Golden Knights bounce back with walk-off win over Montreal in overtime

  • January 20, 2022, 11:37 PM
  • Jordan Anders-McClain
Golden Knights bounce back with walk-off win over Montreal in overtime Courtesy of Ellen Schmidt // Las Vegas Review Journal Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan (52), Chandler Stephenson (20), and Robin Lehner (90) celebrate after the walk-off win in overtime against the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 20, 2022.
The Vegas Golden Knights end their three-game losing streak with a 4-3 walk-off win over the Montreal Canadiens in overtime to close out their eight-game homestand.

“We’re finding ways to win with seven or eight really key players out of the lineup,” head coach Pete DeBoer said. “It was a big win tonight, and everyone helped and contributed to it.” 

Despite being short-handed, the Golden Knights had fuel, after the Pittsburgh Penguins scored five unanswered points in the previous game to win, Vegas entered the new matchup in hopes of ending a three-game losing streak as well as seeking revenge. 

It was just last June when Montreal knocked Vegas out of the Stanley Cup semifinals. However, the scene was different this time around, an injured Canadiens team this year has them ranked last in the Eastern Conference with the fewest wins and points of any team in the NHL. 

Vegas, dealing with injuries of their own, as Zach Whitecloud was ruled out during warm-ups due to an upper-body injury. To add salt to injury, hours before puck drop head coach Pete DeBoer announced Golden Knights captain Mark Stone had entered COVID-19 protocols and would miss the game. 

Even with key players missing, Vegas got off to a quick start. Chandler Stephenson, in his 300th career game, scored within the first four minutes. 

Evgenii Dadonov drew defenders near the boards at the goal line before passing the puck off to Stephenson, with no one in his way but Montreal’s goalie Sam Montembeault, Stephenson took the shot marking the first goal of the game. 

With five minutes remaining in the first period, Montreal’s Michael Pezzetta tied the game as he tapped in the puck feet away from the net when it was just out of reach of Vegas’ goalie Robin Lehner gloves. 

The teams entered the second period tied, both teams exchanged multiple shots on goal through the first half of the second period, until Vegas was granted their second power play of the game which they capitalized on, taking back the lead. 

On the power play, Jonathan Marchessault sped down the ice passing the puck to William Karlsson near the net, Karlsson shot the puck past Montembeault’s shoulder and into the net, making it his second goal in three games.

Just two minutes later, Montreal’s Tyler Toffoli answered back with a score of his own during a power play, tying the game once again going into the final period. 

Seven minutes into the third period, the Canadiens took the lead for the first time in the game when Mike Hoffman shot in between the arms of Lehner.

As the minutes started winding down, Marchessault was able to find an opening at the net to tie the game with an assist by Karlsson. With neither team able to score again, the game headed into overtime. 

In overtime, Lehner was able to come up with four crucial saves, setting up Shea Theodore to speed down the ice, dodging defenders left and right leading him right to the net. Theodore shot at an opening in the corner of the net, walking off the Canadiens, and as expected, the Fortress went electric. 

“You know in overtime you just got to pick your spots,” Shea Theodore said, “and I was fortunate enough to find that one… to be able to finish off this homestand with a win was big.”

Still leading the Pacific division, Vegas improves 13-10-2 on home ice with 50 total points thus far. During the match, the Golden Knights shot a season-high 53 shots on goal compared to the Canadiens who shot 27. 

The Golden Knights will now head out on a four-game road trip. The first game of the road trip starts in Washington, where the team will face the Capitals on Monday, Jan. 24 with puck drop coming at 4 p.m. PST. 

Jordan Anders-McClain

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