Jonathan Marchessault made his triumphant return to the Golden Knights’ lineup tonight after missing time with an injury suffered in the Oct. 13 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. His injury allowed for Vadim Shipachyov to take his spot on the roster, but he was sent back down to the AHL to make room for the now healthy Marchessault.
Marchessault proved his worth, too, scoring the fourth goal for the Vegas Golden Knights, a wonderful play on the man advantage:
Of course, in a 4-2 victory, Marchessault wasn’t the only one triumphant. Credit goes to the fourth line of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, and Tomas Nosek. Those three had a hand in two even strength goals, and Nosek got two points. Bellemare’s 18th career goal was the knockout punch and game-winning goal for the Knights. The fourth line was also charged with choking the offense out of the Chicago Blackhawks, a feat they accomplished in spades.
The power play also bounced back after allowing a shorthanded goal, thanks to William Karlsson:
William Karlsson did this. (courtesy of Colin Miller) pic.twitter.com/NXeLtWa84V— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 25, 2017
That Karlsson goal, by the way, marked three straight power play goals for the Golden Knights. The power play woes were at least temporarily solved. The answer; getting pucks to the net where there are bodies. Not only was Karlsson setting a screen on that play, but Alex Tuch was there as well.
The Knights then scored again, with Deryk Engelland putting the puck near the net and Nosek tipping it in. That was Nosek’s first point of the night, but again, not his last.
The Golden Knights’ domination of the first period, including a 14-10 shot advantage, was accompanied by numerous impressive saves by Oscar Dansk, including this amazing glove save, where Dansk revealed himself as an official NHL goaltender:
Dansk flashes the glove. He's feelin' it. pic.twitter.com/RVusIjiCPH— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 25, 2017
The Golden Knights had several great shorthanded looks themselves, and were getting better looks shorthanded than they were allowing on the power play. That’s meaningful for the Knights’ penalty killing unit, who extended it to eight straight kills. The penalty kill has been looking better than ever, and Bellemare is partially to thank for that. He followed up his great defensive efforts with this:
The Hawks left Bellemare all alone in the front of the net, where he took full advantage of the scoring chance. It was his second point and first goal as a Golden Knight. That sucked the momentum back out of the Blackhawks at the end of the second.
The Golden Knights demolished the Blackhawks in terms of puck possession and shots, at one time leading 62 total attempted shots versus the Blackhawks’ 28. The Golden Knights were able to control the puck at all times outside of the start of the second period, and it ended up paying off for the team.
The stars of this game have to be Dave Prior, goaltending coach of the Golden Knights, as well as Dansk, making his professional debut. Prior’s also probably the Golden standard now, after seeing his work with not just Marc-Andre Fleury, who was already excellent, but with Malcolm Subban and now Dansk, who were both previously unproven. They’re both proven now, and Prior’s great work should be recognized.