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Knights on Ice — A Knight To Remember
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Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, April 22, 2021


Last night, the VGK once again rallied to beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2. San Jose opened the scoring like they did on Monday night when Timo Meier scored just 2:38 into the first period, but unlike Monday night, the VGK never let San Jose get a 2-goal lead. Jonathan Marchessault scored his first goal of the game 6 minutes later to tie the score and send the teams into the locker room tied at 1-1.

The Sharks regained the lead 11 minutes into the second period when Tomas Hertl scored and that San Jose’s only lead for the remainder of the game. Just 1:45 later, Mark Stone scored a power play goal to once again draw Vegas even with the Sharks at 2-2. It was Stone’s 3rd power play goal in back-to-back games.

The newly constructed power play has Pacioretty on the left-side faceoff circle, Marchessault on the opposite side that was once occupied by Pacioretty, and Stone stationed in front of the net; it seems this new wrinkle is working, based on the success of the power play recently.

Alex Tuch added the winning goal as the second period was winding down when he took a perfect tape-to-tape pass from the right side of the blue line from Shea Theodore. Tuch was left all alone to the right of San Jose goalkeeper Josef Korenar, who had no chance on Tuch’s shot. It was Korenar’s 2nd game in the NHL; he’s 0-2 and has given up 8 goals in his 2 starts.

Marchessault added his 2nd goal of the game in the 3rd period and Mattias Janmark scored into an empty net for the 5th VGK goal and his first as a VGK.

It was a night to remember for many reasons.

With last night’s win, the VGK assured themselves of a playoff berth. It will be Vegas’ 4th playoff appearance in their young franchise history. Vegas is only the 4th team in the history of the NHL to make the playoffs in their first 4 years. The other teams who have accomplished this are: Edmonton for 13 years from 1980-1992, the NY Rangers for 9 years 1927-1935, and the St. Louis Blues for 6 years 1968-1973.

Vegas also tied their franchise record last night with their 8th win in a row. They’ve now won 8 games in a row for the 3rd time. Their first 8 game winning streak took place from Dec. 14, 2017, to Jan. 2, 2018. Last season shortly before the league shut down, they won 8 in a row from Feb. 13 to Feb. 28. Vegas can break their record on Saturday when they play Anaheim in southern California.

Jonathan Marchessault had an impressive game, scoring 4 points with 2 goals and 2 assists. This was the 2nd time Marchessault has scored 4 points in a game and that was also against the San Jose Sharks on March 18, 2019, when he had the same results of 2 goals and 2 assists.

With last night’s win, Vegas is now 7-0-0 against San Jose and can sweep the 8-game schedule against the Sharks in the last game of the season on May 12. In regular-season games, Vegas has a 15-1-3 record vs. San Jose; that’s impressive, 33 points out of a possible 38.

With Mark Stone’s power-play goal last night, it increased his scoring streak to 6 games. In the month of March, Stone scored in 13 of the 16 games and had a 10-game scoring streak. His 5-game multi point streak did end last night when he scored only his power play goal.

On Stone’s PPG, Max Pacioretty picked up his 600th NHL point. He currently has 302 goals and 298 assists in 807 games. Pacioretty is currently in the midst of a 6-game point streak with 3 goals and 7 assists. He’s only the 10th U.S.-born player to reach 600 points. Mike Modano is the all-time American-born NHL player with the most points. Modano scored 561 goals and accumulated 1,374 points in 1,499 games.

In a very unselfish play Jonathan Marchessault who already had 2 goals, stole the puck from Timo Meier behind the net and could have attempted a backhand shot for the hat trick, but instead passed it to Mattias Janmark who put it in to the empty net for his first goal as a VGK. It was Janmark’s 11th goal of the season.

With last night’s win, Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 487th win and is now just 2 wins behind Roberto Luongo for sole possession of 3rd place overall among active NHL goaltenders. When Fleury plays a playoff game later in May, he will become the only NHL goaltender to ever play in the playoffs for 15 consecutive years.

One last reason it was a KNIGHT to remember. The VGK became the first team this season to clinch a playoff spot. There is a lot of work left, but this is a good start to a NIGHT we will remember.

My 3 Stars of the Game
1) Jonathan Marchessault (4-point night, 2G 2A)
2) Shea Theodore (2A and a perfect pass to set up Alex Tuch’s winning goal)
3) Alex Tuch (GWG, plus standing toe to toe with Evander Kane not once but twice last night. When he wasn’t doing that, he was skating over people instead of around them.

Next game is Saturday vs. Anaheim at 6 p.m. Pacific Time at the Honda Center.

If you want to hear and see more VGK content, please check out the podcast I do with Eddie Rivkin on YouTube, “Hockey Knights in Vegas.”

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.

Stone’s PPG and Pacioretty’s 600th point

Tuch’s winning goal

Fleury’s diving save

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