For two periods, it seemed the Vegas Golden Knights had this one in hand. They played really well in their own zone then forechecked hard for 40 minutes. The Knights were coming at the net constantly, and that allowed them to find scoring chances for the first 40 minutes against the New York Rangers. Pointing to the article by Dalton Mack, the Golden Knights were getting home run chances. They looked like a more confident team, which was a great thing.
There was a lot of rolling offense between all three lines. That Oscar Lindberg-Erik Haula-Alex Tuch line can really move, and Reilly Smith added two great goals playing with Jonathan Marchessault and William Karlsson.
Then, the Rangers scored four unanswered goals in the third period to defeat Vegas 6-4 and hand the Golden Knights their second straight loss. Anticlimactic, isn’t it? The whole period felt a lot like the air being drained from a creepy red balloon.
And yes, there were some slip ups. Shea Theodore made a rookie move not paying attention to Jimmy Vesey, and the second goal should have also been covered. But with through 27 shots on goal, Max Lagace was making some crucial saves.
Vegas took unnecessary penalties and played poorly at even strength. On two of the third period goals by the Rangers, there was next to nothing Lagace could have done to save the puck.
The one chance he did have, on the Deryk Engelland unforced turnover in his own zone, Lagace came too far out of the net to make the save on Mika Zibanejad. Still, nobody was covering Pavel Buchnevich.
Yeah, um, what the hell was this? pic.twitter.com/EXVAgjiF3Q— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 1, 2017
While Lagace really did prove he’s better than his previous performance, the defense did not in the third period. And that’s what it boils down to.
Oh, and just four shots on net in the third period to try and turn the momentum didn’t help.