Chaos ensues in Tampa as Martinez gets game winner

Mar 9, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Teddy Blueger (53), Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Haydn Fleury (7) and teammates fight during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 9, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Teddy Blueger (53), Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Haydn Fleury (7) and teammates fight during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning had some chaos ensue with an action packed third period but the Golden Knights would get a much needed overtime win. The game itself featured ten ejections and total of 146 penalty minutes. Three minutes into the overtime, the game winner would come from Alec Martinez.

Coming off the loss to the Florida Panthers, the Vegas Golden Knights needed to change the narrative when it came to the facing the Tampa Bay Lightning. The answer to that question mark was answered fairly quickly with a Keegan Kolesar goal to start it off.

Fast start helps Golden Knights get on the board against Lightning

Just as soon as the game got underway, the Golden Knights got off to a fast start, which is a breath of fresh air compared to their previous game against the Florida Panthers. With 27 seconds into the game, the Golden Knights got on the board as Teddy Blueger got a pass off to Keegan Kolesar, who would get a shot past Andrei Vasilevsskiy for a 1-0 lead. The goal was Kolesar’s seventh of the season. Three minutes later, Nikita Kucheriv would get a shot on Jonathan Quick, who made a save, Off the rebound of Quick’s save, the ever dangerous Brayden Point would launch one to tie the game a one a piece. The Tampa goal was Point’s 40th goal of the season.

With just under four minutes to go, Brayden McNabb was called for tripping on Nick Perbix, giving the Lightning the first power play of the game. The penalty was ultimately killed off as Tampa only managed to get one shot off against Quick. The Lightning ended the period with a 10-4 advantage on shots but the score remains even.

Golden Knights 1, Lightning 1 – 1st Intermission

The Breakdown…

The bottom line when it comes to it, take your chances when you can get them, especially against the Tampa Bay Lightning. For the most part, the Lightning dominated that period and the Golden Knights are lucky that the game is even. The Lightning are clearly more physical and more in sync during the opening period.

Fight Night in Tampa as tempers boil

The Lightning picked up right where they left off in the first. Taking control of the puck and creating opportunities. Ross Colton and Mikhail Sergachev got a pair of shots off early with Quick there to make the save. The Lightning got off eight shots in the period before the Golden Knights and Ivan Barbashev got a shot off with 13:07 left. Most of the first 10 minutes was spent sitting in the defensive zone.

Tanner Jennot and Brayden McNabb got into a fisticuff with 5:22 left in the period after Jeannot went after Jack Eichel on ice. As a result of the fight, McNabb and Jeannot were called for a five minute major for fighting and McNabb got two minutes for roughing. The roughing penalty was served by Cotter, which was killed off without Tampa getting a shot on goal. With 21 seconds remaining in the period, Shea Theodore was called on a double minor with a high sticking on Pat Maroon. As the period ended, Stamkos was called for cross-checking and chaos ensued onto the ice.

Golden Knights 1, Lightning 1 – 2nd Intermission

The Breakdown…

Just sloppy, awful play on the ice for the Golden Knights. The majority of the period was spent in the Lightning offensive zone. The penalty box for both teams have been a revolving door. The roughing penalties are able the most alive the Golden Knights have been all evening. Tampa after the second, lead in shots with a 19-9 advantage.

Chaos in Tampa
Mar 9, 2023; Tampa, Florida, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Teddy Blueger (53), Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Haydn Fleury (7) and teammates fight during the third period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Chaos, tempers highlight action packed third period

The third period began with four-on-four hockey for the first two minutes. Just 27 seconds into the power play carried over from the second period, William Karlsson got loose for a breakaway and got a goal past Vasilevskiy to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead. The goal was Karlsson’s 12 the of the season. With 15;16 left, Michael Eysssimont was called for cross-checking on Alec Martinez. On the power play, with a pass from Shea Theodore, Chandler Stephenson got his 13th goal of the season to put the Golden Knights up two on the Lightning.

With 7:44 left, chaos ensued on ice as were called for roughing, but it was a melee on ice between the two teams.  A full-on brawl occurred with all 10 skaters on the ice with all ten getting game misconducts and ejections from the game. The original penalty that started the melee was a Maroon high sticking call against Kolesar, which would be served by Colton.

Game Misconducts & Ejections:
Lightning – Maroon, Bogosian, Haydn Fleury, Eyssimont, Corey Perry
Golden Knights – Blueger, Zach Whitecloud, Kolesar, Nic Hague, Howden

After everything was settled, the Golden Knights got a power play out of the Maroon high sticking call. The penalty would be killed off by the lightning and then with about five minutes remaining in the game, the Lightning would get off a couple shots from Perbix and Point. With 2:30 left, the Lightning would pull Vasilevskiy from the net to get the extra attacker on ice. After an icing call, Point would win a faceoff against Eichel and then get it to Sergachev and then Kucherov, who would get a rocket past Quick to get the Lightning to within a goal.

As the the clock ticked down, the Lightning still have the extra attacker on the ice. With just 45 seconds left, Stephenson was called for high sticking against Sergachev, giving the home side a power play. This meant the Lightning would have a six on four advantage to try and get the game even. With just 31 seconds left Anthony Cerelli got one shot off that hit the post. After a faceoff, the Lighting got quick control of the puck with Sergachev and Kurerchov getting a handle on it before Point would get his second goal of the night to tie the game at three a piece and send it into an overtime period.

Martinez seals the deal against Vasilevskiy

The overtime period saw Reilly Smith get the first shot off before it landed in the glove of Vasilevskiy. Off the next faceoff, Kucherov gets one shot that missed the net before Point got a shot that was saved by Quick. Erik Cernak’s shot would get blocked by Alex Pietrangelo and then seconds later Eichel fired a shot that Vasillevskiy would quickly snatch. Off the rebound, Alec Martinez would scoop it in net giving Vegas a hard fought 4-3 overtime victory.

Game Notes

  • The win puts the Golden Knights season record to a 39-20-6 mark with 84 points and a game in hand on the Los Angeles Kings, who also have 84 points at the top of the Pacific Division standings.
  • Jonathan Quick saved 34 of the 37 total shots he faced against the Lightning and is 2-0-0 in a Vegas uniform.
  • The win against the Tampa Bay Lightning gives the Golden Knights a 1-1-0 record in the current road trip and they will face the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena in Raleigh on Saturday night.
  • The Golden Knights in the overall Western Conference playoff picture are one point ahead of the Dallas Stars in the standings. If the playoff started after the night’s activity, the Golden Knights would draw the Winnipeg Jets in the first round, while Dallas would get the Edmonton Oilers in their first round series.
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