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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

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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

  14. #64
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    Game # 63

    3 6

    Laine scores 2 goals, Jets beat Golden Knights 6-3

    Patrik Laine nets two of the Jets' six goals in their win vs. the Golden Knights.

    LAS VEGAS -- Patrik Laine hadn't scored a goal for Winnipeg in 15 games. He ended that drought in a big way Friday night.

    Laine contributed a pair of power-play goals and Connor Hellebuyck made 31 saves to lead Winnipeg to a 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights, the team that eliminated the Jets from last season's Western Conference Final.

    The Central Division leaders entered 2-4-2 in their previous eight games but rebounded from an embarrassing 7-1 loss at Colorado on Wednesday to improve to 12-3-2 against Pacific Division opponents this season.

    "I think there's always (special) meanings when we're playing," said Laine, whose 27 goals rank second on the team. "But especially, we had to win these games. We lost a couple of huge games here last playoffs so we needed to kind of win this one. After the game in Colorado, we needed a good bounce-back and I think we did that."

    Nikolaj Ehlers, Kyle Connor, Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp also scored for Winnipeg. Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little each had two assists. Hellebuyck snapped his two-game skid to improve to 27-17-2.

    The victory was Paul Maurice's 685th as an NHL coach. He passed Pat Quinn for sole possession of eighth place on the career list and is seven wins shy of tying Dick Irvin for seventh.

    The high-flying Jets, who average 3.35 goals per game, sixth-best in the league, scored more than three for only the second time in nine games. Vegas, meanwhile, allowed three or more goals for the 14th time in 17 games.

    Pierre Edouard Bellemare, Shea Theodore and Jonathan Marchessault scored for the Golden Knights.

    Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves. He has lost five in a row and eight of his past 10 starts, allowing 24 goals over his last six games.

    The Golden Knights are 3-9-1 in the past month, during which they've been outscored 45-30. They have just one win in their last eight home games (1-6-1).

    "We just don't play for 60 minutes. We don't work," Marchessault said. "Our power play's not working, and they cash in a couple of goals on their power play. Normally we always have more power plays because we work harder and we skate, we're faster, and that's not what's happening with us right now."

    Winnipeg, which has the league's fourth-best power play, was 2 for 4 with extra men, converting 1 of 3 with a 5-on-4, and the lone time it had a 5-on-3 advantage. Vegas, which owns the league's second-best home penalty kill and ranks third in the NHL with just 7.05 penalty minutes per game, was 9 for 9 over the previous three games when down a man.

    "There's no excuses (for) not working," Marchessault said. "Everybody has control of how you're going to work in a game. It's not only one or two guys, it's everybody. The only guy that probably works hard since the beginning of the year is Cody Eakin. Maybe we should learn a little bit more from him."

    Ehlers wasted no time in his first game back after missing 20 with an upper-body injury, as he buried a rebound at the doorstep 56 seconds in to give Winnipeg the early lead.

    Connor made it 2-0 just 32 seconds later when he beat Fleury top shelf with a quick shot over his left shoulder.

    Bellemare's goal late in the first period gave Vegas some momentum heading to the dressing room, and Theodore tied it midway through the second.

    But just as the Jets opened the game with two quick goals, they ended the second period with a pair in 27 seconds. Laine beat Fleury for a power-play goal and Lowry followed with 3.7 seconds left before the horn to give Winnipeg a 4-2 lead.

    Marchessault's goal came eight seconds into the third to make it a one-goal game. But with the Jets enjoying a 5-on-3 power play, Wheeler fed Laine at the left circle for a one-timer to push Winnipeg's lead back to two.

    Copp's empty-netter provided the final margin.

    "Team win. Everybody had a piece of that. Everyone did the right things when they needed to," Wheeler said. "We talked about it before the game -- everyone was going to have a dirty job at some point in this game and when it's your turn you've got to step up and make the play. From the goaltender out, everyone had a piece of that one."
    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

  15. #65
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    Game # 64

    4 1

    Pacioretty scores twice, Golden Knights top Stars 4-1

    Max Pacioretty finishes with two goals and Nate Schmidt ices the game late in the third period with an empty-net score.

    LAS VEGAS -- After clashing for years in the Atlantic Division, new Vegas teammates Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone suddenly found themselves on the same side Tuesday night.

    Worked pretty well together, too.

    Pacioretty scored two goals, including the tiebreaker with 5:08 remaining, to lift the Golden Knights to a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars.

    With the teams tied 1-all, Pacioretty fired the puck from behind the net and it ricocheted off Dallas forward Tyler Seguin's skate past goaltender Ben Bishop for his fourth game-winner of the season.

    "When I scored, (Stone) said, `I never thought I'd be cheering for one of your goals," said Pacioretty, who was acquired from Montreal in September. "Just the nature of the sport. He's a great guy and he's going to be here for a long time and I'm really looking forward to playing with him."

    The win was a celebration for Stone, traded from Ottawa with prospect Tobias Lindberg just before Monday's deadline for forward Oscar Lindberg, prospect Erik Brannstrom and a 2020 second-round draft pick that originally belonged to Dallas.

