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Thread: VGK (2nd) Season Chatter

  1. #51
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    Game # 50

    7 3

    Marchessault's hat trick helps Vegas beat Penguins 7-3

    Jonathan Marchessault finds the back of the net three times as the Golden Knights rout the Penguins 7-3.

    LAS VEGAS -- Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson have struggled to find the back of the net since Dec. 22, scoring a combined three goals over 12 games.

    Vegas' dynamic top-line forwards topped that Saturday night.

    Marchessault scored three goals for his second career hat trick and Karlsson got his 16th of the season to help lead the Golden Knights to a 7-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    "Our first period we weren't necessarily happy; as a line we take a lot of pride playing well defensively and we gave a little too much chances, but we played better in the second half of the game," Marchessault said. "Hopefully (I) get going a little bit more here. It's definitely been a tough stretch. I just want to get out there and help my teammates."

    Marchessault scored twice less than four minutes apart in the second period to give Vegas a 5-3 lead. His empty-netter with 21 seconds left in the game completed the scoring with the Golden Knights' first hat trick of the season and third in franchise history.

    Shea Theodore, Max Pacioretty and Oscar Lindberg also scored as the Golden Knights improved to 16-4-3 at home this season. Marc-Andre Fleury, who spent his first 13 seasons with the Penguins, stopped 34 shots to earn his league-leading 27th victory.

    "It was fun, it was busy both sides, I wish maybe there wasn't three goals going in the net," said Fleury, who also leads the league with 43 starts. "It's always weird (playing against Pittsburgh), I don't know when it will stop. Just weird to see these guys out there, guys I practiced with every day for (13) years. It's nice to win though."

    Phil Kessel, Dominik Simon and Sidney Crosby scored for Pittsburgh, and Casey DeSmith finished with 28 saves.

    Both goalies were exceptional against two of the more high-energy offenses in the league. All 18 Vegas skaters had at least one shot, while 14 of Pittsburgh's 18 had one shot.

    "It's a great team that you're playing, you're playing superstars over there, you're playing Crosby and you're playing (Evgeni) Malkin and those types of players -- that's the fun part of these games," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "I like the way our team responded tonight and I like the way that we competed and battled. It wasn't looking good when it was 3-3.

    "We got six goals against their goaltender but I thought he was outstanding. He made some great saves and I thought Fleury made some unbelievable saves too. They both played a great game. It could've been a 9-7 game for somebody."

    The Penguins concluded their sixth of 11 back-to-back situations, after winning 4-3 in overtime at Arizona on Friday. Pittsburgh is 8-3-1 in back to backs, going 5-0-1 the first night and 3-3-0 the second.

    Teams making stops in Arizona, then Vegas, are now 1-7 against the Golden Knights after playing the Coyotes.

    The Penguins came out flying to dominate the start of the second period to erase a two-goal deficit with consecutive goals by Simon and Crosby inside the first six minutes to tie the score 3-3. Jake Guentzel, who has eight goals in nine games since the start of 2019, assisted on both goals.

    But after Pittsburgh's would-be fourth goal was overturned when the NHL's Situation Room deemed Malkin kicked the puck into the net, things began to unravel, and the Golden Knights gained momentum off Marchessault's two goals.

    "We just didn't play the game very smart; I thought the second period we were terrific, we climbed back into it, and then we end up giving up two goals late in that period that were avoidable," Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. "Give Vegas credit, they're a good team, they're hard to play against. But to a certain extent we beat ourselves."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  2. #52
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    Game # 51

    2 4

    Coyle's third-period goal sends Wild past Golden Knights 4-2


    Charlie Coyle's first shot is stopped, but Jared Spurgeon sets him up again and Coyle makes no mistake in the Wild's win over the Golden Knights.

    LAS VEGAS -- The Vegas Golden Knights' home arena has a reputation among some NHL players as being one of the toughest to play in and loudest in the league.

    The Minnesota Wild don't mind it a bit.

    Charlie Coyle scored his second game-winning goal of the season with 5:31 remaining Monday to lift the Wild past the Golden Knights 4-2.

    Minnesota, which is 4-0-1 against the Golden Knights since they entered the league, is 2-0-0 in Vegas.

    "It's a huge win obviously. You get into the later part of the season, so make sure you get every point you can, especially those (close) games," Coyle said. "It's a pretty good show here, it's cool to watch, it's cool to be part of -- we love playing here."

    With the puck loose in front of the net, Jared Spurgeon sent a perfect pass to Coyle, who beat Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a high shot that put the Wild in front.

    Marcos Foligno, Eric Staal and Mikko Koivu also scored for the Wild. Devan Dubnyk, who has stopped 64 of 67 shots in his last three games, made 30 saves to improve to 3-0-1 against Vegas.

    Dubnyk said he was pleased to see faithful Wild fans among the announced crowd of 18,328, and that hearing chants of "Doob! Doob!" after several big saves ignited his play down the stretch.

    "This is only our second time here, the atmosphere in the building is incredible," Dubnyk said. "It's cool, we get a pretty good following in certain buildings, Colorado will be another one, there's lots of people from Minnesota that travel there. It makes playing on the road a little more exciting because you got fans cheering. It definitely makes it a lot more entertaining."

    Alex Tuch and Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights, while Fleury made 18 saves.

    Vegas, which remained in third place in the Pacific Division behind first-place Calgary and San Jose, came into the game after an emotional 7-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. But coach Gerard Gallant rebuked the notion his team came in flat after its up-tempo game with the Penguins.

