Home > NewsRelease > Knights on Ice — On an Emotional Night, the VGK Dig Deep and Find an Unusual Way to Win
Knights on Ice — On an Emotional Night, the VGK Dig Deep and Find an Unusual Way to Win
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, April 20, 2021


The VGK were on fumes last night when they faced off against the San Jose Sharks, who were set to play an emotional game for Patrick Marleau. It was his 1,768th NHL game, breaking a record that has been held by Gordie Howe for the last 41 years. Many thought this record would never be surpassed.

The Sharks had Sunday off, while the VGK played in Anaheim. The Knights were playing their 3rd game in 4 nights and their 6th game in the last 9 days. So to no one’s surprise, the Sharks were the fresher team. It showed, especially in the first period that was dominated by San Jose. The VGK were extremely lucky to trail by only 1-0, on a goal by Nikolai Kryzhov, after the first 20 minutes.

They fell behind 2-0 when Noah Gregor scored just 29 seconds into the 2nd period.

What San Jose didn’t realize is that the VGK’s emotionally charged captain who can and will strap his team on his back and do whatever needs to be done. We’re well aware of the VGK’s dismal power play, but last night, Captain Mark Stone wasn’t about to let the San Jose Sharks, who were on a 5-game losing streak, just walk into T-Mobile and crush their 6-game winning streak. Stone scored 2 power-play goals to wipe out the 2-goal lead. His determination was clear and fumes or not, the message was, “Follow me, boys. We’re not losing tonight.”

Stone’s 2 goals also gave Robin Lehner time to get his act together, after allowing the 2 goals that on a normal night he stops. But there were two small problems brewing. One, Martin Jones, who usually melts like an M&M in your hand on a hot day in Vegas, was having one of his best T-Mobile performances.

The other problem that was about to rear its ugly head was if the VGK didn’t score in overtime, there was Lehner’s record in shootouts. The VGK did everything possible to try to end it in OT, including a breakaway by Stone. Stone scoring a pure hat trick to win the game would have been a storybook ending to an emotional night. But Martin Jones stoned Stone and turned away other grade A scoring chances in an OT that was pretty much dominated by Vegas. Overtime ended with no goals scored and we were in the danger zone.

But Alex Tuch beat Jones on a nifty forehand-backhand-forehand shot that Jones had no chance on. It was the only goal Vegas would need in the skills competition, as Lehner stopped all 3 San Jose shooters in the shootout, including Patrick Marleau. Robin reached his both arms up to the roof of T-Mobile in joy or maybe to thank a Higher Source for the unexpected outcome of the shootout. It was Tuch’s first shootout goal of the season and his 4th career shootout goal.

The 3-2 win increased the VGK win streak to 7 games, their longest of the season and 1 shy of the franchise record of 8 games in the 2017-2018 season.

Some astonishing facts about Marleau’s iron-man streak:

  • Vegas will not play their 1,768th game until the 2039-40 season.
  • 166 current NHL players weren’t born yet when Marleau played his first game on Oct. 1, 1997.
  • Marleau has played at least one game with 37% of NHL players: 3,009 of 8,100.
  • He has played in 897 consecutive games.

Other notes that are not so astonishing, but need to be mentioned. Mark Stone had his 5th multi-point game in a row last night with his 16th and 17th goals, which ties the VGK franchise record held by William Karlsson.

Reilly Smith, who did not skate a shift in the 3rd period in Anaheim, was held out of last night’s game. Vegas skated 11 forwards and 7 defensemen and used Coughlan as a forward in the first period. With the tired legs of the defensive core, Coghlan was dropped back to defense to cut down on the ice time for the defensemen and DeBoer double-shifted Tuch, who started the game in Reilly Smith’s place on the misfit line. In an attempt to generate some offense, DeBoer moved Janmark up with Karlsson and Marchessault.

My 3 Stars of the Game
1) Mark Stone (2 power play goals)
2) Alex Tuch (whose shootout goal was a welcome sight for not only Lehner, but for every VGK fan who knew Robin’s shootout record
3) Martin Jones (who stopped 38 of the 40 shots he faced, but could not stop the determined Stone)

Next game is tomorrow vs. San Jose at 6:30 p.m. Pacific Time at T-Mobile. Please note the starting time.

If you want to hear and see more VGK content please check out the podcast I do with Eddie Rivkin on YouTube. It’s called “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 first PPG
Stone’s second PPG to tie the score
Tuch’s shootout goal

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