    "We had a lot of battles. ... You've got to learn to expect the unexpected in this game," Stone said. "As a professional athlete you never know where you're going to end up next. It's exciting to be able to play with these types of guys."

    It was a much-needed victory for Vegas, which had been outscored 45-30 during a 3-9-1 slide. The Golden Knights improved to 2-6-1 in their last nine home games and 4-1-0 all-time against Dallas.

    Nate Schmidt and Brayden McNabb added empty-net goals. Marc-Andre Fleury, playing in his 100th game with the Golden Knights, snapped a five-game losing streak by making 23 saves. The 15-year veteran lost eight of his previous 10 starts, allowing 24 goals over his past six games.

    "It was very frustrating and challenging cause a lot of those losses were at home and we've had so much success here and we want to be a tough team to play here in front of our fans because they're always so good to us," Fleury said. "You always want to work on little things, try to get better and try to figure it out and tonight it finally feels good to come off with the win."

    The physicality from both teams was evident with a combined 86 hits, including several by Vegas enforcer and fan favorite Ryan Reaves.

    "The guys have been hungry for winning a hockey game," Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. "It was a good recipe for us tonight. I thought Reavo really set the tone for us; he had some huge hits. Nabber (McNabb) stepped up and had some real big hits. We played a hard game. Dallas is a tough team. They play a hard game, too."

    Roope Hintz scored for the Stars, and Bishop was brilliant all night in making a season-high 44 saves. Bishop, who has played just twice since Feb. 4 after spending two weeks on injured reserve, was 4-0 prior to getting hurt but has lost two straight.

    Vegas peppered Bishop in the third period when it outshot the Stars 21-1, including a stretch with a 5-on-3 power play. Bishop stood tall in turning away eight shots while the Golden Knights had a two-man advantage.

    "We kill off the 5-on-3 and thought we would build momentum off that and we didn't," Dallas coach Jim Montgomery said. "Then they get the miscommunication on the breakout and they get a bounce off a skate. I don't know outside of the 5-on-3 how many scoring chances they had 5-on-5."

    Hintz gave Dallas a 1-0 lead although replays showed Alexander Radulov running into Fleury's right elbow and blocker while he was moving into position to make the save. The puck sailed just past Fleury's blocker as it was being interfered with, and though the play was reviewed, officials deemed it a good goal.

    Vegas got the equalizer on a power play in the middle of the second period, when Pacioretty ripped a shot top shelf from the right circle. It was Vegas' first power-play goal in four games and just its second in the last eight.
    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

  16. #66
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    Game # 65

    6 5 SO

    Theodore's shootout goal lifts Vegas past Florida 6-5

    Theodore's shootout winner lifts KnightsShea Theodore buries a shootout goal to give the Knights a 6-5 win vs. the Panthers.

    LAS VEGAS -- Malcolm Subban has 17 career wins in two seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights. Four of those have been in shootouts, during which he's never allowed a goal.

    Subban made 32 saves and stopped all three shootout attempts, while Shea Theodore's goal in the second round lifted the Vegas Golden Knights to a 6-5 win over the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

    "A little antsy there. I got lucky on the first one, but I felt I settled down a little more on the next ones," said Subban, who has now stopped 16 of 16 shootout attempts he has faced since last season. "Coming with speed in practice, it obviously helps you. In the game, it kind of slows things down. No defenders in practice, guys are coming down full speed, it's tough to do that in the game, so it definitely makes it easier when you get into the game."

    Vegas, which sits in third place in the Pacific Division, picked up a much-needed two points with the win, as hard-charging Arizona defeated Vancouver 5-2 earlier in the night. The Coyotes are six points behind Vegas in the division.

    "I was happy we got the big win obviously, but not happy with the way we played," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "That first period we were a little sleepy and didn't play well enough. We gave up five goals. I just thought we were a little bit loose.

    "But again, it's two big points at the end of the day."

    Reilly Smith scored twice, while Paul Stastny, Jon Merrill and Colin Miller scored for the Golden Knights.

    Vegas, which improved to 19-10-4 at home and 6-7-2 against the Atlantic Division, won its second straight game since acquiring Mark Stone from Ottawa just before Monday's trade deadline. Though the high-scoring forward remains scoreless with his new team and remains two points shy of matching his career high of 64 points, he's registered a plus-3 toward his plus-minus rating since joining Vegas.

    The Panthers, who came up one point short of the playoffs last season, have been making a push of late, going 5-1-2 in their past eight games and finishing February with an 8-5-2 mark for the month.

    "It was a heck of a game, the guys played hard," Florida coach Bob Boughner said. "What I liked about it the most is how we responded in the third period. It was probably our best period. We just found a way to grab a point."

    The Panthers are eight points behind Carolina, which currently holds the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot.

    Mike Hoffman scored two goals for Florida, with Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau also scoring for the Panthers. Roberto Luongo, who made his first start against Vegas, made 41 saves. It was the second straight game Luongo was involved in a shootout after Arizona beat the Panthers 4-3 on Tuesday night.

    Florida, which is on a four-game point streak (2-0-2), improved to 5-4-3 against the tightly contested Pacific Division.

    "Like I've said before, in overtime, in a shootout, it's anybody's game," Boughner said. "I just like the way we're competing and we're finding a way, we're scraping a way to get points."

