This Defenseman Must Improve For Game 6

The Vegas Golden Knights are on the brink of elimination. How can this defenseman improve himself and save the cause?
Vancouver Canucks v Vegas Golden Knights
Vancouver Canucks v Vegas Golden Knights / Candice Ward/GettyImages

If you'd ask someone what caused the Vegas Golden Knights to suddenly be down 3-2 against the Dallas Stars, there would be an array of answers. Oh, Bruce Cassidy made a bunch of changes to the lineup. The Stars are deep at the forward position. Or maybe it was Alex Pietrangelo's costly punch in the second period.

The defenseman was involved in a scrum in the middle of the period with Tyler Seguin, with both players going back and forth. It's hockey. That's what happens. Things get physical and the play intensifies, especially during the playoffs. However, what happened next might've fatally ended the Golden Knights's chances at repeating as Stanley Cup champions.

What Did Alex Pietrangelo Do?

The ensuing moment, Alex Pietrangelo took a swing at Seguin, which initially resulted in a major penalty. However, it was reviewed and reduced to a minor penalty for roughing. Now, the Vegas Golden Knights would be tasked with killing off a two-minute penalty. If successful, the Golden Knights would regain momentum.

However, that wasn't the case, as Jason Robertson fired through traffic for a power play goal. American Airlines Center is going nuts as the Dallas Stars take a 3-2 lead. They say everything's bigger in Texas, and that moment was monumental for the Western Conference's best regular season team. Pietrangelo is adding more penalty minutes to his total to go with his absence of goals and assists.

Why? Because Dallas would go on to win that game, 3-2. They would also take the series lead, 3-2. The momentum drastically shifted towards the Stars, with the Vegas Golden Knights on the ropes. Their opponents feel good about themselves while Vegas is...defeated.

The Consequences of Alex Pietrangelo's Actions

Obviously, the biggest consequence is losing Game 5. The Golden Knights had a "golden" opportunity to continue the "Road Warrior" trend, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead. However, they let the Stars back into the game, with Dallas dictating the offensive pace of the game.

Now that Alex Pietrangelo commits a bad penalty, it puts Vegas at a massive disadvantage. The Stars had the sixth-best power play during the regular season (24.2%), thanks to potent goal scorers in Jason Robertson and Wyatt Johnston. Pietrangelo let his emotions get the best of him, with Dallas pouncing on the opportunity as a result.

This isn't the first time he has done such a thing, though. Last season, Pietrangelo slashed Leon Draisaitl during Game 4 of the second round against the Edmonton Oilers. Although the defenseman was suspended a game for his actions, the Vegas Golden Knights won that series. But now? They might not be so lucky because of his actions.