Home > NewsRelease > Knights on Ice — It Took Just 2:15
Knights on Ice — It Took Just 2:15
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Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, November 23, 2021


The VGK have had first-period woes this season, but seemed to eradicate them when Chandler Stephenson scored just 36 seconds into the game, followed by Reilly Smith scoring his 6th goal in the last 7 games at the 6:50 mark of the first period for an unexpected and quick 2-0 lead.

But in just 2:15, the St. Louis Blues exploded for 3 goals and added a goal each in the 2nd and the 3rd periods for 5 unanswered goals in the 5-2 comeback victory over the VGK in St. Louis.

Vegas, who had been on the positive side of 2-goal deficits 3 different times this season, were a victim last night of the dreaded 2-goal lead in the NHL.

It all started with a near-impossible angle shot from Ryan O’Reilly to Robin Lehner’s left. O’Reilly’s skates actually were straddling the goal line when he accepted David Perron’s pass. His shot would have gone across the crease and back into the opposite corner, except Robin Lehner wasn’t tucked into his net as he should have been with a shot coming from such an extreme angle. The shot hit the inside of Robin’s right pad and trickled past him for the first St. Louis goal.

David Perron seems to thrive when playing his former team and last night was no exception; he also assisted on Brandon Saad’s power play goal in the 2nd period that made the score 4-2. But the backbreaker goals were all scored in just a span of 2:15. Tyler Bozak and Justin Faulk scored the other goals that created the unfortunate VGK franchise record of the 2nd fastest 3 goals scored against the VGK in their 5-year history.

Even with the quick 2-goal lead, the Blues weren’t anywhere out of this game and with VGK turnovers and defensive miscues and penalties, the Knights pretty much beat themselves. Coach DeBoer echoed this in his post-game comments.

“We got the start we wanted for a change and we talked about that,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “Then we let them get back in the game. The first goal was a bad angle, then we turned one over for a breakaway. If you’re going to win on the road in this league, you can’t beat yourself. I thought that was the case in the first period. We made some mistakes and had some penalties, and that’s a recipe for disaster when you’re on the road.”

The VGK’s 2nd periods this season have enabled them to mount their three 2-goal comebacks this season, but last night’s 2nd period was not the case. Vegas had only 2 SOG through 16 minutes of the 2nd period. They did register a cluster of shots toward the end of the period, only to see shots at an open net either go wide or over Jordan Binnington, who stopped 32 of 34 shots and was perfect for the last 53:40 minutes of play. At the other end of the ice, Robin Lehner only stopped 26 of 31 shots for a save percentage of .839. Binnington’s save percentage was .941.

Mark Stone is still looking for his first goal of the season and had at least 2 high-danger scoring chances, but wasn’t able to cash in..

Shea Theodore returned to the lineup after missing the last 2 games after falling and striking his head on the end boards. Shea led all VGK players with 22:35 of ice time. Three VGK defensemen led the team in SOG last night with 4 apiece: Pietrangelo, Whitecloud, and Hague. We all know the Coach DeBoer wants his defensemen to contribute to their offense, but you can’t have 3 defensemen with the most shots on goal for the game. Most shots by the defense come from 60 feet away from the net. Goaltenders at this level will stop these shots for the most part if they can see them and they’re not tipped. The VGK need to either generate more shots from the so-called “Dirty Area” in and around the blue paint or get in front to screen the goaltender and take away his eyes.

Another problem that’s not a new or surprising is the power play, going 0-3 last night and once again on a bad streak of 0-10 after starting the season at 0-19. Special teams win games and create momentum, just like Reilly Smith’s shorthanded goal on Saturday night vs. Detroit. If your power play is anemic, chances are your results will be too. This problem is a carryover from as far back as last season’s playoff series, especially against Montreal.

Other game notes and quotes. Ryan O’Reilly has 8 goals and 18 points in games against the VGK.

Chandler Stephenson’s goal at the 36-second mark was the fastest goal this season scored by Vegas.

Vegas had very little going in the 2nd period, but registered the first 8 SOG in the 3rd before St. Louis scored on only their 2nd shot of the period.

Robin Lehner has been solid in just about every game this season (except for the 2nd game vs. the L.A. Kings), but had an off night last night.

Vegas forward Max Pacioretty missed his 17th game with a fractured foot, but is expected to return tomorrow at the Nashville Predators.

My 3 Stars of the Game: Justin Faulk (1G, 1A, plus the game-winning goal and 3 SOG, along with 22:25 of ice time), David Perron (2A and 4 SOG), Reilly Smith (1G and continues to be clutch, despite missing his 2 linemates in Karlsson and Marchessault).

Next game is tomorrow Nashville in Music City 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.

Stephenson’s goal 36 seconds in

Smith with the 2nd goal of the game

O’Reilly’s goal from an impossible angle

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