    Stastny, who has a point in 19 of his last 26 games with six goals and 20 assists, opened the scoring three minutes into the game, when he collected the puck after a faceoff in the offensive zone, and pulled the trigger with a quick flip past Luongo.

    The Panthers stole the momentum once Vegas committed its first two penalties later in the first period as Hoffman scored consecutive power-play goals from the same spot in the right circle to give Florida a 2-1 lead. Ekblad's one-time rifle from the top whizzed through traffic to make it 3-1.

    Smith, Merrill and Miller completed a trifecta of consecutive goals to make it 4-3 and swing the momentum pendulum back in Vegas' favor. But Barkov simmered Vegas' fire when he punched the puck through Subban's five-hole with less than a minute remaining in the second to tie the game at 4-all.

    Huberdeau, who tied a career high with assists (three) and points (four) in a game, made it 5-4 early in the third period when he snapped his own rebound past Subban. Smith provided the equalizer with his second goal of the game when his wrist shot ricocheted off Mike Matheson's stick, and redirected past Luongo to tie it at 5 with 4:18 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

  17. #67
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    Game # 66

    3 0

    Fleury gets NHL-best 7th shutout as Vegas beats Ducks 3-0


    Great passing leads to Karlsson's goal

    The Golden Knights share the puck well with the man advantage, leading to William Karlsson tallying his 19th goal of the season.

    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Marc-Andre Fleury has played more games than any other NHL goaltender this season. It hardly appears to be taking a toll.

    The 34-year-old Fleury stopped 34 shots for his league-leading seventh shutout and the Vegas Golden Knights swept the season series from the Anaheim Ducks with a 3-0 victory Friday night.

    "My teammates helped me out blocking shots and taking rebounds away. It was a good team win," said Fleury, who has played 55 games and also leads the league with 31 wins.

    It was Fleury's 11th shutout for Vegas and the 55th of his career. Two have come against Anaheim, and 13 in March.

    "We played good all night and Fleury was excellent," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "They didn't have a whole lot of good chances but when they did he made some great saves."

    Fleury said he doesn't feel tired despite playing in all but 11 games this season, but his workload over the final five weeks of the regular season might be watched more to make sure he is primed for the playoffs.

    "I'm fine. Our schedule is less busy right now," he said. "We'll go with the flow and try to stay healthy."

    William Karlsson, Alex Tuch and Cody Eakin scored for Vegas, which won its third straight. The Golden Knights are on their longest streak since winning seven consecutive games in late December and early January but remain nine points behind San Jose for second place in the Pacific Division.

    "The win is awesome but the amount of times he shuts a team out is phenomenal. It gives us energy," Tuch said about Fleury. "He's probably the biggest part of our team's success right now."

    John Gibson made 31 saves for Anaheim in his first start since Feb. 7. Gibson had missed the last nine games due to a concussion and having his wisdom teeth removed.

    The Ducks have lost five in a row and are 3-10 since the All-Star break.

    "We're out-chancing a lot of teams, so the stats say. We're just not scoring, and other teams are scoring timely goals against us," Ducks forward Nick Ritchie said.

    Karlsson scored his 19th at 14:49 of the first period when he took a cross-ice pass from Mark Stone and caught Gibson out of position. It was Stone's first point with the Golden Knights since he was acquired from Ottawa on Monday.

    The Golden Knights had scored just twice in 28 power-play opportunities on the road coming into the game.

    Tuch got his first goal in 15 games and 17th this season at 18:13 of the second when he put a backhand between Gibson's legs. Jonathan Marchessault was able to grab an errant puck off the boards and fired a stretch pass to Tuch as the Ducks were in the middle of a line change.

    "It's been a little bit and I almost forgot the feeling," Tuch said. "We've been playing real good hockey so far. We've got to clean up little bits and pieces and make sure we don't let teams back in the game."

    Eakin added an empty-net goal at 19:40 of the third for his 16th this season.

    Game notes

    Anaheim RW Corey Perry tied team captain Ryan Getzlaf for most games played in franchise history at 971.
    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

  18. #68
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    Game # 67

    3 0

    Fleury gets second straight shutout, Vegas beats Canucks 3-0

    Golden Knights knock off Canucks behind big second periodMax Pacioretty, Ryan Carpenter and Reilly Smith all light the lamp in the second period in Vegas' 3-0 win against Vancouver.

    LAS VEGAS -- Gerard Gallant believes his Vegas Golden Knights are playing their best hockey of the season.

    After back-to-back shutouts, 15-year veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury certainly might be.

    Fleury stopped 19 shots to lead the Golden Knights to a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

    "We think we have a good hockey team," Gallant said. "There's only, what, 15 games left in the regular season, so you've got to play your best hockey, and I think the last couple of nights has been our best hockey of the year. Fleury's a guy, he can take any day off he wants besides playing the games. He's a rested guy, he feels real good, and he's got lots of jump in his legs. He played a lot of games, but he feels great now."

    Fleury, who leads the league with eight shutouts, 56 starts and 32 wins, recorded his second straight 3-0 blanking after beating Anaheim on the road Friday. He also moved within one victory of tying Jacques Plante for eighth on the NHL's career wins list.

