The lucky 2600 fans in attendance could not have asked for a better game to come back to. After allowing a season-high four goals in the second period, the Golden Knights erased a two-goal deficit in the third to beat the Wild 5-4 in Overtime.
“Our fans are by far the best in pro sports,” Captain Mark Stone said. “You could feel the energy skating out for warmups... It's unreal playing in front of these fans.”
After a scoreless first period, Cody Glass opened the scoring for the Golden Knights on the powerplay off a beautiful shot-pass from Mark Stone. Shortly after though, Jordan Greenway and Marcus Foligno scored just over a minute apart to give the Wild a 2-1 lead. Max Pacioretty evened the score again on the powerplay and the Golden Knights pressed hard following that goal. However, momentum can change quickly in a hockey game. Just under five minutes later, Nick Bonino scored to regain the lead for the Wild. 19 seconds later, Foligno scored again to give the Wild a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
The Golden Knights looked dead in the water for the first half of the third period. Momentum can change quickly in a hockey game however, and this time it did in favor of the Golden Knights. With just under eight minutes remaining in the game, Nicolas Hague ripped a shot past the glove hand of Cam Talbot to cut the Golden Knights deficit to one. The pressure continued for the VGK, not allowing Minnesota a single shot on net following the Hague goal. With 41 seconds remaining in the game, Alex Tuch redirected a shot-pass from Mark Stone to tie the game at four. The game went to overtime and Max Pacioretty netted the overtime winner to give the Golden Knights a 5-4 victory.
Mark Stone had his best performance of the season in Monday night’s win, and quite possibly his best performance in a VGK sweater. Stone finished with five primary assists on the night, and effectively willed the Golden Knights to victory. Stone now has four goals and 18 assists in 18 games played this season.
“That's not a lucky night for our captain,” Pacioretty said. “He generates the offense on our team... Obviously he was feeling it tonight. It was a big night for him and a big night for our team.”
Pacioretty finished the game with two goals, making him the first player on the Golden Knights to reach 10 goals this season. Alex Tuch picked up his eighth goal of the season as well. Marc-Andre Fleury had an off night by his standards, but the team was there to bail him out. Normally, it is the other way around with Fleury bailing out the team in front of him. Still, he made some key saves when the team was down 4-2 and was a big reason for the win.
With the win in Monday night’s game, the Golden Knights move to 13-4-1 and retain the top spot in the Honda West Division. They currently sit two points ahead of Minnesota, and one point ahead of St. Louis and have games in hand on both of them. The Golden Knights also snapped the curse of the gold helmets, picking up their first win in them. Their next game is on March 3 in a rematch against the Minnesota Wild.