For the second game in a row, the Vegas Golden Knights engage in an entertaining second period. However, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in overtime.
The game within the game: Chandler Stephenson returned to action after missing nearly two weeks with an upper-body injury. How long will it take Stephenson to get his legs back and for the second line to regain their chemistry?
First period: Ivan Barbashev missed a breakaway. William Carrier was an inch late on a scoring chance. The Golden Knights had their chances early and failed to capitalize on a sleepy Flyers team. Jonathan Marchessault turned the puck over at center ice which led to William Karlsson taking a penalty to prevent a scoring chance. Owen Tippett scored on the ensuing power play with the Golden Knights’ best killer in the box.
By the time the horn blew signaling the end of the first period, the Golden Knights looked like the sleepier of the two teams. The Flyers doubled up the Golden Knights shots on goal 16-8. After a good start, the Flyers dominated the last 10 minutes of the period.
Second period: Mark Stone said the Golden Knights were comfortable finding different ways to win games. The second period validated Stone’s perspective. The Flyers took a 2-0 goal early in the second when Tyson Foerster converted on a Flyers’ power play. William Karlsson threw a puck to the net that deflected off a Flyers defenseman to get VGK within a goal.
Chandler Stephenson was assessed a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking Garnet Hathaway. Stephenson’s stick clipped Hathaway in the jaw after a whistle and Hathaway hit his head on the net on the way down. The Golden Knights killed off the major.
Jonathan Marchessault scored a nice backhand goal to tie the game with five minutes remaining in the second period. All of 25 seconds went by when Scott Walker put the Flyers ahead off a shot from the point that Logan Thompson never saw. Marchessault responded for his second goal of the game with the Golden Knights on a two-man advantage.
Another high-event second period for the Golden Knights.
Third period: Similar to Thursday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Golden Knights were able to slow things down in the third period. The teams traded chances but neither would score sending the game to overtime.
Overtime: A bizarre six minutes of hockey deserves a strange ending. Jack Eichel deflected a Flyers’ pass in the defensive corner. Eichel was careless on his breakout pass to Shea Theodore. Sean Couturier intercepted the pass and sent the puck towards the Golden Knights’ slot. Thompson anticipated Travis Konecny making contact with the puck and whiffed on the save attempt.
That gave the Flyers a 4-3 overtime victory.
Turning point: Karlsson scoring early in second period gave the Golden Knights some juice. Karlsson may have been the most snake bitten Golden Knight this week so the goal gave Karlsson and the rest of the team confidence that they could score.
Key storyline: The Golden Knights had flashes of being a very good team in this one. They also had long pockets of poor play that included the mismanaging of pucks, careless breakout attempts, and poor execution. It is a long season. There will be games and stretches of games like this.
Thankfully, the Golden Knights banked plenty of points early on and can work through their issues with minimal stress.
Quotable: “It’s a disappointing outcome. We’re one of the good teams in the league and we should have won that game.” Marchessault after the overtime loss.
“It’s got to be a part of your game (puck management). Especially against teams that standup as well as they do.” Zach Whitecloud on Saturday’s loss.
“It’s puck management, that’s what it is.” Coach Bruce Cassidy on lessons to take away from Saturday’s loss. “At the end of the day, we mismanage a puck late again and it ends up in our net.”
Next up: No rest for the Golden Knights as they are right back at it Sunday against Reilly Smith and the Pittsburgh Penguins.