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FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs. Wild- Game 35

Franchise Sports Media


Looking to get past their loss from Wednesday night, the Vegas Golden Knights went into Thursday’s game shorthanded. They were only able to ice sixteen skaters with Ryan Reeves, Chandler Stephenson, and Zach Whitecloud all having to sit out.



Golden Knights vs Wild
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VGK’s starts have been something they have wanted to improve as of late, as they have allowed the first goal in the past three games. It was even more important Thursday night as playing shorthanded meant that players would more than likely be gassed by the end of the game due to the shortening of the bench. Just three and a half minutes into the game, William Karlsson did just that as he scored the opening goal from the middle of the right circle.

The Knights followed that up by negating an early Minnesota power play after Nic Hague took a high sticking penalty. Still, Kirill Kaprisov tied the game up shortly after as he tipped in a shot by Jordan Greenway past Robin Lehner. With 4:13 left in the period, the Knights were awarded a powerplay of their own but could not score or generate any real pressure in the Wild’s zone. The period ended with no additional scoring and Minnesota leading the shot total 10-9.


The second period saw no change in score but was not short on excitement as both teams goalies made some outstanding saves as there was plenty of back and forth action.


Just over four minutes into the middle frame, Brayden McNabb made his presence felt laying a huge hit on Kirill Kaprisov, sending him flying. Almost eight minutes in, Reilly Smith took a holding penalty to give the Wild another powerplay opportunity. But the best chance came from William Karlsson on a shorthanded opportunity that just missed the net. Halfway through the period, Keegan Kolesar registered two great chances in a row, but Cam Talbot made a pair of outstanding saves to somehow keep the puck out of the net. Kolesar has been getting some great looks lately but has been snake-bitten; if he keeps registering chances, they are bound to eventually go in.

At 11:47 into the period, Nick Bonino took a slashing penalty, but as has been the trend all year, the Knights could not score with the extra man. In the closing minutes, both Lehner and Talbot came up big time to keep the game tied as Alex Tuch had a breakaway chance, but Talbot was able to fight it off. Tuch has not scored in eight games, so I am sure he would like to try that shot again. Not to be outdone, Robin Lehner made a huge save of his own denying Erikkson Ekk as the period came to an end.


The third period started off with a goal from the Knights by a player that had not scored since January of last year.


Golden Knights vs Wild
Photo Credit: NHL

1:39 into the final frame, Brayden McNabb gave VGK their second lead of the night as he scored a goal from the top of the right circle, his first in 67 games. About two minutes later, both Nicolas Hague and Kyle Rau were called for offsetting penalties, and both teams face a 4 on 4 situation. Reilly Smith took a tripping penalty with 15:30 remaining to give Minnesota a 4 on 3 powerplay. Jared Spurgeon was able to score with the extra man blasting a one-timer from Kevin Fiala past Lehner to tie up the game. Vegas was given one more chance with the man advantage but was unable to convert, and time expired without another goal, so the game went to overtime.

The Knights were given yet another chance on the powerplay but were unable to convert; both teams played the remaining two and a half minutes of overtime with neither team scoring, which forced a shootout. Kevin Fiala scored in the second round, and since Marchessault and Shea Theodore both failed to score, the game rested on Alex Tuch’s stick in the third round. Tuch made a nice move, but Talbot was able to turn him away, and the Minnesota Wild came out of Thursday’s game with two points.


Looking Forward: 


It is hard to find things to nitpick VGK for after they had to play a back-to-back situation with just sixteen skaters in their third game in four days. Add in the fact that this game not only went to overtime but a shootout as well, and the single point from the overtime loss seems like a decent accomplishment given the circumstances. I know I have harped about the powerplay many times this season, but this was a game where you would want Vegas to be able to capitalize on at least one of their four chances. Hopefully, the night off gave them a chance to rest up and enter tonight’s game with a complete lineup and fresh legs. The Wild have slowly been gaining ground in the standings, and I’m sure they would like nothing better than to sweep VGK and be just two points shy of second place in the division.


The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play tonight against The Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena. The puck drop is set for 6:00 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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