Have you heard this story before? The Vegas Golden Knights ran into a hot goalie. Jordan Binnington saved 16 of 16 high-danger chances to give the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 overtime win.
The game within the game: Third periods between the Golden Knights and Blues can be interesting. The teams seem to save some of their best comebacks for each other.
First period: The first five minutes of the game featured three breakaways, two by the Golden Knights. Neither team was able to score and this game had an early track meet vibe.
The Golden Knights had no less than seven high-danger chances in the first. But Alexey Toropchenko scored the period’s only goal with under thirty seconds remaining in the period. Colton Parayko took a shot from the point that Toropchenko tipped.
Second period: More breakaways for the Golden Knights. More prime scoring chances for both teams. All that was missing were some goals. Logan Thompson and Jordan Binnington have had something to do with that.
Binnington turned away the period’s best chance from Jack Eichel. Eichel was alone on a mini-breakaway. Binnington executed a great poke check to prevent Eichel from getting a shot.
Third period: More chances. More saves by both goaltenders. Jack Eichel scored what turned out to be the only Golden Knights goal on the powerplay with 7:02 remaining in the third period. William Karlson one the offensive zone faceoff and worked the puck around the horn. Eichel received a pass from Alex Pietrangelo and sniped the puck over Binnington’s right shoulder to tie the game.
Overtime: This was a fun game, not the type of excitement you would expect from a 1-1 game heading into overtime. It would have been fun to see the teams trade chances for five more minutes, instead, the Blues ended the game just 38 seconds into overtime. Eichel started to break up ice from the defensive zone anticipating a turnover. Robert Thomas found a wide-open Pavel Buchnevich who beat Thompson on the short side to give the Blues the extra point.
Key storyline: Hot goalie. Hot goalie. Hot goalie. Fans must be tired of hearing about running into a hot goalie, but that is the reality of NHL hockey. Better now than in the playoffs, right?
Quotable: “Give the goalie credit, he played well. We couldn’t finish chances. We get another crack at them in a couple of days.” Brayden McNabb on the effort of Binnington.
“All in all, a pretty good game. Good enough to win.” Coach Bruce Cassidy on the effort of the Golden Knights. “The gameplan was pretty good on what we generated and what we gave up”
Next up: The Golden Knights face the Blues again in St. Louis on Wednesday.