The Vegas Golden Knights took two leads on the Arizona Coyotes in regulation off of goals by Alex Tuch — a spectacular one at that — and Jonathan Marchessault. Nate Schmidt and Colin Miller got primary assists on those goals respectively, and Reilly Smith got the game-winner in overtime, with an assist from Marchessault following some tremendous effort.
The officiating in this game was suspect at times and nearly cost the Vegas Golden Knights a win. The embellishment penalty on Miller in the second period was likely the wrong call, and the Coyotes could have been called for tripping on more than one occasion. Derek Stepan’s power-play goal kept the Knights from a clean regulation win, one that would not have resulted if it were not for the dubious reffing.
This should have been a great game for Miller, as he played fantastic defense all night, especially during the first 40 minutes, apart from coughing up the puck in the Knights’ defensive zone, leading to the first of the Arizona goals. Miller has a habit of late of beating himself, either from trying to do too much or taking an ill-timed penalty. Once he plays reliably, he’ll be one of the best Vegas defensemen. After all, he does lead the blueliners with 14 points.
The fourth line had a great game as well. They drove possession throughout the contest, getting great chances time and time again. The line, which now includes Tomas Nosek, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Stefan Matteau, was responsible with the puck and was able to put it on net six times.
It seems like everyone on the Knights had a nose for the goal tonight, but the Golden Knights got unlucky, hitting a few posts. This seems to keep happening, and this team needs better puck luck.
Credit has to be given to Scott Wedgewood, the Coyotes’ goaltender, who held them in this game. Had it not been for him, this would have been a game where the Knights cruised to victory. Oh, and Malcolm Subban wasn’t half bad himself, making 31 saves on 33 shots (27-of-28 at even strength).
The game started in the first with a stretch pass from Miller down an empty highway in the middle of the ice. That pass found Tuch, streaking ahead of Luke Schenn, and the big rookie did this:
Tuch uses his long reach to ward off Schenn’s advances while simultaneously handling past the pad of Wedgewood. It’s a great goal. Hard to remember that Tuch is a rookie sometimes.
The Coyotes responded, however, with a goal from sophomore Jakob Chychrun, playing in his first game of the season.
Chychrun scores in his first game of the season. pic.twitter.com/yH7njF0NIw— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 4, 2017
Miller twists nimbly, trying to deflect the goal, but the Knights’ No. 6 is unable to stop the shot from the Coyotes’ same number. That’s a goal that the Knights should want back, especially with Miller’s errant pass serving as the culprit.
Before everybody gets too mad with the one colloquially called “Chiller,” remember that he also did this in the game:
Miller lays it all on the line and directly prevents a goal with the help of Brendan Leipsic. This was far from the only time Miller made a key defensive play.
In the third period, the Knights regained power quickly, with Marchessault charging up and letting free a rocket.
Yeah. It may behoove the Knights to get Marchessault his extension before any more plays like that are made. He’s becoming more expensive by the game at this point (speaking of points, he is tied for the team lead with 25 in just 23 games this season).
Still, the Coyotes were able to come back yet again, after Deryk Engelland’s stick accidentally hit Max Domi square in the face. One of the (few) calls the referees got right in this game, and it came back to bite the Knights.
This is one of those GIFs that make more sense the more you watch it. First, up top, Erik Haula drops (and breaks) his stick, and rushes back to get a new one, or to change out. That takes away one of the four Knights’ penalty killers, making it a 5-on-3.
Second, Schmidt slides to stop a chance from Clayton Keller. That’s a smart move, even if Keller has gone 11 games without scoring.
This then leaves just Luca Sbisa and Cody Eakin against the Coyotes. Domi and Stepan are both in front of the net, and Sbisa is the only guy between them. He can’t guard both, and as Domi’s pass connects with Stepan, the center is able to throw it into a net that Subban was too far out of. An unfortunate series of events.
Too bad for Arizona, then, that Marchessault exists. In overtime, the “Corsi God” did this.
Marchessault makes a perfect play and trusts Smith to put it away. Maybe it’s too late on the whole “pay him before he gets even better” front.
The Golden Knights next take on the Anaheim Ducks at home on Tuesday. Vegas will look to get firmly back on track with another win.