Erik Haula led all Vegas Golden Knights players in points with three as the Knights topped the Anaheim Ducks 4-3 in overtime. Each member of the adjusted second line found the back of the net, including Haula, James Neal and Oscar Lindberg. The overtime heroes were Malcolm Subban and Alex Tuch, who scored the lone shootout goal — the first in Golden Knights history.
It wasn’t all positives, though, as the Golden Knights faced a monumental second-period meltdown, allowing three goals to the Ducks on eight shots. Subban was no small part of that, getting beat by Corey Perry on a breakaway. But Subban found redemption in the game’s final 35-plus minutes.
The main takeaway from this game is that the Golden Knights have to manage the puck better. Allowing Anaheim to take the puck away, as well as just being careless with the puck — with either passes or ill-advised shots — played a large part in what could have been a disaster for Vegas.
Altogether, the Knights had 14 missed shots (including two in overtime) and the Ducks blocked another 16. That means 28 shots were careless as opposed to 43 that were on target. The Knights also allowed the Ducks to take away the puck seven times and gave away the puck 12 times. That’s not puck control. Still, at the end of the day, Vegas got the win.
The scoring got started by the second-most unusual goal I’ve personally ever seen:
James Neal just scored the weirdest goal ever. pic.twitter.com/zhyoiR0WXv— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
The real deal, ladies and gentlemen. John Gibson reaching for the puck and only coming up with air is my everything. Chris Wagner also had a chance to stop the goal, and he also came up with nothing. It just slowly... falls into the net.
That same second line then came up with another just 16 seconds later.
Now Lindberg gets one! Two goals in 16 seconds. pic.twitter.com/MMZcVy095K— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
Lindberg’s sixth is decently weird, but not as much as Neal’s. Lindberg just gets it over Gibson with no anticlimactic plummeting.
That should have been it. The wind in the sails of the Ducks should have gone away, especially when Anaheim is as injured as they are and their bottom three defensemen consist of Francois Beauchemin, Kevin Bieksa and Jaycob Megna. But those three are the ones who would come to haunt the Knights.
Ducks cut the lead in half. pic.twitter.com/OHbNqoV5ZU— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
Deryk Engelland has to pick up the screen there. It wasn’t the only time that his being out of position hurt Vegas. However, the next one is on Shea Theodore and Subban.
Yikes. This was bad. Ducks up 3-2. pic.twitter.com/ghclNRquSH— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
If Theodore shows a bit more hustle, works a bit more on his skating, he catches an aging Perry pretty easily. But Perry’s still Perry, and he beats Subban. Luckily, Subban didn’t fall for the same move in the shootout. But to get there, the Knights had to do this first:
Fantastic work by James Neal on this shift. pic.twitter.com/ZbiQkgSVgf— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
All three forwards touch the puck as it ends up in the back of the net. Great effort all around, but especially by Neal. Makes up for his goal being pure puck luck by putting in 100 percent effort.
Subban also showed up with great effort, essentially winning the game for the Knights with saves like this:
MALCOLM pic.twitter.com/Ec5xT9bLKQ— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
And Tuch didn’t hurt matters either.
The amount of filth is unparalleled. pic.twitter.com/1t62EbuKZ4— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 6, 2017
Forehand to backhand then elevated. The essential shootout goal and Tuch has it mastered. The Golden Knights avoid ruin through sheer determination. Let’s just hope the Knights don’t ever look that bad during a second period again.
Still, sometimes all it takes is one moment, as the Haula third period evener proves. The Knights got their second straight overtime win and will look to extend their winning streak against the Nashville Predators. Marc-Andre Fleury might be cleared for that game, though it might be fun to watch Subban compete against his older brother.