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FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche – Game 16

Franchise Sports Media

 

 

The Vegas Golden Knights responded exactly how you would want them to after losing two straight games in regulation for the first time under coach Pete DeBoer.

 

Golden Knights vs Avalanche
Photo Credit: Daily Herald

VGK looked fast and dangerous right from the puck drop Monday night in Colorado, as they looked to even their four-game series against the Colorado Avalanche. It was a welcome change of pace after Saturday’s game where Vegas looked behind by a step and had trouble generating quality offensive chances. Reeves came close to opening up the scoring about five minutes into the game but was denied, the hulking forward has not scored in nineteen games, and you could tell he wanted that chance back. VGK continued to look dominant through the first 10 minutes forcing Grubauer to make quite a few difficult saves to keep the game tied.

With a little over six minutes left in the period, the Knight’s led in shot total with a count of nine shots to the Av’s one. Fleury still had to make some saves on the odd Colorado chance, best demonstrated by his kick save on Brandon Saad and the windmill save made on Kadri with 30 seconds left. Vegas was given a powerplay with a little over five minutes left, but the only dangerous chance came from a shot by Johnathan Marchessault from the right circle. While neither team scored a goal in the opening frame, it was clear that a different Vegas team had showed up for Monday’s game as they were clearly the better team after the first 20 minutes.

 

All of the hard work that the Vegas Golden Knights put in during the first period definitely paid off in the second as they took a commanding lead and finally broke through on the power play.

 

Golden Knights vs Avalanche
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

The Knights were awarded their second power play of the night at the 17:28 mark after a tripping penalty by Conor Timmins and did not disappoint. Just 21 seconds after getting the man advantage, Alex Tuch received a pass from William Karlsson and beat Grubauer for his sixth goal of the season. It was just the second powerplay goal Colorado has allowed on home ice this season. Fleury followed up with a great save on Nazem Kadri less than a minute later, robbing him for the second time of the night.

With 13:46 remaining, Alex Tuch scored his second goal of the night from a backhand shot that redirected in off of Colorado defenseman Bowan Byram. Just over a minute later, Cody Glass almost increased the Knights lead to two getting a puck to the net, causing a dangerous scramble in front of Philip Grubauer, but the puck was somehow kept out of the net. With 8:54 left in the second frame, Marchessault scored the third VGK goal of the night with a wrist shot after receiving a pass from William Karlsson. The rest of the period saw the Knights sustain their lead before heading into the second intermission with a ton of confidence.

 

The third period saw Fleury make a handful of great saves to squash any hope of an Avalanche comeback leading his team to break their losing streak and ascend back to first place in the Honda West Division.

 

However, the scariest moment in the third was when Alex Tuch looked a little shaken up after losing his balance and being hip-checked into the boards by Bowan Byram, as he looked pretty shaken up. He ended up being OK, though, as he returned to the ice just a few minutes later. With 12:37 remaining VGK was sent to the power-play again after an interference penalty by Byram but was unable to recreate the magic from earlier. Fleury contributed big time in the third, making a save on a partial breakaway from Devon Toews and denying him a second time with a little over eight minutes left on a scrambling play in front of the net to preserve his shutout. With 5:04 remaining VGK was dominating in the chance department as they lead Colorado 12-3, which was indicative of their much-improved play to close out the four-game series in Denver. This game was the first Knights‘ win in Denver in franchise history and was a perfect way to rebound from their last two games.

 

The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play on Thursday evening taking on the San Jose Sharks at The SAP center in Northern California. The puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be on AT&T Sportsnet and FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340.

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-D.J. Wood– Franchise Sports Media

Follow D.J. on Twitter @DJwoody97

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