    "The last game was busier and better scoring chances," Fleury said. "I thought tonight our guys dominated from start to finish. We played very well, played with speed, we had the puck a lot. We controlled the play, you know, D-zone, offensive zone."

    Fleury also earned the 18,303 in attendance free Krispy Kreme doughnuts as part of a promotion that gets fans a free dozen when he gets a shutout at T-Mobile Arena.

    Max Pacioretty, Ryan Carpenter and Reilly Smith scored for the Golden Knights, who won their fourth straight -- all since acquiring Mark Stone from Ottawa at Monday's trade deadline.

    Though Stone -- who leads the NHL with 95 takeaways -- still hasn't found the back of the net, his defensive contribution has been contagious to his linemates. The second line of Stone, Pacioretty and Paul Stastny hasn't allowed a goal during the four-game win streak.

    As a whole, Vegas' defensive effort kept the Canucks without a shot on goal during a near-11 minute stretch in the first period, and more than 13 minutes in the third period.

    "I think our defensive game was outstanding tonight," Gallant said. "It was probably the best all year. We had a lot of jump today. We played real good hockey and we stayed with it and stayed consistent for 60 minutes of playing defense first and getting a lot of scoring opportunities because of it."

    Vegas improved to 13-5-2 against the tightly contested Pacific Division, and moved seven points behind second-place San Jose, which played Chicago late Sunday.

    Vancouver goaltender Jacob Markstrom was the main reason the Canucks lost by only three as he stopped 45 shots. Markstrom, who is tied for 10th in the league in wins (23), dropped to 15-10-5 since Dec. 6 with a save percentage of .926 in that span. Markstrom has allowed five goals on 93 shots in his last two starts.

    "I don't say that a lot, but tonight we were bad, and we're going to have to be better," Vancouver coach Travis Green said. "You've got to want the puck in this kind of game. I thought we had some guys that weren't hungry enough."

    Pacioretty took over sole possession of the team lead with his 21st goal of the season 5:42 into the second period to give Vegas a 1-0 lead.

    Carpenter made it 2-0 with his first goal since Jan. 12, when he gathered a loose puck at the bottom of the right circle and, from his knees, fired a wrist shot that traced the ice and under Markstrom.

    Smith scored the third goal of the second period for Vegas when he got a pass from William Karlsson and paused just long enough to catch Markstrom sliding low to his left, and lifted the puck top shelf.

    "Maybe getting Stoner kind of energized our group," said Carpenter, who recently missed seven games while on the injured list. "We believe in this room that we can make a strong push here at the end of the season. I feel like we're getting our confidence back, but it's nice getting those guys in the lineup and any time you start winning games, sometimes it's just contagious playing that style of hockey. Even in the first (period) when we didn't have goals, I think we just kind of stuck to the game plan and we're just bought in right now."
    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

  19. #69
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    Game # 68

    2 1

    Engelland helps Vegas beats Flames for 5th straight win

    Theodore, Engelland score in Golden Knights' win over FlamesShea Theodore and Deryk Engelland each slap one in during the Golden Knights' 2-1 victory over the Flames.

    LAS VEGAS -- After a loss nearly two weeks ago, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant yearned for a return of the misfits, the nickname the team adopted during its stellar inaugural season a year ago. Three days later the Golden Knights acquired Mark Stone in a blockbuster trade with Ottawa, and the misfits rediscovered their mojo.

    Deryk Engelland scored his second goal of the season in the third period to lift Vegas to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

    The Golden Knights have won five straight since acquiring Stone, and pulled seven points behind second-place San Jose in the Pacific Division and 10 behind first-place Calgary.

    "There was a lot of things I liked tonight," Gallant said. "I thought in the first period we weren't as good as we were in the prior games. But after that I thought we played a great hockey game."

    Shea Theodore also scored for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots for his league-leading 33rd win of the season.

    Fleury, who recorded back-to-back shutouts in his previous two starts, tied Jacques Plante for eighth on the NHL's all-time wins list with his 437th victory. The 15-year veteran netminder has allowed just one goal in his last 228 minutes, 43 seconds.

    "They're one of the best in the league and a big challenge for us. I thought we rose to it," Fleury said. "We've been playing good hockey lately. Just another example of beating a good team here. Those games are fun. They're close, they're intense and fun to win."

    Vegas improved to 14-5-2 against the tightly contested Pacific Division, and 3-0-0 in March. The Golden Knights are 5-2-0 against Calgary all-time, including a perfect 4-0-0 mark at home.

    Engelland, who played 226 games for the Flames from 2014-17, scored his first goal since Dec. 6 when he beat Calgary goalie David Rittich with a tight fit into the corner.

    "It's always nice to chip in no matter when it is," Engelland said. "It's definitely a little sweeter against your old team."

    Travis Hamonic scored Calgary's lone goal, while Rittich made 36 saves.

    Calgary, which is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games, is now 0-3-0 in March. The Flames saw their four-game road win streak snapped.

    Theodore put the defending Western Conference champs on top midway through the first, with a slap shot into the top corner that gave Vegas a 1-0 lead.