    "They scored three goals from the blue paint basically and Flower played an outstanding game when he had to make saves, but he's not gonna stop them when guys are leaving them wide open in the back door," Gallant said. "I don't think we played good today, I don't think we showed up ready to play a team that was aggressive for points. I don't think we played hard enough."

    Especially when the Knights had an opportunity to seize control of the game with a 5-on-3 power play, after Ryan Suter was called for slashing 15 seconds into the third period, and Marcus Foligno was sent off for delay of game 49 seconds later.

    Minnesota came into the game boasting the league's second-best penalty kill, and limited Vegas to just two shots on goal during its power play, while blocking five other shots. The Wild has been successful on 23 of their last 26 penalty kill situations.

    "I thought once we killed the 5-on-3 it really energized the bench and they thought they were going to do anything not to lose at that point," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Anytime you can kill a 5-on-3, that team usually wins."

    Vegas did get one power-play goal, though, after Jonathan Marchessault drove into the offensive zone and delayed just enough to draw Dubnyk to his left before feeding Tuch, who gave Vegas a 1-0 lead. The Wild answered with two second-period goals in a span of 1:13 with scores by Foligno and Staal. Vegas tied the game when Paul Stastny found USA Hockey linemate Pacioretty, whose shot beat Dubnyk between the pads. Koivu's empty-net goal with 13 seconds left was the 200th goal of his career.

    The victory moved the Wild past Dallas, Colorado and Vancouver in the Western Conference wild-card race, and into third place in the Central Division. Minnesota takes on Colorado on Wednesday, the final game before the All-Star break for both teams.

    "Believe me, it's not gonna stay this way," Boudreau said. "There's gonna be a lot of interchanges before this season is out. But every time you can pick up two points, you're closer to being where you want to be."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  3. #53
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    Game # 52

    1 2

    Saros makes career-high 47 saves, leads Predators to 2-1 win

    P.K. Subban and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare get tangled up during a stoppage, and Subban holds his hand, signaling how he was bit by Bellemare.

    LAS VEGAS -- If Nashville and Vegas meet in the postseason, Predators coach Peter Laviolette shouldn't have a problem choosing his starting goaltender.

    Juuse Saros owns the Golden Knights.

    Saros made a career-high 47 saves and improved to 3-0 against Vegas as Nashville topped the Golden Knights 2-1 on Wednesday night.

    "Saw a lot of pucks, that's always nice, most of them I got to see and the guys played good," said Saros, who has a .982 save percentage (stopping 113 of 115 shots) and a 0.66 goals-against-average. "They're a really good team, fast team, pressure. It wasn't lucky that they were in the (Stanley Cup) final last year. We wanted to finish strong these last two road games and be happy about our game."

    Nick Bonino notched his first game-winning goal of the season for the Predators, who won 4-1 in Colorado on Monday, and are now in a first-place tie with Winnipeg in the Central Division, both with 64 points.

    With the game tied at 1, Austin Watson poked the puck through a small crease between the corner of the goal and the back of Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's skate to Bonino, who was wide open in the slot for an easy goal 3:53 into the second period. And, Saros made the lead stand the rest of the way.

    "That one was just a good bounce, a good forecheck from (Calle Jarnkrok) and (Watson)," said Bonino, who has six goals and four assists in his last nine contests. "It's not easy to get them by Flower. It's easy when he's out of the net. We needed a win and go on a break with a good taste in our mouth and get ready to go."

    Ryan Johnson also scored for the Predators, who rank fifth in the NHL in goals allowed (134), and second in the league in goals-against per game (2.58).

    "(Saros) was unreal. ... He was outstanding today and I thought we played an amazing defensive game," Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban said. "I know we were outnumbered in shots, but they had a lot of power plays and got pucks to the net and they had a couple shifts where they cycled and got six or seven shots off, but Juice was on his game and that's the story with our team over the past couple years. When we don't play our best, our goaltenders bail us out most of the time."

    Nashville, which stopped Vegas on all four of its power-play opportunities, is 2-0 against the Golden Knights this season after winning the first meeting 4-1 on Oct. 30.

    Despite a 20-7-3 run since Nov. 21, Vegas has lost four of six. The Golden Knights, who lost Monday at home to Minnesota, had not lost back-to-back games at home all season.

    "It sucks to lose, you've got to win those types of games," Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt said. "You saw throughout the game how many chances both teams were getting. It's tough right before the break to lose like that."

    Max Pacioretty scored for Vegas, while Fleury made 25 saves.

    The Golden Knights head into the All-Star break in third place in the Pacific Division with 62 points, behind Calgary and San Jose, respectively.

    The most spirited play of the game came in the second period, during a scrum in front of the net, where Subban claimed Vegas forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare bit him on the finger. Subban said while he did reach around Bellemare's head to try to pull him away from Saros, he did not put his finger anywhere near his mouth.

    "All I tried to do was grab him. I grabbed him by the head to pull him up and he bit me, so that's it," said Subban, who was ultimately assessed two penalties: for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct. "I don't know what to say. I don't know how I walk out of there with four minutes in penalties. They tried to apologize after the fact, but they already gave me four minutes in penalties. My finger is bleeding.

    "It just is what it is. It's the last game before the break for us and I'm just focused on playing the game. The last thing you want to do is change the focus of our team there. We won the game, so I forgot about it after that."

    Bellemare insisted Subban put his hand near his mouth and removed his mouth guard.

