The Vegas Golden Knights got a Pittsburgh Penguins team that had four days off between games. Naturally, it was expected that it would take the Penguins some time to find their game.
The first period featured plenty of chances for both teams that were generated by rushes through the neutral zone. The teams combined for 15 shots on goal and it felt like there were enough chances to generate multiple goals for both teams, but no goals were scored in the first.
As expected, the Penguins found their game in the second period. Ryan Graves scored the game’s first goal for the Penguins mid-way through the second period. Graves was below the goal line and banked the puck off Logan Thompson’s skate. The puck ricocheted into the net. Thompson lost his footing trying to get back to the net.
Jake Guentzel caught the Golden Knights flat-footed in their defensive zone and found a soft spot to let a wrist shot go. Alec Martinez got caught between trying to block the shot and attempting a poke check. Thompson was unable to track the puck and the Penguins took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission.
This felt like the type of game that is going to happen based on the number of injuries the Golden Knights have. Some nights the injuries will be too tough to overcome.
Mark Stone mentioned that the team needs to have a no-excuse mentality after Monday’s victory against the Nashville Predators. The no-excuses mentality was on display in the third period.
Jonathan Marchessault gave T-Mobile Arena life early in the third period. Marchessault finished a rebound off a shot from Barbashev to give the Golden Knights a chance. Less than two minutes later Pavel Dorofeyev tied the game up. Mark Stone set up Chandler Stephenson at center ice. Stephenson used his speed to generate time for Dorofeyev to get open at the top of the crease.
The Golden Knights’ hot third period continued.
Brendan Brisson got his first NHL goal while the team was on the power play. The Golden Knights scored three consecutive goals in 4:22.
Brisson’s first career goal would end up being the game-winner. What a night for Brisson and his family, who were in attendance. “It was crazy, I just put the puck on net and saw it went in and blacked out from there.” Brisson on his first NHL goal. “The arena was super loud and it was a great feeling to hear your name for the first time.”
Coach Bruce Cassidy and Mark Stone mentioned throughout the week that the Golden Knights need to be the best version of themselves despite all the injuries. “You can’t just go to another player and tell them to be that driver. It’s the NHL, it’s a good league, they (the middle part of the lineup) aren’t there yet.” Cassidy on players becoming better versions of themselves. “You can’t just go out there and replace a guy, it takes time to grow your game. As for the middle guys in the lineup, we need them to produce a certain amount. Not every night, and not a ton.”
This was a big win for the Golden Knights who embark on a tough four-game road trip next week
Graves from Karlsson and Malkin 9:02
Guentel from Crosby and Pettersson 14:01
Marchessault from Barbashev and Martinez 5:18
Dorofeyev from Stephenson and Stone 6:52
Brisson (PPG) from Barbashev and Pietrangelo 9:40