    Calgary thought it tied the game when Johnny Gaudreau backhanded a rebound past Fleury. But after the goal was challenged for goaltender interference, officials ruled "the actions of (Matthew) Tkachuk impaired Fleury's ability to defend his goal."

    Fleury's career-high scoreless streak came to an end in the second period, when Hamonic lasered a slap shot from the point to tie the score at 1-all. Fleury hadn't allowed a goal in the previous 200:41.

    Tempers flared near the end of the second when Tkachuck backed into Fleury and Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller took offense. After the two tussled, Tkachuck got in Fleury's face, and was met by Vegas' Cody Eakin and Nate Schmidt. Then it was Fleury laying his stick down and removing his right glove while staring down Rittich, who didn't budge from his zone.

    "He came to the blue line so you feel a little challenge," Fleury said. "I don't want to be chasing a goalie around though. That's fine, I just thought he was gonna come. Nothing happened."

    Said Rittich: "I didn't want to cross the red line and take a penalty."

    Calgary, which has outscored opponents 95-55 in the third period, was outshot 15-11 in the third period while being kept out of the net by Fleury.

    Flames coach Bill Peters, who wanted a call on Eakin late in the third period, didn't hold back with his displeasure of the referees. Peters said Eakin threw a hip into Gaudreau, adding it was "as obvious a penalty as anything that was called in the evening."

    "I didn't like the fact the officiating standard changed," Peters said. "I though the calls early were poor. Especially the call on Hathaway -- a real poor call, real soft call this time of year. And then they put the whistles away in the third. So, in the first, everything is a penalty. And in the third, nothing is a penalty. ... I thought that standard definitely changed, and it doesn't help you when you're either chasing the game or trying to score to get it tied up. It is what it is."

    Vegas visits Calgary on Sunday for the final meeting of the season.
    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

  20. #70
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    Game # 69

    6 2

    Stone scores 1st goal for Golden Knights in rout of Canucks

    Mark Stone gets the first goal on the board and his first as a member of the Golden Knights, as Vegas rolls 6-2 over Vancouver.

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Mark Stone had to wait a few weeks, but he finally scored his first goal for Vegas.

    And, that sparked the Golden Knights in a big way.

    Stone scored 1:32 into the game and Vegas used a five-goal first period to cruise past the Vancouver Canucks 6-2 on Saturday night, the sixth straight win for the Golden Knights.

    "It took a little bit longer than I hoped," said the 26-year-old right wing, who also has two assists since being acquired from Ottawa at the trade deadline on Feb. 25. "The way the guys are playing right now is awesome and it's awesome to be able to contribute."

    Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch, Tomas Nosek, Cody Eakin and Nate Schmidt also scored for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury had 29 saves for his 34th win of the season and 438th of his career to move past Jacques Plante for eighth on the NHL's all-time list.

    "It's a little surreal, right?" Fleury said of the accomplishment. "He's a guy that has done so much for the game and obviously being from close to Montreal, I never got to watch him play but I heard a lot about him and saw videos of him and it's an honor to be right there with him."

    But the 34-year-old said getting a win on Saturday was more important.

    "We've been playing better hockey lately and it shows," he said. "I think every night we are tough to beat, so we have to keep this rolling and see where it takes us."

    The Canucks got goals from Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, while Alex Biega tallied two assists. Jacob Markstrom stopped 11 of the 16 shots he faced before he was replaced by Thatcher Demko midway through the first period. Demko turned away 16 of 17 shots.

    "I thought our young guys competed tonight," Canucks coach Travis Green said. "We've got a young team dressed against a veteran team that's poised to try and win a Cup. That's a tough game to play once they have a first period like that. But I thought our team kept coming at them."

    The Golden Knights have outscored their opponents 24-9 through their winning streak.

    Vancouver got off to a disastrous start, allowing five goals in the game's first 15 minutes. It was the fourth outing in a row during which the Canucks have been forced to battle back from an early multigoal deficit.

    "Collectively as a unit we have to do better," Biega said. "At the end of the day, we have to defend quicker. We've got to get those loose pucks and find a way to be hard against their skill. We play a grindy game and when we do, we have success."

    Stone opened the scoring 1:32 in, popping a backhanded shot past Markstrom from the slot for his first goal in a Golden Knights jersey. The 26-year-old right wing has also had two assists since Vegas acquired him from Ottawa at the trade deadline on Feb. 25.

    Tuch made it 2-0 for the Knights less than four minutes later, tipping in a long shot from Jon Merrill after the Canucks failed to clear the puck.

    At 7:33, Eakin forced a shot through heavy traffic, bouncing the puck off Vancouver's Tanner Pearson and into the net to put Vegas up 3-0.

    Nosek made it 4-0, tipping the puck in over Markstrom's glove at 11:52. The Vancouver goalie was pulled at 14:17 after Stastny beat him through the five-hole.

    The Canucks' first real scoring chance of the night came just over 10 minutes in when Antoine Roussel stole the puck and went 2-on-1 with Elias Pettersson. Roussel sliced a cross-ice pass to the star rookie, whose blistering shot went off the post.

    Less than a minute later, Boeser put Vancouver on the board, deflecting a long shot from Biega in past Fleury.