    "He tried to pull me up, so obviously he's feeling teeth and he's acting on it," Bellemare said. "I don't know what to tell you, really."

    When asked about Subban's claims that he bit his finger, Bellemare said: "I mean, if you put your hand all the way in the mouth ... and you pull up, you're going to feel the teeth."

    Game notes
    The 18,477 in attendance was the third-largest crowd in franchise history for the Golden Knights. ..
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  4. #54
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    Game # 53

    2 5

    Martinook leads Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Golden Knights


    The Hurricanes score two unanswered goals as they win 5-2 at home.

    RALEIGH, N.C. -- Jordan Martinook had quite a week. In the span of six days he became a father, signed a contract extension and scored a game-winning goal.

    Martinook scored the go-ahead goal Friday night, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Vegas Golden Knights 5-2 in the teams' return from the All-Star break.

    Martinook's wife gave birth to their first child on Jan. 26. Three days later, he signed a two-year, $4 million extension. He capped off the week with the tiebreaking goal late in the second period as the Hurricanes won for the third time in four games.

    The goal was Martinook's 11th in 51 games this season, tying his single-season career-high. He scored 11 in 77 games with Arizona in 2016-17.

    "I don't know if I want to have another baby yet, but I definitely want to have another week like that," Martinook said. "To have another one of those weeks, that would be good."

    Nino Niederreiter, Brett Pesce and Sebastian Aho also scored, and Justin Faulk added an empty-netter with 49 seconds remaining. Justin Williams had two assists and Petr Mrazek stopped 22 shots.

    Shea Theodore scored twice for Vegas, which has lost five of seven. Maxime Lagace stopped 27 of 31 shots in his first game since being recalled from the American Hockey League.

    "Both teams were the same, they had the same break that we had, it's just they were the better team," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "We didn't play good enough to win, bottom line. We played good in spurts but not good enough to win."

    Carolina came out fast and peppered Lagace early to set the tempo. Vegas struck first with a power-play goal by Theodore just over five minutes in, but the Hurricanes responded quickly.

    Williams notched his first assist on a nifty play in which he redirected a rolling puck into the slot with the outside of his skate. Niederreiter snapped off a wrist shot to make it 1-1.

    "That's a top-10 play (by Williams)," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "You're not going to see too many guys think to do that."

    Carolina took the lead 47 seconds into the second period when Lagace ventured too far out of his crease to try and poke away a loose puck. Pesce corralled Lagace's feeble push and lifted it into a wide-open net for the lead.

    Theodore tied it with a shot through traffic late in the period, but Carolina again responded quickly.

    Just 36 seconds after Theodore's tying goal, Martinook buried Brock McGinn's pass with a one-timer to finish off a pretty odd-man rush, putting Carolina back in front.

    "It's probably a little cliche but that one felt pretty good," Martinook said. "As soon as I scored it I just had one thought in my mind, and it was my kid. It was pretty cool."

    Aho opened up a two-goal lead in the third with a tremendous individual effort, carrying the puck from center ice all the way to the net and flipping a backhander from a sharp angle over Lagace's shoulder. The Hurricanes never let up, staying on the attack the entire way and limiting Vegas to five shots in the final period.

    "The third period, I thought that was great," Brind'Amour said. "We're up a goal but we looked like the team that needed to get a couple, and that's the way we have to play."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  5. #55
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    Game # 54

    1 3

    Hoffman, Barkov lift Panthers over Golden Knights 3-1


    Mike Hoffman steals the puck, then blows by Vegas' defense to beat Marc-Andre Fleury in Florida's 3-1 win.

    SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers are trying to regain the momentum they had entering the All-Star break.

    Mike Hoffman's third-period goal put Florida ahead to stay and the Panthers defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 3-1 Saturday night.

    Hoffman broke a 1-1 tie when he grabbed a loose puck along the boards on the right side, skated in, and slid the puck between Marc-Andre Fleury's pads with 13:47 left in the third. Hoffman leads the Panthers with 24 goals.

    "It seemed like whoever got that next (goal), it was going to be the deciding one," Hoffman said.

    The win was the Panthers' fourth in five games after losing their previous seven.

    The Panthers bounced back from a disappointing 4-1 loss to Nashville on Friday night, when they allowed four goals in the third period. The Panthers scored twice in the third period against Vegas.

    "We were in the same situation," coach Bob Boughner said. "Last night, unfortunately, we couldn't find the second goal when we needed it. Tonight, we did."

    Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist, and Frank Vatrano also scored for the Panthers. James Reimer made 34 saves.

    "Obviously, last night we didn't get the job done," Reimer said. "We battled hard tonight and I thought we deserved it."

    Max Pacioretty scored for the Golden Knights, and Fleury stopped 22 shots.

    Vegas lost its fourth straight game for the first time in its short franchise history.

    "We can't think about the streak. We have to think about the little things, one shift at a time, one shot at a time," Fleury said. "It's frustrating because we're not used to this. We've got to find a way to get out of this streak, this bad streak, quickly."

    It doesn't get any easier for the Golden Knights as they play at Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

    "Get ready for the next one," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "We can't do nothing about tonight or the last three games. We've got to get ready for the next game and play hard."

    Vatrano's empty-net goal with 1:16 left stretched the lead to 3-1.

    Barkov put the Panthers up 1-0 just 12 seconds in. Barkov grabbed a loose puck at center ice and fired it past Fleury.

    Barkov's goal missed the franchise record for fastest goal by two seconds. That record is shared by Johan Garpenlov (Oct. 17, 1996 against Colorado) and Barkov (April 5, 2016 against Montreal.)

