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Golden Knights Blow A Three-Goal Lead, Lose To Guentzel And The Penguins



Robin Lehner Vegas Golden Knights

The Vegas Golden Knights finally were able to resume play in the 2021-22 NHL season after an extended six-day break due to COVID-19 cancellations. The Golden Knights (23-15-2) took on the Pittsburgh Penguins (23-10-5) Monday night and blew a three-goal lead. The Penguins scored five unanswered goals ad the Golden Knights lost the game 5-3.

Both teams got major reinforcements in their lineup with the Penguins welcoming back Jason Zucker and Bryan Rust. The Golden Knights got William Carrier back from injury and Nolan Patrick, Shea Theodore, and Nicolas Roy back from COVID-19 protocols. Laurent Brossoit did not return and Dylan Ferguson backed up Robin Lehner Monday night.

The Golden Knights came out with a strong first period after they had not played in almost a week. On the team’s first shot of the game, Chandler Stephenson used his speed and beat Tristan Jarrys five-hole. 

Jarry had a shaky first period and let in three goals on six Golden Knights shots. The second of which came after Evgeni Malkin lost a faceoff and Mark Stone fired home a shot from the point. Evgenii Dadonov tipped in the puck at the last second and the Golden Knights led 2-0.

The Golden Knights scored once more in the first period on the powerplay. Nicolas Roy, after almost scoring a highlight-reel goal by crossing up Chad Ruhwedel, banged home a rebound chance after Alex Pietrangelo shot the puck from the blue line.

For the first time all season, the Vegas Golden Knights led 3-0 at home.

The second period was perhaps the complete opposite as defensive breakdowns and an overall surge of Penguins’ offense caught the Golden Knights by surprise. Lehner had to make plenty of saves to keep the game from getting out of hand, such as a save on a falling Malkin.

The Penguins scored their first goal of the game after a mad scramble in front of the Golden Knights net. No whistle was blown until the puck crossed the line and Zucker scored in his first game back for the Penguins on the powerplay.


Just 49 seconds later Mike Matheson made a nice stretch pass to Brian Boyle, who used his big body to split the Golden Knight’s defense. Defending Shea Theodore with practically one hand, Boyle got a shot off on Lehner and then Teddy Blueger scored on the rebound to make it 3-2.


The Penguins were outshooting the Golden Knights 14-0 halfway through the second period.

Late in the period, the Golden Knights were able to screw their heads on straight and generate some offensive chances. Dadonov set up Mark Stone who almost scored a highlight-reel goal with patience. But the Golden Knights found their three-goal lead decreased heading into the final period. It would only get worse for them in the third.

Right of the bat in the third period Kasperi Kapanen ripped home an absolute laser after an offensive zone faceoff from Malkin. It was a blink and you’ll miss it type of shot, and for Lehner and the Golden Knights, that is exactly what happened. Zucker ended up getting credited for the goal as Kapanen’s shot hit Zucker’s stick.


Another faceoff win just a few shifts later had the Golden Knights chasing once more. Jake Guentzel scored his 20th goal of the season on a wrap-around chance. He now has 17 goals in his last 20 games. The Penguins came back from a 3-0 deficit to lead the Golden Knights 4-3.


The Golden Knights, as expected attempted to come back in the game with a late-game surge. But the Penguins All-Star goaltender in Jarry stood strong. He finished the game with 23 saves on 26 shots. Peter DeBoer pulled Lehner with just under two minutes to play and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby scored the dagger to make it 5-3.

After a great first period, especially given the fact that they had just come off of an extended break, the Golden Knights collapsed in the final two frames. Horrible defensive play and questionable goaltending from Lehner allowed the Penguins to come back and win in a dramatic fashion.

VHN’s Player of the Game: Brayden McNabb

McNabb made some incredible stops on the defensive side of the puck Monday night. He blocked several shots such as an Evgeni Malkin howitzer and was one of the only solid players for the Golden Knights defensively.

Up Next

The Golden Knights will have two days off until they take on the Montreal Canadiens, once again at home on Thursday night. In the meantime, be sure to vote for Jonathan Marchessault as one of the “Last Men In” for the 2022 NHL All-Star Game.

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