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Knights on Ice — 40 Minutes
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Sunday, November 21, 2021


The VGK’s 1st period starts have been suspect, along with their powerless power play and once again a slow start put them in an early hole in last night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus scored just 45 seconds into the game on a goal by Gustav Nyquist; then Alexandre Texier added a shorthanded goal for the quick 2-0 lead. Nyquist almost made it 3-0 with 6 minutes to go in the first period, only to be denied by Laurent Brossoit who made a desperate save, just getting a part of his blocker on the shot from Nyquist who was all alone in front of the net. Columbus was clearly the better team through 20 minutes.

Brossoit’s save on Nyquist was the difference in the outcome of the game that Vegas won by a score of 3-2 with an impressive final 40 minutes. If Columbus stretched their lead to 3-0, I’m not sure Vegas could have recovered.

Vegas needed another strong 2nd period to keep their hopes alive to win 5 games in this season-long 6-game homestand and they did just that. They trimmed the 2-0 lead to just 1 goal when Keegan Kolesar, who’s been snake bitten when it comes to scoring goals, finally got his first of the season off a behind-the-back pass from Jake Leschyshyn, who was behind the net, catching Kolesar streaking across the crease from the left-wing boards. The VGK got a bit unlucky in the final 30 seconds of the period when they missed on 3 open nets, with Howden missing twice and Pietrangelo banging one off the post as the period ended on a VGK power play.

Vegas started the 3rd period on the power play after Andrew Peeke took a delay-of-game penalty with 8 seconds to go in the second. A new sheet of ice to start the 3rd period was just what the doctor ordered. But no such luck, as Vegas couldn’t capitalize on their power play, registering a paltry 2 SOG. But the rest of the 3rd period belonged to the VGK who completely smoked the Blue Jackets. Columbus didn’t register their first SOG until 10:10 into the period.

The rest of the game belonged to the VGK. The speed of the VGK made the Blue Jackets seem like they were stuck in mud. Wave after wave of odd-man rushes entered the zone, even while the Blue Jackets were on the power play.

Columbus did ping Vegas with a shorthanded goal in the first period, but Vegas responded with one of their own by Reilly Smith just 4:45 into the 3rd period that tied the game at 2-2, setting up the GWG by Mattias Janmark with 6:07 left in the game. The play appeared offside and was challenged by Columbus. Janmark did accept the pass while being offside and the whistle was never blown, so Janmark was able to tag up and keep the play alive. The challenge was denied and Vegas had the 3-2 lead with just over 6 minutes to play.

Here is the official ruling. “According to the NHL Situation Room, the play prior to the goal was ruled offside, but the linesman did not whistle the play dead. The officials could not review that play, but only the latest entry from the Golden Knights, where Janmark was ruled onside.”

“It’s offsides, but as soon as that puck exits, it’s a whole new play,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “I was frustrated. I couldn’t help myself. I know the rules. I messed it up. That’s where emotion gets the best of you, and that’s on me.”

The VGK have overcome their 1st period issues in the 2nd periods of games in November, having a +10 in second-period goals. They got one last night, then added 2 in the 3rd that provided them with an astonishing 5 wins in the 6 games on this homestand. As much as you may say that’s not so astonishing, the fact that they’re playing with such a limited roster is what makes it so.

The injury list is so long that it takes 2 different screens on the T-Mobile Knight Tron to list all the players who are injured.

The 18,313 were about as loud as I have heard T-Mobile this year and their enthusiasm was warranted, as once again Vegas showed their resiliency in finding different ways to win games.

Other game notes and quotes. The VGK slayed 2 dragons in their last 2 games by finally beating Detroit at T-Mobile, plus the Columbus Blue Jackets, who had won four of the previous five meetings.

The Knights had their third multigoal comeback win of the season, the most in the NHL.

Reilly Smith was asked post-game why he keeps on shooting the pink flamingo into the net that is thrown on the ice following the game. “As long as we keep on winning. We won the last game when I did it, so I guess I’ll just try to keep that rolling.”

My 3 Stars of The Game: Reilly Smith (1G, a shorthanded goal that started the comeback), Keegan Kolesar (1G, 1A), Mattias Janmark (1G, the GWG).

Next game is tomorrow in St. Louis at 5 p.m. Pacific Time

Your comments and opinions are welcome here at Las Vegas Advisor or you may contact me directly at [email protected] or on my Facebook page or the Facebook page of Vegas Hockey Guy or on Twitter @TheRealJoePane

One other note: If you’re reading this blog from Facebook or Twitter and would like to access it earlier in the morning before I share it on social media, it’s usually published by 8 a.m. the morning after a game on LasVegasAdvisor.com. What better way is there to enjoy your morning coffee than reading my take on last night’s VGK game.

Keegan Kolesar opening goal

Smith’s shorthanded goal

Janmark’s GWG

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