    Vegas tied it at 1-all on Pacioretty's goal. He punched in a wrist shot from the bottom of the left circle at 8:07 of the first.

    Evgenii Dadonov was awarded a penalty shot after he was tripped by Brayden McNabb at 57.9 of the first, but his shot went off Fleury's thigh and hit the crossbar.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  6. #56
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    Game # 55

    3 2 SO

    Tuch scores in shootout, Golden Knights edge Lightning 3-2


    Alex Tuch beats Andrei Vasilevskiy glove side, as Vegas knocks off Tampa Bay in the shootout 3-2.

    TAMPA, Fla. -- Down two goals and mired in a losing streak, the Vegas Golden Knights didn't fold.

    Instead, they rallied to beat the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Alex Tuch scored the only goal in a shootout and the Golden Knights halted a four-game skid with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

    Vegas got goals from Cody Eakin and Valentin Zykov in regulation. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots.

    "Definitely a good feeling," Fleury said. "Playing the best team and coming up with a win is a good confidence booster."

    Brayden Point and Mathieu Joseph scored for the Lightning, and Andrei Vasilevskiy made 35 saves. Steven Stamkos had two assists to give him 14 points over his last 10 games.

    "It wasn't our worst game we've played all year, it wasn't our best," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "It comes down to the shootout. Two good goalies, it's probably just going to take one."

    The Golden Knights, helped by a power play, outshot Tampa Bay 6-0 in overtime.

    "Vasy stood tall," Stamkos said.

    Vegas had lost five of six coming in. The Golden Knights scored seven times in the victory and had a combined seven goals in the losses.

    "I know we lost the past four games before this, but even though it was in a shootout I thought that we played hard and played pretty good defensively," Tuch said.

    Zykov tied it 2-all 5:22 into the third period on his fifth career goal and first since March 26.

    Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead at 14:19 of the second when a video review overturned a no-goal call on Joseph for goalie interference. Stamkos' shot went off a Vegas defender and Fleury before going into the net off Joseph.

    Eakin made it 2-1 on a breakaway 2:09 later off a pass from Jon Merrill.

    "It was big. It got us back in the hockey game," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "We played a good, hard game against a real good team. So, we're happy to end that streak, for sure."

    Point opened the scoring 6:36 into the game with his 31st goal on a power play. He returned after missing one game with what appeared to be a right leg injury.

    Nikita Kucherov got his 59th assist on Point's goal and has an NHL-best 81 points.

    The Lightning's league-leading power play went 1 for 5 against the Golden Knights, who ranked second on the penalty kill. Vegas failed to score on three power plays, including one that came late in the third.

    Golden Knights center Ryan Carpenter was shaken up late in the second after going into the boards on a check by Cedric Paquette. Carpenter tried skating off the ice twice on his own and needed a teammate and later a linesman to keep him from falling to the ice.

    Gallant had no update after the game on Carpenter's injury.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  7. #57
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    Game # 56

    4 2

    Marchessault scores 2 to lift Vegas over Detroit 4-2


    Jonathan Marchessault scores a pair of rebound goals as Vegas beats Detroit 4-3.

    DETROIT -- The Vegas Golden Knights wrapped up their trip on a positive note.

    Jonathan Marchessault scored twice in a three-goal second period, and the Golden Knights beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on Thursday night. William Karlsson and Brayden McNabb also scored for the Golden Knights, who finished a four-game trip with wins over NHL-leading Tampa Bay and the Red Wings.

    "Our last couple games, we've been playing the right way, and we really got rolling in the second period tonight," Marchessault said. "That's the way we know we should be playing every game, but we had gotten away from it for a while."

    Gustav Nyquist, Michael Rasmussen and Thomas Vanek scored for the Red Wings, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.

    Vegas snapped a four-game losing streak with its shootout win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. After beating the Red Wings, the Golden Knights head home for four games, including matchups with Toronto on Feb. 14 and Nashville on Feb. 16. Vegas, which is in third place in the Pacific Division, plays eight of its next nine at home.

    "We got to make sure we're ready to play. We usually play real good in our building," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "Hopefully we can gain a lot of points over the next eight or nine games."

    Dylan Larkin returned for the Red Wings after missing a game with an oblique injury, and he had two assists, including a secondary one on the game's first goal. Justin Abdelkader's backhander in the first period was stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury, but the goalie left the puck loose behind him, and Nyquist converted for his 13th goal of the season.

    Marchessault tied it in the second when he knocked in a rebound on the power play, then Karlsson put the Golden Knights ahead immediately after the end of a Detroit man advantage. Paul Stastny came out of the penalty box just in time to create a 2-on-1 with Karlsson. The puck went from Karlsson to Stastny and back to Karlsson, who took the return pass and easily stuffed it into an open net .

    Marchessault's 19th goal of the season came on another rebound to make it 3-1.

    "We needed to come out of the first period with a bigger lead, and then we just made too many mistakes in the second period," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "They get a dirty goal off a rebound at the end of a really good kill, and then we lose sight of the clock on a power play and give up one the other way. They get one off a faceoff and now we're down two and fighting to get back out of the hole."

    Rasmussen pulled Detroit within one when he had space in front of the net on a power play and beat Fleury with 15:19 remaining in the third, but the Golden Knights picked up an insurance goal with 8:53 to play. McNabb flipped a backhander toward the net, and it appeared to take a deflection before slipping past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Oscar Lindberg was creating traffic in front for Vegas, but the goal was credited to McNabb.

