This is not the way the Golden Knights wanted to start the road trip. The Calgary Flames scored with five seconds remaining in overtime to defeat the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1.
The game within the game: Scoring. The Golden Knights came into Monday’s game without scoring an equal-strength goal in the last three games. It is tremendously taxing to rely on special teams and goaltending to win every single game.
First period: The Golden Knights played a perfect type of period to start the road trip with. William Karlsson scored a power-play goal to give the Golden Knights confidence with just over six minutes remaining in the period. Both teams had a few high-danger chances, but the Golden Knights avoided bad turnovers and had decent puck management.
Second period: Really the same story as the first period. The teams traded chances with the Flames gaining late momentum. Adin Hill was able to come up with a few big saves to keep the Golden Knights with the lead heading into the second intermission.
Third period: Nazim Kadri fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that Hill fought off. Unfortunately, he left a rebound in the high slot that Brayden McNabb failed to clear. A.J. Greer beat Keegan Kolesar to the loose puck and fired the rebound past Hill. The game remained tied throughout the third period and went to the extra period.
Turning point: The air was sucked out of the room when Greer tied the game. It is yet another example of how a small breakdown can lead to a goal. It happened during a bad line change against Dallas last week, Pachal lost a puck battle and the Golden Knights failed to cover the front of the net against the Arizona Coyotes, and a failed clearing attempt coupled with a blown coverage led to the tying goal in Calgary.
Overtime: The Golden Knights started the overtime period on the kill. Nic Roy was in the box for tripping. The Golden Knights killed off the penalty but were unable to get the extra point. MacKenzie Weegar skated the puck from the Flames’ defensive zone all the way up the ice. The Golden Knights did a good job forcing Weegar to the outside, however, his wrist shot was able to beat Hill. This was a shot that Hill would like back.
Key storyline: The Golden Knights got one puck behind goaltender Dan Vladar; who is up to a .883 SV% after and his GA/G dropped to 3.60 after Monday’s victory. On the plus side, at least Vladar did not shut out the Golden Knights.
Quotable: “If we finished some of those “grade A’s,” we’re not sitting here talking about a loss.” Coach Bruce Cassidy after the loss. “Jack had a breakaway shorthanded, Barbashev late (breakaway), Nic Roy was in all alone twice, Jack’s two-on-one, and I think it was Nic’s back door play from Marchessault.”
Next up: The Golden Knights continue the road trip Tuesday against the Edmonton Oilers.