Four months away from the ice didn’t seem to curtail the Vegas Golden Knights too much.
After over 100 days without hitting a puck in competitive anger due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vegas Golden Knights finally made their long-awaited return to the ice on Thursday.
In what was their one and only exhibition game, the Golden Knights made light work of the Arizona Coyotes to prepare nicely for the first of three round-robin games on Monday with the Dallas Stars the first opponent.
Playing in a strange arena without any fans and without Max Pacioretty who continues to be absent from the Bubble, the Golden Knights adapted to their new surroundings well and looked as sharp as you could expect following such a long layoff.
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Marc-Andre Fleury got the start between the pipes and played the entire game, allowing just one goal on 23 shots in an impressive outing.
And Vegas also got plenty of offense in addition to solid goaltending, thanks in large to Reilly Smith who helped himself to two tallies.
Smith got the show started in the first period after forcing a neutral zone turnover on the penalty kill, before burying a beautiful dish from William Karlsson.
It was a scoreless second period but there were a flurry of goals to digest in the final frame as Arizona looked to claw their way back into the contest.
Despite Fleury’s best efforts to try and keep the puck out of his net, Taylor Hall eventually forced the puck home on the power play to make it a one-goal game.
Cousins then fired in an empty-netter in the closing seconds to close the evening for the Golden Knights, who certainly ticked plenty of boxes in their return to action.
In the wake of the exhibition win we decided to put together some takeaways from the Golden Knights’ success over the Arizona Coyotes…