    Vanek's goal came with 2.7 seconds left.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  8. #58
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    Game # 57

    3 4

    Atkinson scores twice, Blue Jackets beat Golden Knights 4-3

    Cam Atkinson nets a wrist shot late in the third period to give Columbus the 4-3 win against Vegas.

    LAS VEGAS -- The Columbus Blue Jackets opened a three-game Western Conference trip with victories in Colorado and Arizona, yet didn't feel as though they put forth their best effort.

    Columbus closed out the trip with one of their most complete games of the season as Cam Atkinson scored two goals less than three minutes apart and Sergei Bobrovsky made 20 saves in a 4-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

    "We talked about it before the game ... playing one of the best teams in the league, we knew we had to bring it, every single line -- especially my line -- and I think we did that," Atkinson said. "I think we played one of our best games of the season, so it's huge for us."

    Moments after using his speed to get past Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb, collect a rebound off Marc-Andre Fleury and score an equalizer that tied the game at 3-all, Atkinson scored the game-winner on a power play against the league's top home penalty kill when he fired a shot over Fleury's arm.

    "We had a couple of opportunities on the first power play, obviously they scored a short-handed goal, which is unacceptable on our part," said Atkinson, who has a team-leading 31 goals this season, and the second 30-goal campaign of his career. "But when we needed a power play the most, we stepped up big."

    Columbus has scored a power-play goal in six of its last seven games (6 of 16). The team has scored on 10 of 31 power-play chances over the last 11 games.

    Josh Anderson and Artemi Panarin also scored for the Blue Jackets, who are in third place in the Metropolitan Division at 31-20-3 (65 points), two points behind Washington with a game in hand.

    "I'm not crazy about the city and all the noise out there. But the building, they do it right, and they have a good team, that's a good team," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "Our guys should feel good, they just beat a really good hockey club."

    Nate Schmidt, Jon Merrill and Cody Eakin scored for Vegas, while Fleury made 29 saves. The Golden Knights dropped to 16-7-3 at home.

    Vegas coach Gerard Gallant thought his team might start sluggish in its first home game in 17 days -- spanning the All-Star Break, a bye week and a four-game trip -- but both teams opened the contest with a lot of speed and plenty of scoring chances.

    All-Star Seth Jones scored his eighth goal of the season for Columbus and Vegas defenseman Nate Schmidt matched his career high with his fifth goal of the season 32 seconds later.

    Later, during a penalty kill, Golden Knights first-line wing Reilly Smith streaked into the offensive zone with William Karlsson to his right. But when Karlsson couldn't convert and his shot caromed off the post, Merrill was there and punched home his second goal of the season to put Vegas in front 2-1.

    Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, it was the second frame they looked lethargic, getting just three shots on goal while the Blue Jackets put plenty of pressure on Fleury with nine shots. Columbus outshot Vegas 22-12 through two periods, and 33-23 for the game.

    "I didn't expect that second period at all," Gallant said. "We just didn't have no jump, it looked like we were skating in quicksand and it caught up to us a little bit."

    The Golden Knights escaped the second period tied 2-2, after Panarin caught Fleury behind the goal and fired the puck into an empty net.

    Gallant tweaked his line-rotation a bit and utilized 10 forwards across three lines in the third period, when Eakin gave Vegas a brief 3-2 lead after racing into the offensive zone, collecting a pretty cross-ice pass from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and scoring past Bobrovsky with 10:39 left.

    The Blue Jackets wouldn't go away, though, and benefited from Atkinson's late-game heroics.

    "It was a great game, especially in the second period, step up and play really hard," Bobrovsky said. "The second period I thought we took over. We trust in each other. You don't want to be too cocky, too high, because you never know what's going to happen. You have to stay focused, you have to stay sharp. We obviously have a trust and belief in each other."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  9. #59
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    Game # 58

    2 5

    Arizona hands Vegas fourth straight home loss in 5-2 win

    Alex Galchenyuk collects a pass at center ice and dekes Marc-Andre Fleury for the nifty score in Arizona's 5-2 win vs. Vegas.

    LAS VEGAS -- Nick Cousins said he "couldn't put a finger on" why teams are playing better in Las Vegas this season.

    Nor does he care.

    Cousins scored his first game-winning goal of the season and goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 41 saves to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.

    The Coyotes snapped an 0-3-1 slide on the road, while handing Vegas its fourth consecutive home loss, the second time in franchise history it's lost four straight at T-Mobile Arena.

    "I think guys maybe took `em a little bit lightly since they were coming with the expansion," Cousins said. "Obviously us, we're not gonna take `em lightly any time. And I think that might be it. We've played `em well here."

    Arizona, which improved to 2-1-1 in Las Vegas, was the recipient of a wild bounce after Cousins' initial shot was deflected wide. Vinnie Hinostroza collected the puck and fired it in front, where Cousins was there for a one-timer that slipped past Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

    Kuemper, who recently earned a point in nine straight starts, improved to 8-2-3 since the calendar flip to 2019. He's made a league sixth-best 378 saves since Jan. 1.

    "He was solid tonight," Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said. "Kemps is seeing the puck. I thought he made a good save in the third, a glove save, that was a rocket going short side, he made that glove save. That was a big one for us."

    Jordan Oesterle, Alex Galchenyuk, Josh Archibald and Richard Panik also scored for Arizona.

    Brandon Pirri and Nate Schmidt scored for Vegas, which is now 16-8-3 at home and has lost six of eight. Fleury, who made his league-leading 50th start of the season, made 21 saves.

