The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime Thursday night thanks to Shea Theodore’s stylish overtime game-winning goal. Theodore, a defenseman, went in on the forecheck and won the puck, gave it to Nicolas Roy, accepted the return pass, and crossed up Christian Dvorak for the overtime winner.
Jonathan Marchessault, who scored the goal which forced overtime, was a little concerned seeing Theodore forecheck.
“Honestly at first, I was a little nervous with his forecheck after we lost the draw. He was our defenseman and he somehow started going behind their net. But he recovered the puck, they kept chasing him, and he and Roy did a great job on the forecheck and he was able to recover. Shea just did what he does best and he was able to find the back of the net there,” said Marchessault.
if you're reading this, Shea Theodore has better hands than you pic.twitter.com/Jz52QcqcCl
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 21, 2022
The Golden Knights finished out their extended eight-game with a win in dramatic fashion. They finish the homestand with a 3-3-2 record. They now have a three-day gap between they start their four-game road trip against the Washington Capitals. With that in mind let’s dive back into Thursday night’s game and look at eight takeaways VHN had in the Golden Knights victory.
1. Chandler Stephenson is an Alternate Captain
First off, an aesthetic change. Chandler Stephenson, who once again scored Thursday night, was wearing the “A” as an alternate captain. I believe this is the first time this season in which this has happened. With Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and Alec Martinez all out, Stephenson, Brayden McNabb, and Alex Pietrangelo served as alternates.
A simple visual change, yes, but man does Stephenson deserve it. The 27-year old Stanley Cup Champion is still leading the Golden Knights in scoring with 12 goals, 26 assists, and 38 points. You have to wonder what the Golden Knights captaincy will look like when everyone is healthy, but even if he doesn’t get the “A” Stephenson is a leader on this team.
2. Dylan Coghlan Had One Hell of a Game
Last night I slated Dylan Coghlan as Vegas Hockey Now’s player of the game. I really think, outside of his hat-trick game against the Minnesota Wild, Coghlan had one of his best games in his young NHL career. He was great on the penalty kill breaking up chances in front of the net. There was a chance where he singlehandedly disrupted a Jake Evans rush. His transition game was solid as there was a play in which he gloved down a puck, adjusted his stick, and made a stretch pass.
With Zach Whitecloud being a late scratch due to his back seizing up, Coghlan stepped up. If he can continue this progression he will give head coach Peter DeBoer a reliable bottom-four option on defense. Great game from Cogs.
3. Lehner Needs to Stop That Hoffman Goal
With a tie game in the third period, the Golden Knights gave up the lead as Mike Hoffman scored the go-ahead goal for the Canadiens. Looking back on the play, this is a save in which Robin Lehner should have made. Lehner was a little behind in his reactions due to the play being behind the net. He lost sight of the play and was not in a prime position to make a save.
Hoffman, sur réception! 🎯
Hoffman with the one-timer!
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 21, 2022
Given the Golden Knight’s comeback and victory, this goal might get lost in the mix. But it could have potentially cost the Golden Knights the game had things gone differently. Lehner needs to step up his game for the Golden Knights.
4. Grit-Grinder Nicolas Roy
If I were to quiz you on what player on the Golden Knights leads the team in penalty minutes I guarantee most of you would say Keegan Kolesar, or maybe Brayden McNabb. Strangely Nicolas Roy leads the team in this department. Roy took yet another penalty last night and Tyler Toffoli scored on the ensuing powerplay. Not much to say about this one, I just thought it was a little surprising.
5. Canadiens Defenseman Ryan Gibbons
For Golden Knight’s fans (and Alex Pietrangelo) the first goal of Thursday night’s game was a little frustrating. Michael Pezzetta scored after Pietrangelo was accidentally taken out of the play by referee Ryan Gibbons. The Canadiens gained a three-on-two and scored with the Golden Knight’s best defenseman out of the play.
Here’s the replay.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 21, 2022
6. Howden, Amadio, Patrick Can Cycle
With Mark Stone out and William Carrier bumped to the first line, the Golden Knights went with Nolan Patrick, Brett Howden, and Michael Amadio on the fourth line. All three of these players have been tested out as being the fourth-line center and it has been a constant battle between these three, Adam Brooks, and even Jake Leschyshyn for a bottom-six spot on the teams.
But putting them all together on the same line proved to be beneficial for Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer. The line did a great job in cycling and generating offensive zone chances but were unable to score. Amadio had a specific chance where he got two back-to-back shots on Samuel Montembeault. Howden finished the game with four shots on goal.
7. Shots, Shots, Shots, EVERYBODY
Speaking of shots the Golden Knights had 53 of them last night, a season-high. They were just one shot off from tying their franchise-high 54-shots which came in October of 2019 against the Ottawa Senators.
“I thought we put in the right amount of work to deserve two points tonight. I think this league shows you that you don’t always get what you deserve but I thought we worked hard enough to earn two points tonight,” said DeBoer.
Typically more shots lead to more scoring chances which lead to goals that lead to wins. Strangely the Golden Knights tend to struggle when they register more than 40 shots a game. But they found a way to win Thursday night.
“I think we have been struggling in those games when we have a lot of shots on goal and we don’t find a way to win games but I think tonight we did find a way and that’s always positive good teams find a way to win games,” said Marchessault.
8. William Karlsson is Back
With a goal, an assist, and seven shots on goal Thursday night William Karlsson had a great game for the Golden Knights. With more and more stars coming into the Golden Knights organization (hello Jack Eichel), many people are forgetting that Karlsson is a former 40 goal scorer. Getting the Misfit Line to contribute offensively is a major factor in the Golden Knight’s success and with two goals from the line last night, things are heading in the right direction.
“I think Willy (William Karlsson) has always been a bit of a streaky score and when he is feeling it he usually comes in bunches his effort is consistent every single day he shows up and gives you everything he’s got,” said DeBoer on Karlsson.