    Horvat added a goal 3:56 into the second period with a hard wrist shot from the face-off dot that beat Fleury glove side. It was the center's first point in six games.

    Schmidt quieted hopes of any second-period comeback a minute later, ripping a shot from high in the slot. The puck bounced off the stick of Vancouver's Josh Leivo and into the net, putting Vegas back up by four goals.
    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

  21. #71
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    Game # 70

    3 6

    Golden Knights Stumped By Flames, 6-3

    Stone buried 30th goal during loss

    by Gordon Weigers @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com


    The Vegas Golden Knights endured their first loss during the month of March as they were defeated by the Calgary Flames, 6-3, on Sunday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

    HOW IT WENT DOWN

    Early in the first period, goals from Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund gave Calgary a 2-0 lead but Brandon Pirri netted his 11th goal of the season at 14:40 to cut the lead to 2-1. Matthew Tkachuk buried a late goal to put the Flames ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes. The Golden Knights responded quickly in the second period as Reilly Smith and Mark Stone scored 59 seconds apart to erase the deficit and tie the game at 3-3. With less than a minute to go in the second, Backlund scored again to give the home team a 4-3 lead heading into the third period. Tkachuk scored twice in the third period for a hat trick as the Flames notched the 6-3 win.

    TURNING POINT

    Vegas battled back early in the second period to tie the game and they searched for the go-ahead goal throughout the middle frame. But Backlund's goal with less than 30 second to play in the stanza gave Calgary a lead they'd hang onto until the final horn.
    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

  22. #72
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    Game # 71

    2 1

    Reaves scores tiebreaker, Golden Knights beat Stars 2-1

    Reaves score go-ahead goal vs. StarsRyan Reaves secures the win for the Golden Knights with a goal in the third period.

    DALLAS -- Ryan Reaves was in the right place at the right time for his first goal in 26 games.

    Reaves scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period, and the Vegas Golden Knights beat the Dallas Stars 2-1 Friday night.

    Reaves put a wrist shot inside the left goal post at 2:37 of the third. He took the rebound of a shot by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare off Anton Khudobin's save and the deflection off a defender's skate. It was Reaves' ninth of the season.

    "(Bellemare) just got a good shot through and the goalie made a save," Reaves said, "and he tied up the guy in front and then it trickled to me."

    Max Pacioretty scored in the opening minute of the game for Vegas, and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 40 shots -- including 16 in the third period -- for his 35th win. The Golden Knights have won seven of eight to remain third in the Pacific Division.

    Roope Hintz scored for Dallas and Anton Khudobin finished with 35 saves and also stopped a penalty shot by William Karlsson in the second period. The Stars lost for just the second time in eight games but fell from third in the Central Division behind St. Louis. Each team has 79 points, but the Blues have a game in hand.

    Khudobin was more upset by Pacioretty's goal that put Vegas ahead just 18 seconds into the game. Pacioretty scored on a snap shot from between the faceoff circles.

    "I gotta stop that," Khudobin said. "Bottom line. First minute of the game, maybe I was sleepy. It went by my five-hole,"

    Hintz tied it at 4:04 as he stole the puck from Deryk Engelland in the Vegas zone, skated to the right of the goal and put in a backhander.

    Fleury stopped Dallas' late-game flurry.

    "It's busy back there. (Alexander) Radulov's always there in front of me and (Jamie) Benn. Big dudes. I'm just trying to find the puck around them. But I've played with my D-men for a while now and I know what to expect from them and they know what to expect from me."

    Stars coach Jim Montgomery said his team had their opportunities, including 13 shots on power plays.

    "I thought our chances were good," he said. "I thought the first power play was excellent. I thought it built a lot of momentum. The last power play I thought was really good.

    "Fleury was excellent."

    Khudobin made a pad save on Karlsson's penalty shot at 1:37 of the second period. Esa Lindell was called for holding on a breakaway.

    "It's a little bit different approach than shootouts after a game," Khudobin said. "Just preparing to stop and trying to take away his options."

    Vegas coach Gerald Gallant recognized a Dallas defense that has the second-fewest goals against this season and only six goals allowed in the last seven games.

    "That's the way they've played all year. They're one of the best defensive teams in the league. I thought it was a tight game, there wasn't a whole lot either way."
    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

  23. #73
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    Game # 72

    6 3

    Marchessault scores 2 to help Golden Knights beat Oilers 6-3

    LAS VEGAS -- Malcolm Subban has been nearly unbeatable at home in two seasons with the Vegas Golden Knights.

    With starter Marc-Andre Fleury listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, the Golden Knights should be just fine with two of their next three games in Vegas.

    Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals, Subban stopped 16 shots to improve to 12-1-0 all-time at T-Mobile Arena and the Golden Knights beat the Edmonton Oilers 6-3 Sunday night.

    Subban, who improved to 5-8-0 this season, also has a .917 save percentage and 2.32 goals-against average in his career at home.

    "The boys played great, I don't think I had more than 20 shots, not too much work and obviously we were relentless around their net and got some goals," Subban said. "We knew they were on a back-to-back so the more we make them play in their zone the tougher it's gonna be mentally on them."