    It marked the fifth time in eight games Vegas' normally high-powered offense was limited to two or fewer goals.

    Alex Tuch, who leads Vegas with 40 points, is now mired in a six-game drought without a point or an assist, while first-line forwards William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault had their three-game point streaks come to halt.

    "We keep taking penalties, it hurts you," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "We kill both of them, but we lost momentum. Your top players are killing penalties then you try and get back. It was a 2-2 game and all of a sudden, we try and get cute again and start making drop passes and passes through the slot, and turnover and they go the other way on odd-man rushes. ... In my opinion we gave them three goals from our mistakes, not from what they deserve."

    Meanwhile, the Coyotes, who entered the game leading the league with an 85.1 penalty kill percentage, kept Vegas silent on its lone power-play opportunity.

    After Oesterle buried a wrist shot to break a scoreless tie during a power play midway through the second period, Galchenyuk made it 2-0 when he took a pass from Nick Cousins and broke free down the left side on a breakaway, deked Fleury to his left and slipped the puck into the net.

    Pirri ended his six-game drought 29 seconds later when he sniped Kuemper short side to cut Arizona's lead in half. Shortly after Reilly Smith had a chance to tie the game for Vegas with a penalty shot, but clanked it off the post, Schmidt found the back of the net with 30 seconds left in the second to make it 2-2 for his 100th career point.

    Archibald and Panik scored late to ice the game for Arizona, which inched closer in the Western Conference wild-card race. The Coyotes are four points behind the second wild-card spot, currently held by Minnesota, which has 59 points. Sandwiched between is Vancouver with 57.

    Tocchet agreed with Cousins in that teams are no longer surprised by Vegas' talent, and are arriving a bit more poised and prepared to play hockey, rather than being distracted by what the city has to offer the night before games.

    "I think teams are coming in here a little more serious, I just feel like when we come in here, the job's to win a hockey game," Tocchet said. "It's no different than going to any other city. You go to dinner and whatever your guys do. Vegas, I think people are being a little more serious before the game."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  10. #60
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    Game # 59

    3 6

    Matthews scores twice, Maple Leafs beat Vegas 6-3


    Auston Matthews scores twice in the Maple Leafs' 6-3 victory vs. the Golden Knights.

    LAS VEGAS -- Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews registered his 100th career NHL point in Las Vegas.

    The third-year sensation notched another milestone Thursday night on the famed Las Vegas Strip.

    Matthews scored two goals, including the 100th of his career, to lead the Maple Leafs to a 6-3 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

    "I like playing here," said Matthews, whose 100th point came on Dec. 31, 2017. "The two times we've been here the atmosphere is unbelievable, the fans are into it. When you're the opposing team it's an easy game to get into, when the crowd, and the atmosphere, the music and everything is like it is. It's like a big party, so it's fun to play in."

    The Maple Leafs, who improved to 36-18-3 this season and 19-7-2 on the road, are 15-7-0 against the Western Conference and 9-2-0 against Pacific Division opponents.

    Morgan Rielly scored his fifth game-winner when his shot made its way through traffic to beat Marc-Andre Fleury and put Toronto ahead 4-3 at the midway point of the third period.

    "Close game going into the third, they score a big goal, I thought we responded well," said Rielly, who has a point in 10 of his last 17 games. "This is a pretty cool place to play, pretty cool building to play in, so we were excited to come in here."

    Andreas Johnsson, Patrick Marleau and Mitch Marner also scored for Toronto, while Frederik Andersen made 30 saves.

    Andersen, who is three games away from the 300th in his career, came up with huge saves in each period, including breakaway chances for Vegas in the first and third periods.

    "Of course you want to make stops when they come your way ... that's just important times where they could have gained some momentum, but I felt pretty good in there," Anderson said. "We were able to score some big goals and answer their goals pretty well."

    Vegas has lost three in a row and a franchise-record five straight at T-Mobile Arena, including the first three of a four-game homestand. Since a 4-2 home loss to Minnesota on Jan. 21, the Golden Knights are 2-7-0, and have been outscored 34-21 in that span.

    Vegas, which was 29-10-2 at home last season, dropped to 16-9-3 at home this season. The Golden Knights didn't have their ninth home loss last season until March 2.

    "I can't worry about last year's team; I have to worry about this year and it's disappointing to lose at home," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "We've had a great record here. This year we've had a great record here. What's that, five in a row at home now? We're playing some good teams."

    Paul Stastny, Oscar Lindberg and William Karlsson scored for Vegas. Fleury made 36 saves but allowed a season-high six goals. Fleury has allowed 17 goals in his last four starts. The last time Fleury held an opponent to one or fewer goals was Jan. 1.

    The Maple Leafs took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Johnsson beat Fleury for a power-play goal, one of two Toronto would score with an extra man. Vegas, which came into the game ranked sixth in the league with its penalty kill and tied for the league's best home penalty kill, has now allowed at least one power-play goal in five straight games.

    Stastny, who has at least one point in 15 of his last 20 games, tied the game for Vegas early in the second period with a short-handed goal. Vegas made it 2-1 when Lindberg took a pass from Cody Eakin and one-timed it past Anderson.

    The lead wouldn't last long, though, as Marleau reached to tap in the loose puck, which Fleury inadvertently kicked into the net, tying the game at 2-all. Matthews' team-high 10th power-play goal put the Maple Leafs back in front, 3-2.

