Las Vegas – It was not pretty. Perhaps it was the spookiness of Halloween. Maybe there were goblins in T-Mobile Arena? In any event, the Vegas Golden Knights overcame all of that to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 (SO) Monday night.
The game within the game: Coach Bruce Cassidy mentioned pregame that he did not want the Canadiens to turn the game into a track meet. While the Golden Knights held Montreal to just two goals, the Canadiens outshot the Golden Knights 30-13 after the first period of the game.
First period: Paul Cotter scored a power-play goal with just under five minutes in the period. The Golden Knights’ first power-play unit did not have a great shift. Cassidy sent the second unit over the boards and Cotter wasted no time beating Sam Montembeault on a wrist shot that deflected off a Canadiens player on the way.
The Golden Knights stuck to their game and did not allow the Canadiens to open the game up. The Canadiens had small pockets in which they controlled the pace, but the Golden Knights controlled most of the period.
Second period: Adin Hill submitted his entry for ESPN’s “Not Top-10.” Hill went out to play the puck on the penalty kill and whiffed on a passing attempt. Sean Monahan had a gimme and the game was tied 1-1. “It was a mistake, I just kind of whiffed on the pass. But I felt good about my game.” Adin Hill after the game.
William Carrier scored with just over two minutes left in the period. The Golden Knights had an extra attacker on the ice and Chandler Stephenson hit Carrier with a nice pass across the slot.
The Golden Knights had just two shots on goal in the second period and somehow escaped leading the game 2-1.
Third period: The Golden Knights allowed the Canadiens to hang around and Nick Suzuki scored the tieing goal with just under five minutes to play. The Canadiens continued to pressure the Golden Knights and had a few chances to score the go-ahead goal. Hill made a series of saves to send the game to overtime and keep the Golden Knights streak of 10 straight games with at least a point intact.
Overtime: It was a typical overtime. The first couple of minutes were boring as the team traded low-danger chances. The last two minutes were like watching a professional ping-pong match. Both teams traded high-danger chances but failed to win the game. Jack Eichel drew a penalty shot attempt and was unsuccessful.
Shootout: Nick Suzuki beat Hill on a nice move that had Hill guessing which direction the shot would come from. Jonathan Marchessault did something a bit different. He took a page from Patrick Kane’s book. Marchessault came in slow and was able to wait out Montembeault to score. Shea Theodore was the hero scoring his standard forehand-backhand-top shelf-style goal.
Key storyline: It was not a great game for the Golden Knights. At times it was tough to watch. But this team keeps finding ways to win. The Golden Knights are in third gear right now and have three or four more gears to their game.
Quotable: “Our record is 9-0-1, we’re not that nieve.” Cassidy on the victory. “It’s 10 games in, the players will ramp up as well.
Next up: The Golden Knights take on the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena Thursday night.