Thanks to a dominant four-goal second period, Vegas finished off its seven-game homestand with a commanding 7-0 win against the visiting Colorado Avalanche, making the Golden Knights the first expansion team and third team in NHL history to record a five-game winning streak in its inaugural season.
With goals from seven different players (yes, seven) and an impressive shutout performance by Oscar Dansk, Vegas improved its overall record to 8-1-0, good for second place in the Pacific Division with 16 points.
The team wore road whites in a matinee celebration of Nevada Day as the Knights got goals from David Perron, Oscar Lindberg, Cody Eakin, James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault, Erik Haula and William Carrier.
Once again, the second period was very kind to the Golden Knights.
In fact, this game was won in a second period stretch in which the Knights scored four goals on six shots in a span of nine minutes and 26 seconds.
Vegas has now outscored its opponents 15-2 in the second period this season.
Dansk earned his first career NHL shutout (and the first in franchise history) in just his second career NHL start. He was excellent tonight, making clutch saves early on to keep the Knights in the game and turning away chance after chance from the Avalanche en route to a 32-save shutout. Despite the final score, the Knights were outshot 32-21 and were in the midst of being outshot 10-1 early in the second period before the team took a 1-0 lead 8:50 into the second. Dansk is now 3-0-0 in three NHL appearances.
Perron got things going offensively by taking advantage of a Nail Yakupov turnover at the blue line. Perron turned to a slick forehand-backhand deke on the breakaway to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.
But the Knights’ second goal of the game arguably was the most significant.
At the tail end of a strong Vegas penalty kill, Lindberg scored after an outstanding individual effort saw him strip the puck, fight through two Avalanche defenders and flip the puck over the left shoulder of goaltender Semyon Varlamov. Lindberg’s impressive marker gave the Knights a 2-0 lead at 12:19 of the second, just 3:29 after Perron’s breakaway beauty.
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar issued a coach’s challenge to determine if Lindberg was offside, but the goal was upheld; it was ruled that the puck was carried into the zone by Colorado forward Sven Andrighetto, thus making it a good goal. As a result of the unsuccessful challenge, Colorado was assessed a two-minute minor for delay of game, a new rule introduced prior to the start of the 2017-2018 season. Though the Knights were unable to capitalize, the momentum had shifted.
From there, Eakin scored his first goal of the season to make it 3-0 at 15:33 of the second, and Neal grabbed his seventh of the year at 18:16 to cap off the epic second-period scoring spree. The team followed that up with three more tallies in the third, including a power-play goal from Haula at 7:29.
It was Haula’s first game back after missing four games. Earlier today, the Knights placed defenseman Jason Garrison on waivers in order to activate Haula from injured reserve. The team also assigned defenseman Griffin Reinhart to the AHL for a conditioning stint.
The Knights went 1-for-5 on the power play but killed off all three of Colorado’s power plays. Today’s touchdown of goals is the highest score in franchise history.