    The Golden Knights made it 3-3 early in the third, when Karlsson redirected Jon Merrill's top from the top, but Rielly's game-winner put the Leafs ahead for good, and Matthews and Marner added goals late in the third to put away the game.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  11. #61
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    Game # 60

    5 1

    Pacioretty nets 2, leads Vegas past Nashville, 5-1


    Max Pacioretty stuffs home the first goal and caps off Vegas' scoring in the third as the Golden Knights drop the Predators 5-1.

    LAS VEGAS -- After veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury allowed 17 goals in four straight starts, the Vegas Golden Knights' Malcolm Subban took over the crease for just the eighth time this season.

    The 25-year-old Subban made the most of his first start since early January.

    Subban made 29 saves, Max Pacioretty scored twice and the Golden Knights defeated the Nashville Predators 5-1 on Saturday.

    Vegas snapped a three-game losing streak, and a franchise-record five-game skid at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas, which was 29-10-2 at home last season, improved to 17-9-3 at home this season.

    "I felt good obviously to get back in there. Not playing for a while you never know how its gonna go, but you just try to focus on the first shot and (then) one shot at a time," Subban said. "They stole one from us here in our building not too long ago. We came out here on a losing streak at home and felt we had to stick to these guys and get some revenge to them from the last game they beat us."

    Subban, who recently spent time on the injured reserve list with an undisclosed injury, was spectacular in earning his third straight victory.

    "He was great, he came off the IR seven or 10 days ago, got some good practice in with (goalie coach) Dave (Prior) and with our team and tonight he was sharp," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "He looked really good, he looked focused and he made some incredible saves."

    That included a huge save in the second period that could've shifted momentum, when Nashville's Ryan Hartman fired one shot, raced across the crease and tried to sneak the rebound by the post, but was denied by Subban's outstretched skate. Then, ahead 3-1 with a little more than 13 minutes left in the game, he stoned Viktor Arvidsson on a straight-ahead shot from just inside the circle.

    Brandon Pirri, Shea Theodore and Oscar Lindberg also scored for Vegas.

    Nashville came into the game ranked fourth in the NHL in goals-against per game (2.57) and seventh in shots allowed per game (29.4). The Preds had allowed two-or-fewer goals in 31 games, and one-or-fewer in 18 of their 60 games before allowing the handful to Vegas.

    Kevin Fiala scored his 10th goal for Nashville, and Juuse Saros made 45 saves.

    "It wasn't a good game. We were down in a lot of areas and the score reflected that," Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said. "The second period, for me, was unexplainable. That's back-to-back second periods where we just didn't show up."

    Vegas controlled the tempo the entire second period, during which it outshot the Predators 24-7, keeping the pressure on Saros, who fell to 3-1-0 in his career against the Golden Knights. It was during the second 20 minutes the Golden Knights got their game-winner, when William Karlsson passed to Reilly Smith, who dished to a wide open Pirri, who was streaking into the zone. Pirri's initial shot was blocked, but he stuck with it and followed it up and found the back of the net with his third game-winner.

    With the NHL's third-best penalty kill on home ice, the Golden Knights were 3-for-3 short-handed, as the Predators couldn't crack Subban with their power play. Nashville ranks last in the league with a paltry 12.7 conversion rate on the power play.

    "Working on it," said Laviolette, whose team has just three goals in its last 54 power-play chances. "We work on it constantly. On the ice, in the room, on the video. It's not working."

    Golden Knights center Paul Stastny continued his point streak with an assist to Theodore, who buried a backhand over Saros to give Vegas a 3-0 lead early in the third period.

    Nashville tried to stay in the game when it got on the board shortly after with Fiala's goal. But Lindberg pushed the lead to 4-1 when he fired the puck through the legs of Nashville forward Colton Sissons and past Saros.

    Pacioretty, meanwhile, responded to being moved to the third line, as Gallant was looking to shake things up with an offense that had been stagnant during a 2-7-0 slide. Pacioretty snapped a five-game goal drought with his first multi-goal game since Nov. 29, scoring the team's first and last goals of the game.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  12. #62
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    Game # 61

    0 3

    Avalanche end home slide with 3-0 win over Golden Knights

    Tyson Jost opens the scoring, while Andrew Agozzino tallies his first NHL goal as Colorado blanks Vegas 3-0.

    DENVER -- When the moment arrived, Andrew Agozzino was ready -- big right fist pump, coupled with a glide on his right knee and even a little yell.

    This goal celebration was a long time in the making.

    Agozzino scored his first NHL goal and added an assist, Semyon Varlamov stopped 40 shots for his second shutout of the season and the Colorado Avalanche ended a six-game home skid by beating the Vegas Golden Knights 3-0 on Monday night.

    "Just pure excitement," Agozzino said. "It's special and tough to put into words. There was a lot emotion after I saw it go in."

    The 28-year-old Agozzino was recalled Sunday from Colorado of the AHL, where he led the Eagles with 22 goals and 28 assists. In his 11th NHL game -- and first since April 9, 2016 -- Agozzino pushed a shot past Malcolm Subban off a pass from captain Gabriel Landeskog. It gave Colorado a 2-0 advantage in the second period. The assist marked the 400th career point for Landeskog.

    A milestone goal, indeed.

    Agozzino also happened to be the oldest Avalanche skater on the ice at the time of his first goal. As for what he will do with the puck, well, he might give it to his father. Or just keep it.

    "He'll be fighting me for it," cracked Agozzino.

