The Golden Knights used a third period comeback to make sure they on the win on the night Phil Kessel officially set a new mark for consecutive games play in the NHL. A first period goal by Kessel erased the misdeeds from the previous night for his 400th career goal. As the game went on, the Sharks would find their way to control the narrative but three Golden Knight goals in the third erased all doubt about who the better team was for the night. The Golden Knights will return to action Friday evening when they host the Anaheim Ducks.
1st Period Breakdown – Kessel breaks the record
Phil Kessel is now the NHL’s all-time leader in consecutive games played at 990 games. Adin Hill is getting the start in net for the Golden Knights. The first half of the period would see the San Jose Sharks trade possession on a consistent basis, Defensively, the Golden Knights were played very consistently. Through 14 minutes of play, the Golden Knights outshot the Sharks 10-4. After having his goal taken away from Toronto the previous night, Kessel managed to get get his long awaited 400th career goal on a breakaway with 4:05 left in the period. The Sharks went nearly nine minutes without a shot on goal. The end result of the period was 14-6 in terms of shots in favor of the Golden Knights.
1st Intermission Score: Golden Knights 1, Sharks 0
Overall Impressions of the first period of play:
– Kessel got his due.. not only did he break the record, he got his 400th career NHL goal.
– Great period defensively for the Golden Knights were very good. Limiting the Sharks was about as well as you could play.
First Period Grades
Offense: A | Defense: A+ | Special Teams: INC | Goaltending: A+
2nd Period Breakdown – Shark bites
Timo Meier gave the Sharks their best opportunity all game with a shot on Hill with 16:41 left in the second period. Hill did a great job stopping the puck as he got more work. Just two minutes later, the Sharks offensive attack resulted in a Nico Sturn deflection into the net to tie the game at a goal a piece. The Golden Knights defensively looked like it was struggling to get control of the puck throughout the first half of the period. Sharks though the first 10 minutes outshot Vegas 10-3,
Steven Lorentz and Shea Theodore brought more life to the game with a scuffle in front of the Vegas net with 5:31 left to go in the period as Oskar Lindblom was stopped by Hill. Sturn was called for interference on Mark Stone with 4:45 left to go in the period. Offensively, the Golden Knights did a good job getting two shots on the power play but failed to come away with a goal in net. In the waning seconds of the period, Matt Nieto launched one past Hill to put the Sharks in front 2-1.
2nd Intermission Score: Sharks 2, Golden Knights 1
Overall impression of the second period of play:
– Sharks decided to wake up offensively and caught the Vegas defense napping. Two big goals from Sturn and Nieto.
– Power Play for the Golden Knights was promising. Controlled the puck throughout the power play with two shots but nothing was able to get past James Reimer.
– The Sharks outshot the Golden Knights 15-7 in the period. Second period continues to be a period of hell for the Golden Knights.
Second Period Grades
Offense: D | Defense: D | Special Teams: A | Goaltending: B-
Third Period Breakdown – The Comeback and more…
Shea Theodore scored the game tying goal just 55 seconds into the period making the score 2-2. In less than a minute later, Nic Hague was called for goalie interference giving the Sharks their first power play of the game but the Golden Knights were able to shut it down effectively. Reilly Smith was able to make a decent shot with 14:50 remaining but Reimer was there to make the stop. Stone was also able to the add on the pressure on Reimer. The Vegas offense came alive in the first half of the period.
With 6:47 left to go in the period, William Karlsson was able to find the net for the go-ahead goal putting the Golden Knights up 3-2. Approximately 58 seconds later, Stone would find the insurance goal making the score 4-2 in favor of the Golden Knights. Then with four minutes left, the Sharks would go with the empty net. After the Sharks called a timeout with 45 seconds left in the game, but the Golden Knights failed to score.
Final Score: Golden Knights 4, Sharks 2
Overall impression of the second period of play:
– The offense was clocking in the period. Closing out games that you are supposed to win, This first five minutes of a period has been a very good omen for the Golden Knights so far early on in this season. This is how the Golden Knights are supposed to win the games they are supposed to win.
– Still no empty net goals. Say what you want, but the Golden Knights have had a couple of opportunities to capitalize on an empty-net situation for a goal and failed to launch one in net. This game was no exception. This needs plenty of work in practice.
– The defense did its job in the period. While it is true, you will not win every game, there is something to be said when your defense bounces back from its woes from the previous period and makes the job of the offense a whole lot better.
Third Period Grades
Offense: A+ | Defense: A+ | Special Teams: A | Goaltending: A+
Want your voice heard? Join the Vegas Hockey Knight team!
Three Takes on Game Knight #8
1 – Getting an important win when it is expected
The Golden Knights, once again found themselves in a situation where they were facing some adversity at some point in the game, only this time it was to a team that they had no business losing to. The key thing to remember is, having a bad period can and will potentially bring you down. We have already seen that against the Calgary Flames. While, we saw some things in the game that the Golden Knights still need to work on, the result was what we would expect out of this team. It was far from perfect and everyone knows it.
2- Phil Kessel did it on his night in the spotlight and it was sweet
A night after the Toronto Maple Leafs played party poopers in awarding Phil Kessel his 400th career goal, he launched one in the first period past James Reimer on the night he broke the ironman mark at 990 consecutive games played. There is no doubt that it was very perfect and very fitting that it happened this way. We even hinted, when he was signed that the goal would come on a night like tonight. Honestly, you could not have scripted it any better for the veteran winger.
3 -Hill wasn’t perfect in net but he was good enough to get a win
Say what you want about the goaltending situation and it is clear, the main starting job for now belongs to Logan Thompson. That being said, Adin Hill certainly deserves his chances. Ironically, this time it was against his former club, the San Jose Sharks. Considering the obvious that the Sharks would know his tendencies and weaknesses, he did a fairly decent job overall. It was enough to ensure the Golden Knights had a chance to win the hockey game. A win, is a win, n matter how you look at it.