    Mark Stone, Cody Eakin, Brayden McNabb and Alex Tuch also scored as Vegas improved to 8-1-0 in nine games since acquiring Stone from Ottawa at the NHL trade deadline.

    Stone got the home crowd rocking early when he picked up his first goal at home since joining the Golden Knights when he buried a one-timer to extend his career-high season to 69 points 5:40 into the game.

    "I was excited; to get off to such a good start, too, kind of set them back a little bit, which is kind of what we stressed going into the game to begin with," Stone said. "But to get that goal right away was a good feeling for sure."

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl and Kris Russell scored for Edmonton, while Connor McDavid had two assists. Mikko Koskinen made 28 saves.

    Vegas, third in the Pacific Division, increased its lead over Arizona to seven points. The Oilers remained seven points behind the Coyotes for the second wild card in the Western Conference.

    After splitting the first two meetings in Edmonton, Vegas took a 2-1 lead in the season series, while improving to 3-3-1 all-time against the Oilers.

    "I thought the way we come out in the first period, all kinds of scoring chances, moved the puck well, and we didn't give up a whole lot defensively," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "I loved the way we played, we played an excellent game tonight, we played fast, we played our game."

    Marchessault's back-to-back goals early in the second and early in the third gave Vegas the lead for good at 4-2 as he beat Koskinen glove side both times.

    "We have a lot of good players in the lineup," Marchessault said. "They gotta respect our lineup top to bottom. We take a lot of pride of having four lines that can produce and play well defensively too. It makes it extra hard on the opponent now"

    Russell's blast from the point pulled Edmonton within one at 5:52, but McNabb pushed the lead back to two at 9:45 when he punched home a loose puck that squirted loose to the left of Koskinen.

    Edmonton coach Ken Hitchcock challenged for goaltender interference, but after review, officials allowed the goal.

    "I thought we were gonna get that call but that goal hurt us quite a bit," Hitchcock said. "But I thought in the third period they skated us into the ground a little bit and took advantage. We looked tired in the third period and they amped it up to another level."

    Tuch's goal with 3:28 left in the game provided the final margin.

    After Stone gave Vegas the early lead, Nugent-Hopkins tied it from the high slot, where he drilled Connor McDavid's feed on the power play with 6:46 left in the first. McDavid now has points in 31 of his last 34 games, posting 55 points (17 goals, 38 assists).

    Eakin put Vegas back ahead with 55 seconds left in the opening period with his 18th as he streaked into the zone while gathering Tomas Nosek's cross-ice feed, and beat Koskinen top shelf on the glove side.

    McDavid registered his NHL-best eighth consecutive multi-point game when he collected a rebound from a face-off win and fed Draisaitl, who was waiting on the doorstep tie it again with 43rd just 22 seconds into the second.

    Marchessault put Vegas ahead less than two minutes later.
    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

  24. #74
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    Game # 73

    7 3

    Smith, Marchessault lead Golden Knights past Sharks 7-3

    Marchessault scores twice in Golden Knights' winJonathan Marchessault scores a goal in the first period and an empty-netter in the third period to lead the Golden Knights past the Sharks 7-3.

    SAN JOSE, Calif. -- After an up-and-down second season together, the top line for the Vegas Golden Knights is starting to click again when it really counts.

    Jonathan Marchessault had two goals and two assists, Reilly Smith had a goal and three assists and the Golden Knights won for the ninth time in 10 games, beating the San Jose Sharks 7-3 on Monday night.

    William Karlsson added a goal and an assist as the trio combined for 10 points, giving the line 33 points during this 10-game stretch that started with the arrival of Mark Stone in a deadline deal from Ottawa.

    "It's definitely been a little bit of a roller coaster year for us," Marchessault said. "We're not producing as much as last year. It's fine. I think we're playing well still defensively and shutting down big lines on the other teams. When we do that I think that's when we're the most successful."

    The way they have played the past three weeks showed why it's so important for the Sharks to catch Calgary in the Pacific Division race and avoid a first-round playoff series against the surging Golden Knights. San Jose trails the Flames by one point, and Calgary has a game in hand. The Sharks have a seven-point edge over Vegas in the race for second place and home-ice advantage in the first round.

    The Sharks dropped their third straight home game in regulation for the first time in three years as they failed once again with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.

    "I'm concerned," said Logan Couture, who scored twice. "We hadn't played well, we're giving up too many chances, too many easy goals. We're giving up odd-man rushes. We have to get back to shooting the puck."

    Perhaps more concerning for San Jose was the absence of captain Joe Pavelski, who missed his first game with an injury in more than eight years. Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said the team's leading goal scorer has a lower-body injury and is out longer than day to day.

    Joe Thornton had a goal for San Jose. Martin Jones allowed three goals on 11 shots before being replaced by Aaron Dell in the first period.

    Stone, Paul Stastny and Cody Eakin also scored for Vegas. Malcolm Subban made 36 saves in place of injured Marc-Andre Fleury.

    The game was a possible playoff preview, with the teams lined up to meet in the first round based on the current standings. A rivalry is already building between the clubs after Vegas knocked out San Jose in six games in the second round on the way to a Stanley Cup Final appearance during its expansion season a year ago.

