Vegas Golden Knights End the Year with a Dominant Win Over Anaheim Ducks

  • December 31, 2021, 08:47 PM
  • Kayla Faasse
Vegas Golden Knights End the Year with a Dominant Win Over Anaheim Ducks Courtesy: Ellen Schmidt /// Las Vegas Review Journal Dylan Coghlan (left), Adam Brooks (center) and Brayden McNabb (right) celebrate after Brooks' goal in the first period.

The Vegas Golden Knights ended the year off with a high note, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 3-1 on New Year’s Eve. 

"It was critical. It was a big win for us,” assistant coach Ryan McGill said, “but I thought our start was, you know, it was the thing that set us up for the rest of the game.” 

Vegas welcomed back head coach Pete DeBoer after he missed time due to COVID protocols.  

The Knights now lead Anaheim by three points after picking up its 10th win of the month, now holding the most by any NHL team with 62 wins of 2021. 

With multiple players down for the Golden Knights including Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, and goalie Robin Lehner, other members of the team stepped up to help lead Vegas to victory. 

"We’ve been dealing with a lot of stuff this year, obviously, with all of the injuries going on and everything,” center Nicolas Roy said regarding the depth of the team. “We’ve been doing a really good job and have been the next men in creating opportunities for ourselves. I think everybody’s stepping up and we did that again.” 

Vegas’ third line of William Carrier, Roy, and Keegan Kolesar created a couple of scoring opportunities to put pressure on Anaheim goalie John Gibson. 

Roy managed to put the Knights on the scoreboard halfway through the first period, with an assist coming from defenseman Ben Hutton, for his seventh goal of the season- a new career-high. 

Seven minutes later, Adam Brooks deflected a shot from defenseman Dylan Coghlan to shoot the puck into the top of the net, nudging it in place above the pole. 

After a few seconds of confusion from the refs and players, the goal was made official to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. 

Early on in the second period, Mattias Janmark found himself on the top line, taking advantage of his opportunity with an unassisted goal, giving Vegas the lead of 3-0. 

The play grew physical later on in the second period. Ryan Getzlaf and Kolesar each received five-minute majors for fighting. In total, Anaheim registered 35 minutes of penalty time in the second period. 

Defenseman Brayden McNabb was at the center of the physical play for Vegas when he got into it with Ducks forward Derek Grant after he cross-checked Carrier. McNabb got into another fight at the end of the game after he hit Ducks forward Sam Carrick near the blue line.

"[McNabb]’s been consistent with his physical tone, and he understands that is his identity as a player, and he does it very, very well,” McGill said. “There’s a lot of players that understand where he is on the ice, and that’s a great asset for him. He’s just been real consistent throughout the last 15, 20 games.”

Duck Josh Manson gave Janmark another scoring opportunity with 2:39 remaining in the period after Manson was called for holding on a breakaway. Janmark took the penalty shot, but could not get the puck past Gibson. 

Getzlaf earned Anaheim their first and only goal of the night with 11.4 seconds remaining, ending Golden Knight Laurent Brossoit’s shutout attempt. 

Brossoit filled in for Lehner, registering 15 saves to end the night.

The Golden Knights outshot the Ducks 45-16 and the Ducks did not register their first shot on goal until eight minutes into the first period. 

Vegas continues its home streak as it hosts the Winnipeg Jets at T-Mobile Arena on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the first game of 2022.

Kayla Faasse

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