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Stone “F&@*#&% Scores In The Shootout” Golden Knights Win 3-2

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Vegas Golden Knights Brett Howden scores a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

The Vegas Golden Knights (26-16-3) and Tampa Bay Lightning (29-11-5) played one of the most high-flying, entertaining, and fast-paced games all season Saturday night. The Golden Knights came away with the victory as Mark Stone won it in overtime for the VGK in the seventh round of the shootout 3-2.

Stone had only scored two goals in his career in shutout attempts leading up to Saturday night. But the captain got the call as the seventh shooter for the Golden Knights and scored.. Needless to say, he was very happy postgame.

 

The Golden Knights controlled the majority of the first two periods of play and were up 2-0 heading into the third period. But a weak third-period effort saw the Golden Knights take three penalties and only register one shot on goal as the Lightning tied it up and forced overtime.

This game wraps up both the Golden Knights four-game road trip and also the season series between the Lightning and Golden Knights. But a Stanley Cup Final needs to happen sometime in the near future between these two.

In terms of lineup changes, the Golden Knights re-inserted Ben Hutton and Brett Howden back into the line combinations as Dylan Coghlan and Chandler Stephenson entered COVID-19 protocols Saturday afternoon.

In his first game back, Howden scored the first goal of the game for the Golden Knights. The newly formed fourth line of Howden, William Carrier, and Keegan Kolesar chipped in offensively. The depth for the Golden Knights at forward once again got them a big goal Saturday night.

Both goaltenders had unreal games. Robin Lehner stopped 25 of 27 shots with many of them coming in high-danger chances for the Lightning. Ross Colton had six shots on goal and noted sniper Steven Stamkos had five. Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer called Lehner the team’s “best player” postgame.

At the other end, Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 27 of 29 in regulation and in overtime. But the fourth line for the Golden Knights were able to find a way around the six-foot-three goaltender.

Carrier threw a puck on the net which hit the torso of Frederick Claesson and bounced in. The goal was changed multiple times from Howden to Kolesar to Carrier but officially stands as Carrier’s goal now.

The Golden Knights played a fantastic two periods of play against a strong opponent in the Lightning. But their third-period effort was one of their worst all season. The Golden Knights took three penalties and had only one shot on goal in the third period. They relied too much on the superb goaltending of Lehner who in the end couldn’t save the Golden Knights from walking away with a regulation win.

The Lighting’s surge started after Colton threw a big hit on Ben Hutton. Kolesar didn’t like it and went in for a word with Colton but got a penalty for instigating. Right after the Lightning’s powerplay expired, it was Colton who scored to make it a one-goal game for the Lightning.

The Lightning then banged home a garbage goal with the net empty to tie the game and force overtime. Corey Perry ended up getting the tally.

Overtime, as usual, was pure chaos. Lehner made a save on his belly, Vasilevisky stoned William Karlsson with a toe save, and Shea Theodore tried to win the game all by himself multiple times. There were no whistles in the five-minute overtime period, but also no goals.

The teams went to a shootout where, long story short, Golden Knights captain Mark Stone scored to win the game.

The Golden Knights wrap up their four-game road southeastern American road trip with five of the available eight points and a 2-1-1 record. They will travel back to Las Vegas and take on the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 1st which is the last game before the 2022 NHL All-Star Game.

VHN’s Player of the Game: Robin Lehner

Easy pick here. While 25 saves aren’t anything insane, some of the saves Lehner made tonight were high-danger quality shots from some of the best scorers in the entire National Hockey League. The Golden Knight don’t win without Lehner.

 

 

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Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights for Vegas Hockey Now and writes for the Boulder City Review-Journal. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now.

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