Golden Knights Top Stars in a Wild Round-Robin Opener

  • August 03, 2020, 08:20 PM (update August 04, 2020, 02:59 PM)
  • Matt Atencio
Golden Knights Top Stars in a Wild Round-Robin Opener Courtesy: Vegas Golden Knights
In a wild game that a pair of two goal leads erased by both teams, the Vegas Golden Knights emerged victorious with a 5-3 win over the Dallas Stars.

The Golden Knights opened the scoring in the first period just 64 seconds into the game.  Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson put a shot between the legs of Stars goaltender Ben Bishop.  The Knights would get a power play shortly after with the best chance coming off the stick of William Karlsson.  The Knights failed to cash in on that opportunity.  The Stars played well in the period but were unable to generate any high danger scoring chances. The Golden Knights got another power play opportunity after Corey Perry took a tripping penalty.  Unlike the first power play, they were unable to generate any dangerous scoring chances and struggled to enter the zone.  Both teams went into the break relatively even in shots (8 for Dallas 7 for Vegas) and overall play.

The second period saw the Dallas Stars flip a switch.  From the opening face-off, they were the faster, more dominant team.  Robin Lehner had a solid period for the Knights, but he could only do so much.  Around the midway point of the period, the Stars finally broke through on a shot from long time San Jose Shark Joe Pavelski.  Pavelski’s shot banked in off defenseman Alec Martinez to even the score at 1.  Just 43 seconds later, Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak rifled a shot past Lehner.  Shea Theodore took a hooking penalty and the Knights were forced to the penalty kill.  The Golden Knights, whose penalty kill ranked 27th in the league during the regular season, failed to clear the puck once during the kill.  Corey Perry buried a shot with about 40 seconds remaining in the Stars power play to make it 3-1. The rest of the period saw the Knights looking for a spark but were unable to find the back of the net.  The Stars took a 3-1 lead into the second break and had the Golden Knights reeling.  

If the second period flipped a switch for the Stars, the third period flipped a switch for the Golden Knights.  They seemed to finally wake up and play the style of hockey they have played since their inception.  After some heavy pressure midway through the third, the Golden Knights finally got the spark the desperately needed from Mark Stone. Stone fought through a double team and ripped home a shot from the high slot to cut the Knight's deficit to one.  About 90 seconds after Stone’s goal, Nate Schmidt picked up a deflected pass from Riley Smith and fired it past Bishop to even the score at three. At 5:12 remaining in the game, William Carrier scored on a fantastic between the legs shot, but it was waved off due to a goaltender interference call by the officials.  Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer challenged the call, and the goal was awarded, giving the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead. With the Stars goalie pulled and time winding down, Pavelski had his equalizer bid denied on a spectacular save from Lehner in tight.  William Karlsson iced the game with 20 seconds remaining, scoring an empty net goal.

The Golden Knights move into a tie for first place in the round robin tournament with Colorado.  They play the St. Louis Blues on Aug. 6.  

Matt Atencio

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