The Vegas Golden Knights found their faltering offense Thursday night against the Nashville Predators and put up six goals en route to a victory. It was nearly a perfect game for the Golden Knights. They put up 50 shots on 90 attempts, scored three powerplay goals, welcomed Evgenii Dadonov back with open arms, and most importantly- got two points against a team they are battling in the standings.
But I say almost a perfect win for two reasons. Both Nolan Patrick and Brett Howden left the game and did not return. Patrick played just three shifts in the first period before he went down the tunnel. We’re not sure what happened to Patrick, but for Howden, we all saw his situation.
— Owen Krepps (@OKrepps85) March 25, 2022
The Golden Knights and head coach Peter DeBoer confirmed after the game that Howden has full movement at the hospital and that they will have more information tomorrow. He has no injury to either his neck or his spine. Praise the hockey gods.
6 Vegas Golden Knights Takeaways 3/24 v NSH
1- Finally a Great Start
Great and good are two different words. The margin between the two, for me at least, is substantial. Against the Winnipeg Jets and Minnesota Wild, the Golden Knights had what I would consider a good start to those games. They led in the shot department, had offensive pressure, and limited the opposing teams to few shots on goal.
But against the Predators, they finally broke free and had a great start, and scoring goals is simply the major difference here. Two goals, especially early on paved the way for the Golden Knight’s victory against the Predators Thursday night.
2- Daddy’s Home
I cannot go any further without bringing up the play of Evgenii Dadonov, who we will have a full feature on tomorrow. This whole situation was strange, but for “daddy” (that’s what they call him in the locker room don’t blame me), he handled it better than anyone else could.
A goal and two assists, an ovation from the crowd, and the second star of the game certainly made it a night to remember for Dadonov.
3- Strong game From Leschyshyn
I’ve gone on record stating that the Golden Knights need more out of their “Henderson guys” with all the injuries in the lineup. And while he didn’t score, Jake Leschyshyn took a step in the right direction with his play Thursday and had a solid game.
Again, nothing in particular on the stat sheet stood out. He had three shots on goal and played just over ten minutes with both of his linemates in Howden and Patrick missing. But I think this is something he can build on as a permanent roster spot for him is not guaranteed just yet.
4- The Powerplay
What can I say? It was great. Three goals from anything will get you a spot on my takeaway list. The Golden Knight’s powerplay took advantage of all of the penalties the Predators took and got to work. Jack Eichel in particular led the charge with a goal and an assist both coming on the man advantage.
5- Dangerous Predators
Shifting gears I want to talk about the Predators real quick, as that was the last the Golden Knights will see of them this season, at least until the playoffs potentially. I really think the Preds have a chance to go on a run here and make a name for themselves in the Stanley Cup Playoffs as a dark horse candidate.
Both Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene are having unreal seasons, especially Forsberg who has been the most notable Pred on the ice in every game against the VGK. And people seriously thought the Golden Knights could afford to add him at the deadline?
I also think they have a case to win both the Norris Trophy with Roman Josi, Vezina Trophy with Juuse Saros, and Calder Trophy with Tanner Jeannot this season. Nashville is a smaller hockey market, and these guys deserve more credit for the seasons they have been having.
I would not want to play the Predators in the playoffs this season.
6- The Follow Up
For the Golden Knights, making the playoffs in the first place is their current goal, and they might have to beat out the Predators to do so.
Thursday night’s victory was about as good as it gets for the VGK. But just a week ago we were saying the same thing about the Golden Knights after their win against the Florida Panthers. So following up on this win and turning the corner is something the Golden Knights need to do if they want to make the playoffs after all.
They will play the Marc-Andre Fleury-less Chicago Blackhawks at noon on Saturday at T-Mobile.