After losing for the first time this preseason on Thursday, the Vegas Golden Knights rebounded Sunday night and take down a strong Anaheim Ducks team loaded from head to toe with playmakers by the score of 4-2.
Vegas, now sporting a 3-1-0 record this preseason, had some high and low points against Anaheim, but there are several things we learned from this matchup.
Marc-Andre Fleury hasn’t lost a step
Fleury may be 32 years old, but he certainly didn’t play like it Sunday night. He allowed two goals (one of which came on a ridiculous backhander from Ducks forward Scott Sabourin that any goalie would’ve had difficulties stopping), but stopped 26 other shots. He did, however, catch a couple lucky breaks, thanks to some help from the post and crossbar.
For those wondering if the Knights would be getting the 2016-17 version of Fleury who was permanently overtaken by Matt Murray in Pittsburgh, fret not. Fleury looks to have regained his All-Star form and is bound to be a reliable presence in net for Vegas.
Fleury reacts to wearing a new logo for the first time in his 13-year NHL career and securing a victory. pic.twitter.com/msO31jxAyD— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) September 25, 2017
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare could be ... good?
Bellemare was the most vanilla fourth-liner imaginable during his tenure with the Flyers. But he got on the board with a goal late in the third period with this breakaway beauty to put Vegas up three.
Le tout 1er but de Pierre-Edouard Bellemare avec les Vegas Golden Knights !! pic.twitter.com/ddmeXD4xrf— NHL France (@NHL_France_) September 25, 2017
Now, Bellemare’s selection in the expansion draft came with some flack from the Philadelphia contingent. Clearly, we were excited for the Paris Hotel’s new ambassador but were not sure what to do on his behalf. Our buddies at Broad Street Hockey helped out.
Wait 6 months until the next— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) September 25, 2017
Alas, Bellemare got his moment in the sun and should be on the opening night roster. This was a good moment.
Tomas Hyka is making this roster, isn’t he?
Another game, another goal for the young Hyka. As I wrote Sunday, today was a day for some of the young guys to make some noise as the roster continues to take shape. Hyka was one of the mentioned names, and he continues to be the K9-type unit near the net.
Did You Know?: Tomas Hyka set an all-time record for career goals in a Golden Knights jersey tonight (6).— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) September 25, 2017
His was also the game-winner. pic.twitter.com/dKUBvAPFpb
His name continues to show up in a good way on the box score, and we need to start having discussions of Hyka claiming one of those last few roster spots Gerard Gallant has talked about. The buzz on Tyler Wong has faded, and in its place has come Hyka as a formidable bottom six forward.
Hyka has turned some heads since the time in El Segundo. A couple more notable plays in these final three preseason games could lead to a well-deserved roster spot come Oct. 6.
The Golden Knights will play their very first game in the T-Mobile Arena Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m. (PT). The Knights and Kings’ last meeting came earlier this month in the form of a rookie scrimmage, resulting in a 4-0 win for Vegas. This time, it will be the two teams’ vets going at it.