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Outworked, Outskated, Basically a Pathetic Effort
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For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, January 18, 2022


The Vegas Golden Knights scored on their first shot of the game, Chandler Stephenson’s 11th goal of the season. They scored a second goal on their 4th shot, Evgenii Dadonov’s 10th goal of the season. With just 30 seconds left in the first period, Nicolas Roy scored his 8th of the season on the power play. The VGK had 3 goals on just 6 shots and a commanding 3-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Pittsburgh was playing the last game of an extended 6-game road trip that started back on January 6, six games in 12 nights. The VGK hadn’t played since Jan 11. Pittsburgh was clearly the tired team and VGK were as fresh as could be, having the last 6 days off. When the first period ended, the crowd of 18,213, including a large contingent of Penguins fans, had every reason to believe that this game was a signed, sealed, and delivered win for the VGK.

However, things changed dramatically in the second period. The VGK were outworked and outskated and took 2 penalties in the first 5 minutes, which completely changed the momentum. The VGK effort was pathetic, especially considering Pittsburgh sent only 8 pucks in the direction of Robin Lehner in the first period.

The Penguins found some unexpected energy and took over the game entirely, more than doubling their offensive output with 18 shots on Lehner in the 2nd period. Local Las Vegas player Jason Zucker got Pittsburgh on the scoresheet with a power-play goal shortly after Nicolas Roy was sent to the penalty box for tripping. Zucker’s goal was followed up with one by Teddy Blueger goal just 49 seconds later.

The 2nd period ended with Vegas clinging to a 1-goal lead. Under normal circumstances, Vegas taking a lead into the 3rd period is money in the bank. But yesterday was a national holiday and the banks were closed. Vegas, who in previous seasons has been dominating at home and lights out with a lead heading into the 3rd period was a shell of itself, mustering up 13 shots through 40 minutes of play, while Pittsburgh had 26 shots on Lehner, who was unfortunately in the midst of a tough night. He also wasn’t getting much help from his teammates who left their game in the first period.

Pittsburgh went on to score 5 unanswered goals in their 5-3 win. The VGK have a very disappointing 2-3-2 record in the first 7 games of their homestand. The eighth game at home on Thursday against the Montreal Canadians is the last; then the VGK hit the road for 4 games back East against 4 of the better teams with Washington and Carolina on back-to-back nights, followed by games against the Florida Panthers and defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay. Picking up only 6 points out of a possible 14 in this current homestand and the tough 4 games that await them, the VGK are in a tough spot headed into the All Star break. They do have 1 game at T-Mobile on Feb 1 vs. Buffalo that will see the return of Alex Tuch, Peyton Krebs, and Malcolm Subban.

It should be noted that considering the long list of never-ending injuries to key players, the VGK have accomplished a lot more than most teams could have under similar circumstances.

Other game Notes and Quotes

“You don’t want to lose at home,” Vegas captain Mark Stone said. “We pride ourselves on being a good home team. It’s been a tough stretch for us against good teams.”

“Every team in the league is going to blow a 3-0 lead at some point in the season. The key is what do you learn from it?” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. “That’s a very good team over there, a very resilient team with veteran great players. It comes down to little details at key moments in the game.”

“Leading 3-0 after the first period, you can’t walk away from
the game with nothing,” Stone said. “We’ve got a little soul-searching to do.”

My 3 Stars of The Game: Jason Zucker (2G and 7 SOG), Evgenii Dadonov (1G, 1A), Alex Pietrangelo (2A and a team-high 24:17 of ice 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

For more VGK content, check out the Hockey Knights in Vegas Podcast that can be found at this link or on my Facebook page.

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.

Roy’s PPG
Zucker’s PPG
Dadonov tips in Stone’s shot

About Huntington Press

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Vegas Advisor

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