    The intensity was high from the start, with Couture's goal on the opening shift setting the tone for a wild first period that featured five goals, 25 shots, five power plays and a goalie change.

    The Sharks tried to take control early. Tomas Hertl hit the post on the second shift before Vegas responded with two goals from its top line and another from the No. 1 power-play unit to take a 3-2 lead after one.

    Marchessault and Smith were involved in all three goals, capped by Marchessault's bad-angle shot that ended Jones' night.

    "I think we were just getting rewarded tonight," Smith said. "We had other games where I think we were probably making better plays, creating better opportunities. Tonight the pucks were just going in for us."

    The Golden Knights could have had even more when they got a power play late in the period after Micheal Haley took exception to Ryan Reaves' hard hit on Melker Karlsson before a line change. Haley rushed over and tried to pull Reaves off the bench for a fight, getting a penalty on the play.

    Vegas couldn't capitalize despite getting 16 seconds of a two-man advantage for too many men on the ice.

    But the Golden Knights did take advantage of a bad penalty in the second period when Thornton hit Shea Theodore late in the offensive zone for an interference call. That led to Stastny's goal that put Vegas up 4-2 heading into the third and the Golden Knights poured it on from there.
    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

  25. #75
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    Game # 74

    5 0

    Subban records first career shutout, Vegas tops Jets 5-0

    Karlsson opens and closes scoring for VegasWilliam Karlsson's pair of goals increases his total to 22 on the season, as the Golden Knights clobber the Jets 5-0.

    LAS VEGAS -- Marc-Andre who?

    No, the Vegas Golden Knights won't have a goaltending controversy on their hands when Marc-Andre Fleury returns from a lower-body injury. But Malcolm Subban is certainly making the case he's more than capable of starting against any team, and in any arena.

    Subban stopped 20 shots for his first NHL shutout, William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each scored twice, and the Golden Knights beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-0 on Thursday night.

    "It's been definitely fun, obviously," said Subban, whose shutout came in his 35th career start. "They're a great team, so just came in here trying to get the win. The boys played a great game in front of me. ... Obviously, they got a few chances, they're a good team, couple on the power play, but other than that, not too much. Definitely a great all-around win for sure."

    Subban, who won at San Jose on Monday, is nearly unbeatable at T-Mobile Arena with a 13-1-0 record in two seasons.

    "We like to defend our home and defend the fortress, as we say," Subban said. "The boys always play great here. The fans give us so much momentum here. Can't thank them enough. They've been the best fans since the first exhibition game last year."

    Tomas Nosek also scored for Vegas, which is 10-1 since losing to Winnipeg 6-3 in its final game before acquiring Mark Stone at the trade deadline.

    Since the trade deadline, Vegas' top line of Karlsson (four goals, eight assists), Smith (seven goals, eight assists) and Jonathan Marchessault (four goals, eight assists) has accounted for 39 points.

    "There's a lot of positivity right now," said Smith, who has at least one point in 15 of his last 19 games, having scored eight goals and dishing out 15 assists. "Obviously the goal is to be peaking when playoffs come around. We're definitely turning it in the right direction right now. The main goal for us is to keep our foot on the gas and make sure we're trying to get better every day."

    It marked the first time in franchise history the Golden Knights scored five or more goals in three straight games. During their 11-game run, they've outscored opponents 47-22, and are 5-1 against teams currently in Western Conference playoff position.

    "I thought we played a complete game tonight, it was excellent," Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. "I like the way our team's played the last 10, 11 games. We continue to keep it going. We play a simple game. ... We're a better hockey team now, but I knew we had a good hockey team. We got a lot of confidence last year, we feel good about our team. We had some ups and downs like most teams go through the season -- except for Tampa Bay, so far. I like our team and I've always liked our team."

    Winnipeg, meanwhile, dropped to 5-3-0 in the second game of back-to-backs this season after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Wednesday. The Jets missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth while having their four-game win streak snapped.

    Laurent Brossoit started in net for the Jets, but was pulled after allowing three goals. Connor Hellebuyck, who entered with 14 minutes left in the second period, allowed two goals and made 18 saves.

    Vegas, which has the seventh-best penalty kill, stopped Winnipeg twice on the power play. The Jets, who had scored a power-play goal in five consecutive games, came into the game with the league's fourth-best unit.

    "We had a tough night, got ourselves in a hole early," said Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice, who remains one win shy of passing Dick Irvin (692) for the seventh-most wins in NHL history. "I think if we'd been able to score at the 2-0 mark, on the power play, might have been able to capture some energy, but we weren't able to do that. And then it was over pretty quick by the end of the second."

    After Karlsson and Smith gave the Golden Knights a 2-0 lead after one period, Nosek picked up his eighth goal of the season when he broke free alone for a short-handed snipe that chased Brossoit in favor of Hellebuyck.

    Smith scored his second of the game and 17th of the season when he took a pass from Karlsson and lasered a wrist shot past Hellebuyck to make it 4-0. And just 24 seconds later, it was Karlsson with a solid move to the slot, between Winnipeg's Joe Morrow and Patrik Laine, and beat Hellebuyck far side to extend Vegas' lead to 5-0.
    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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