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Theodore Scores! Golden Knights Beat Canucks Take Playoff Spot

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Shea Theodore Vegas Golden Knights (Photo- Vegas Golden Knights via Twitter)

It wasn’t pretty but the Vegas Golden Knights (39-28-4, 82 points) got two points in the standings Sunday evening against the Vancouver Canucks (32-28-10, 74 points). Shea Theodore scored the overtime game-winning goal to stave off a Canucks comeback that started in the third period.

The Golden Knights are back in a playoff position but don’t breathe easy.

With the win, the Golden Knights again leapfrogged the Dallas Stars and are in the second playoff Wild Card position in the Western Conference. However, Dallas now has four games in hand. The Edmonton Oilers beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-1 and are three points up on the Golden Knights with one game in hand.

Head coach Pete DeBoer made some lineup changes with the addition of Keegan Kolesar, who returned after missing the last game against the Seattle Kraken. Pavel Dorofeyev was a scratch and DeBoer once again went with seven defensemen. Logan Thompson’s run of nine straight starts ended as Robin Lehner made his return after missing roughly a month due to a lower-body injury.

The story of this game was that of the Golden Knights getting out to a solid lead and then not defending it well in the third period. The VGK started the game off strong outshooting the Canucks 8-1. They scored the first goal of the game as Jack Eichel found Alex Pietrangelo pinching off the faceoff.

Pietrangelo then took his time and found the right shot placement to snipe a shot over the shoulder of Thatcher Demko for his 13th goal of the season.

The Golden Knights doubled their lead later in the first period with Jonathan Marchessault stealing the puck after a fortuitous bounce came to him. He simply walked into the offensive zone and sniped another shot top-corner on Demko to make it 2-0. Marchessault is now only two goals shy from his career-high in goals which is 30.

To round out the period the Golden Knights got a four-minute powerplay as Theodore took a stick to the face from Elias Pettersson. The VGK were unable to score on the extended man-advantage.

To start the second period Pietrangelo fed Mattias Janmark a pass which resulted in a breakaway but Demko made the stop. This play would be the last major offensive chance for the Golden Knights for a long period of time.

The second period saw the defensive game of the VGK excell and the Canucks struggle to score. But the Golden Knights weren’t able to score either which set the stage for a potential comeback in the third.

The Canucks leading scorer in JT Miller started the comeback as Oliver-Ekman Larsson’s shot was blocked and on his second opportunity, he went with a pass instead of a shot, sliding the puck over Miller who scored his 200th career point as a Canuck.

The Golden Knights then gifted the Canucks the perfect opportunity to get back in the game taking two-straight unnecessary penalties. First, Marchessault tripped Miller in the offensive zone, and then Brayden McNabb took a delay of game penalty, flipping the puck over the glass.

But this would not be the last gift the Golden Knights would give the Canucks as they scored a goal for them. William Karlsson won a defensive zone faceoff clean in his own zone and as his defenseman in Alec Martinez went to play the puck, he accidentally tipped it in past Lehner for a goal.

It was a fluke own-goal, but it tied the game at 2-2 nonetheless.

This goal forced overtime but not after Tyler Myers had a late chance to win the game at the buzzer, barely missing the net in what would have been a sure-fire goal.

The Golden Knights played with fire but were able to pull themselves together and win in overtime. On a three-on-two break Marchessault, Karlsson, and Theodore were off to the races. Marchessault fed Theodore who called game and scored to finish things off at Rodgers Arena.

These two teams will do it again Wednesday at T-Mobile Arena with a 7:00 pm start time.

VHN’s Player of the Game: Shea Theodore

Three goals in three games. The return of both Brayden McNabb and Alec Martinez is allowing the old Shea Theodore to come back and he is thriving offensively.

The Golden Knights have taken a point in every all-time matchup against the Vancouver Canucks with a 10-0-2 overall record in the team’s five-year existence. This was the first meeting between these two teams in Vancouver since December of 2019.

Welcome to your new home for Vegas Golden Knights breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to VHN+ for all of our members-only content the entire Vegas Hockey Now crew plus an ad-free browsing experience.

Owen Krepps covers the Vegas Golden Knights as editor-in-chief for Vegas Hockey Now. A 2022 Robert Morris University graduate, he has previously written for The Boulder City Review, RMU Sentry Media, Colonial Sports Network, The Titusville Herald, Pittsburgh Sports Now, and Pittsburgh Hockey Now. You can follow him on Twitter @OKrepps85

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