Four Goal Second Period Powers Vegas Past Detroit

  • November 19, 2021, 10:47 AM
  • Matt Atencio
Four Goal Second Period Powers Vegas Past Detroit Courtesy: Joe Buglewicz/AP Photo Vegas Golden Knights skaters celebrating after a goal.
The Vegas Golden Knights squared off against the Detroit Red Wings, Thursday, in the team’s second to last game of their six game homestand.

After a slow start in the first period, the VGK put up four goals in the second period en route to a 5-2 victory over Detroit.

“It was a really solid game,” head coach Pete DeBoer said.  “I really liked our game.  We were much better in every area than we were the other night against Carolina.”

Due to rising issues with the COVID-19 virus, the team’s practice and morning skate were cancelled.  Consequently, the team looked a little slow coming out of the gate.  While neither team scored, Detroit outshot the Golden Knights 13-8 in the opening frame.  Robin Lehner, as he has done time and time again this season, kept the dam from breaking and got the VGK to intermission tied.

The team started to find their legs in the tail end of the first period and struck early in the second period.  Mark Stone forced a turnover behind the net and cycled the puck back to Alex Pietrangelo at the point.  Pietrangelo fired the shot on net and Nicolas Hague cleaned up the rebound to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead.

Zach Whitecloud, who returned to the lineup after missing the last 12 games, scored his first of the season two minutes later off a gorgeous feed from Stone.  In the blink of an eye, the Golden Knights had a 2-0 lead.

“I saw Mark Stone with the puck and got open,” Whitecloud said. “That’s it [for what I read on the play].”

Detroit cut that deficit to just one just after the halfway mark.  After Lehner made an initial save, Givani Smith scored after a mad scramble in front of the net.

Shortly after Smith’s goal, Whitecloud scored his second goal of the game to give Vegas a 3-1 lead.

Paul Cotter added the Golden Knight’s fourth goal of the period, picking the corner on Detroit goaltender Thomas Greiss and extending the lead to 4-1. 

Five minutes into the third period, Reilly Smith added the Golden Knight’s fifth goal of the game.  Detroit got one back with 84 seconds left in the game, but the Golden Knights were in cruise control for the remainder of the third. 

The Golden Knights picked up a 5-2 victory, and their fourth win on this six-game home stand.  Given the fact that this team is missing Alec Martinez, Shea Theodore, Max Pacioretty, William Karlsson, William Carrier, Jonathan Marchessault, and Nolan Patrick, that is an impressive feat.

Lehner picked up his eighth win of the season as well.  He stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced.  Outside of the first period, he really was not asked to do much. 

Stone has played three games since his return from injury, and this was by far his best game. 

“I thought he really took a step tonight,” DeBoer said. “He missed four or five weeks. I thought game one he was pretty good, but obviously a bit rusty.  I thought tonight he looked really good.  He was skating, he was moving, and hopefully now he has his timing back.  That is what we expect out of him.”

The team has an opportunity to make an already successful homestand even more successful on Nov. 20 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Regardless of the final score, the Golden Knights have picked up eight points in five games while icing an AHL-level bottom six forward group.

Puck drop for the game against Columbus is at 7 P.M. PST and can be viewed on AT&T Sportsnet. 

Matt Atencio

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