game.
The Golden Knights played a far better game after this goal was scored and were the better team for the remainder of the second period. Mattias Janmark missed a wide-open net thanks to a late stick effort by Lindgren. Janmark would get the last laugh later in the game.
Off a rush attempt, the new first line of Stone, Chandler Stephenson, and Evgenii Dadonov scored to give the Golden Knights the lead. Dadonov and Stone played catch and the puck eventually went in off of Stone’s skate. It was received for a kicking motion but stood.
Janmark scored then shortly after with momentum after receiving a pass from Ben Hutton. Janmark made a power move towards the Rangers net and scored his fifth goal in as many games to give the Golden Knights the 3-1 lead.
Starting off the third period the Golden Knight’s fourth line was able to add to the team’s lead. Nolan Patrick and Brett Howden worked the puck on a give-and-go play and Howden scored his fourth goal of the season. Howden once again scored against his former team.
The Golden Knights continued their onslaught of offense and controlled play for the majority of the third period as well. One very noticeable player on the ice for the Golden Knights was Reilly Smith, who sprung his linemates of Karlsson and Marchessault on a two-on-one, and Marchessault buried his second of the game.
After dropping two straight games to start off the calendar year, the Vegas Golden Knights are finally back in the win category. They defeated a pretty good team in the New York Rangers tonight, lead the Westen Conference in points, and will only get better with Jack Eichel.
The Golden Knights will continue their trend of welcoming in former members of the organization Saturday night as they take on Marc-Andre Fleury and the Chicago Blackhawks at 7:00 pm.