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Knights on Ice — Quality Over Quantity
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, December 4, 2021


In Wednesday’s loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the VGK lost despite scoring 2 power-play goals and 2 shorthanded goals. Last night the VGK scored only 1 PPG and 1 SHG on the way to a dominating performance, beating the Arizona Coyotes 7-1.

The onslaught started with the patience of Nicolas Roy and Jonathan Marchessault on a 2-on-1 rush against Arizona goaltender Karel Vejmalka, who was playing in only his 13th NHL start. Roy broke into the Arizona zone with Marchessault on his right and Roy dragged the puck around defenseman Kyle Capobianco, who dropped to the ice to prevent Roy from passing the puck. Roy let Capobianco slide himself completely out of the play. Then Vejmalka overcommitted to his left toward Marchessault, who now had the puck on the blade of his right-handed stick. Marchessault’s patience allowed him to let Vejmalka to continue toward his left as he switched from his forehand to his backhand in one smooth motion and had a completely wide-open net for the first of the 7 goals.

It was a complete team win last night; 14 of the 18 VGK scored at least 1 point and six players had multi-point games. Last night was the 2nd time Vegas has scored 7 goals in a game this season. They also scored 7 vs. Vancouver on Nov 13 at T-Mobile in their 7-4 victory. The franchise record is 8, which they scored against the Chicago Blackhawks in Chicago on Nov 27 in their 8-3 win. So as not to be accused of bias reporting, the VGK did lose to the NJ Devils by a score of 8-3 on March 14, 2018.

The one and only miscue for the VGK resulted in Arizona also cashing in on a 2-on-1 with only Nic Hague back on defense. Travis Boyd’s goal was the only one Laurent Brossoit gave up on the 30 shots he faced in relief of Robin Lehner who had the night off.

The VGK special teams over the last 2 games are firing on all cylinders and if they’re to be successful this season, that trend will have to continue. Max Pacioretty, who recently returned from a fractured foot, seems to have found his comfort zone. His PPG was an identical goal from the one he scored on Wednesday vs. Anaheim, even to the point that Mark Stone was in the same spot in front of the net. This time, Stone actually moved out of the way of the shot, but it was such a rocket that Vejmalka never had a chance to save it.

Pacioretty has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past four games. His 2 goals last night gave him his 56th multi-goal game since entering the NHL in 2008-09, ranking fourth behind Alex Ovechkin (122), Steven Stamkos (80), Sidney Crosby (66), and Joe Pavelski (57). He’s part of a pretty illustrious group. Kind of makes you forget we had to give up Nick Suzuki, now a rising star in Montreal, to bring Patches here. But we did also unload the Tomas Tatar contract in that same trade. Tatar didn’t last long in Montreal and is currently treading water with the Devils. Since leaving Vegas, Tatar has scored 62 goals in 220 games with Montreal and New Jersey; Suzuki has scored 65 goals in 152 games with Montreal. Pacioretty has scored 83 goals for the VGK in 191 games. So if you put Tatar and Suzuki’s goals and games played together, they average .35 goals per game between them, while Pacioretty averages .44 goals per game with the VGK. Maybe that will ease the pain of watching Suzuki flourish in Montreal.

Other game notes and quotes. The VGK had 4 SHG last season in 56 games; so far this season just 23 games in, Vegas has a league-leading 6 SHG.

“We want to win that special teams battle every night,” DeBoer said post-game. “If our penalty killing can shut them down and we can chip in a power-play goal here and there, it makes a big difference.”

He added, “We needed a win. You look at the standings, you lose a couple in a row and all of a sudden there’s teams climbing over you. We talked about not digging ourselves a hole early in games like we have been lately, and I thought we did that better tonight.”

The Coyotes allowed five goals or more for the 10th time in 24 games.

The Golden Knights are 15-6-0 against the Coyotes since joining the NHL in 2017-18.

My 3 Stars of The Game: Max Pacioretty (2G, including the GWG, along with 6 SOG), Nicolas Roy (1G, 1A), Evgenii Dadonov (1G, 1A)

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.

Marchessault opening goal
Paccioretty PPG
Stephenson SHG

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