    Tyson Jost and Matt Calvert also scored as the Avalanche won their first game at the Pepsi Center since Jan. 19.

    Varlamov was brilliant all night, with little traffic screening his vision. He had 15 saves in the third period.

    "It wasn't like a tough game where there are lots of screens in front and you can't see anything," Varlamov said. "The guys did a tremendous job. I saw most of the shots."

    Subban had 35 saves for a Golden Knights team that's now dropped eight of their last 11 games. Subban started back-to-back games for the first time all season with Vegas electing to rest Marc-Andre Fleury.

    "Their goaltender put up a perfect performance tonight and that's what it took," Subban said of his counterpart. "It's tough to lose games like this, took a full 60-minute effort and I needed to make a few more saves tonight. Got to correct some mistakes and move forward."

    Vegas coach Gerard Gallant was hoping his team could ride the momentum from a 5-1 win over Nashville the other night. It didn't happen.

    "Not much you can do. We played a pretty good game tonight," Gallant said. "It was a 3-0 game but it really should've been a 6-5 game. The goalies were excellent."

    Calvert gave Colorado a three-goal cushion with 13:07 remaining. The play was reviewed when it appeared he knocked it in with his glove. But the officials ruled he last powered in the puck with his stick after it struck his glove.

    Early in the first period, Jost stole the puck down low early and made a nifty spin move to score his first goal since Jan. 2. The young center was in such a scoring funk he was briefly sent to the minors for some more work. Jost celebrated his goal in style by dropping to a knee and skating toward the boards.

    It hasn't exactly been home-sweet-home for the Avalanche this season with an 11-12-5 mark. This after such a dominant showing a season ago when their 28 home wins matched the franchise record set by the 2000-01 Stanley Cup championship squad.

    "It's not like we go out there and don't want to play at home," defenseman Nikita Zadorov said. "We're trying."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  13. #63
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    Game # 62


    2 3 SO

    Backes scores shootout winner, Bruins top Golden Knights 3-2

    David Backes scores in the sixth round of the shootout, as the Bruins top the Golden Knights 3-2.

    LAS VEGAS -- David Backes didn't know what to think when Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy called his number in the sixth round of a shootout Wednesday night against the Vegas Golden Knights.

    So, he didn't.

    Instead, Backes took instruction from teammate Brad Marchand, skated in stick side on veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and scored the game-winner low-glove side to lift Boston to a 3-2 win over the Golden Knights for the Bruins' season-high seventh straight victory.

    "I was still in shock when he called my name with some of the guys that hadn't gone yet," Backes said. "I thought there was at least a handful before me, but got the call and went out there, I'm a shooter by nature ... I tried low glove and it worked out and good ending to the fourth game of our trip. He's an all-world goalie altogether, but in shootouts he's lights out."

    Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand scored in regulation for Boston, which is 8-1-1 in its last 10 on the road -- including wins in the first four games of a western trip. The Bruins' win streak is their longest since a 12-game run in 2014.

    Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots and has now won his last three starts, allowing just three goals along the way.

    "It was a battle, I thought the first period they were better than us, but I think as the game went on, we started playing better," Halak said. "I think we battled through it. I was happy going into overtime, at least we get a point. And that extra point for us, I think, is huge."

    The Bruins, who are 9-0-3 in their last 12 overall, haven't lost in regulation since a 3-2 setback to the New York Rangers on Jan. 19. Boston improved to 11-2-2 against Pacific Division opponents and 18-4-4 versus Western Conference foes.

    "I thought it was a good hockey game, it could have went either way, similar type teams I think," Cassidy said. "The whole month we've been good, consistent. Part of that is to do with our lineup has become consistent because our injured guys are back. They've got some time under their belt. We had a lot of different guys in and out, so we're gaining some chemistry again."

    With the win, second-place Boston increased its lead in the Atlantic Division over Toronto to four points.

    Meanwhile, Vegas fell to 3-6-1 in February and 3-8 since Jan. 21. The Golden Knights, who have been outscored 40-27 during their 11-game skid, are 1-5-1 in their last seven games at home.

    Reilly Smith and Nate Schmidt scored for Vegas, while Fleury finished with 25 saves. Fleury has lost four in a row and seven of his last nine starts. He has allowed 19 goals in last five starts, and 28 in the nine-game span.

    "We got one point and played a great game," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "I'm tired of saying the (other team's) goalie was the first star, but he played great and we hit a couple posts. I think if we played the game over, we'd probably win it. But it was a great hockey game. I thought it was a playoff atmosphere against a great team. Were we disappointed we didn't get two points? Definitely. But I'm not going to fault our group for that effort. They played real well and worked hard. They did exactly what I wanted."

    DeBrusk scored for Boston in the first round of the shootout and William Karlsson tied it for Vegas in the second.

    DeBrusk got things going for the Bruins 11 minutes into the game, when he put a nifty spin move on Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore as he collected a pass from David Krejci and fired a wrist shot past Fleury to give Boston a 1-0 lead. Smith tied it late in the first period when he punched home a rebound from Cody Eakin's shot from the point.

    Marchand gave the Bruins a brief lead, as he took a pass from Danton Heinen and beat Fleury with a blast 69 seconds into the third. Schmidt raced past McAvoy, collected the puck and snapped a backhand over Halak to tie the game just 27 seconds later.

    "I think just in general our team knows, this time a year you gotta play together, play the right way and I think that's a credit to the leadership and that's why we've won games," Cassidy said. "It's not just one thing, it's a combination of playing solid hockey."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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