The Vegas Golden Knights trailed for the first time in the 2023-24 season against the Dallas Stars. A late goal by William Karlsson sent the game to overtime. The Golden Knights would eventually win in the shootout by a score of 3-2.
Brett Howden (suspension) and William Carrier (injury) returned to the lineup.
The game within the game: Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy’s system limits odd-man rushes through the neutral zone. Stars coach Pete DeBoer’s system is conservative and looks to create opportunities off mistakes from the opposition. In other words, there were many pockets of boring hockey.
First period: Referencing the paragraph above, there was some boring hockey early on. The Stars dominated the puck possession battle for the first six minutes of the game and had multiple high-danger chances. Adin Hill was up to the challenge. Michael Amadio missed a wide-open net off a Shea Theodore pass. William Carrier failed to convert on a two-on-one. Keegan Kolesar hit the post during a delayed penalty call.
Second period: Jamie Benn and Nic Hague dropped the gloves early. The two had a shoving match in the first period. Perhaps a mix of carryover from the shoving match and Benn’s hit on Mark Stone last year during the Western Conference Final.
“The Hague-Benn, there could have been a carryover from last year with the hit on Stone.” Cassidy when asked about his defensemen getting involved in fights. “The Hutty one, that’s our team. The hit on Howden looked like it was dangerous so Hutty got in there.”
Hague in the box for five minutes meant extended shifts for Kaedan Korczak and Brayden Pachal. Korczak was unable to clear the puck on the Craig Smith goal.
Korczak logged his first career goal off a pass from Brett Howden that tied the game. “My parents for sure, they’ve been with me since day one and supported me through the ups and downs.” Korczak on his first phone call after the game.
Turning point: The Golden Knights failed to convert on a two-man advantage that lasted for 90 seconds. Chandler Stephenson had an open net and hit the near post.
Third period: Joe Pavelski got the Stars on the board early. Roope Hintz won a faceoff from the left circle and Pavelski’s release was too quick for Hill.
William Karlsson tipped in a shot from the point by Korczak to tie the game late in the third period. “We know as a group we are never out of a game.” Hill on the team’s belief in coming back. “Even if we are down three in the third period, we know there’s a chance we can come back. We have a positive bench, no one is getting down on each other.”
Overtime: The teams traded an equal number of high-danger chances. Theodore was in line to end it on a two-on-one, but Oettinger was able to cover enough of the net to force the shot just wide.
Shootout: Jonathan Marchessault was the lone goal scorer. “I think that’s the first time I ever won a shootout without making a save.” Hill on winning the shootout.
Key storyline: This was the Golden Knights’ most physical challenge of the young season. There was plenty of carry-over from last season’s Western Conference Final. Tonight’s game featured two fights and 32 penalty minutes.
The Golden Knights go on the road for their next two games. Thursday they play the Winnipeg Jets and Saturday they play the Chicago Blackhawks.