The Vegas Golden Knights may have found themselves in the cold, snowy city of Chicago Tuesday night to face the Blackhawks, but oh boy did they keep themselves hot. The Knights have now won four in a row, all in impressive, dominant fashion. Although Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t get his third consecutive shutout, the boys piled the goals on Corey Crawford and Cam Ward, improving their record to 13-12-1 to put themselves above .500 again. They scored a franchise record eight goals in one game. The scoring came from all over the lineup tonight, with a goal from each line and even a defenseman!
Prior to tonight, the third line as a whole had been struggling mightily, and a special reinforcement was called in from the Chicago Wolves last week to help them out. That man was none other than Daniel Carr, the former Montreal Canadien who signed a one-year deal with Vegas this summer. Carr opened up the scoring early for the Knights, roofing a wrist shot past Corey Crawford on a beautiful pass from Tomas Nosek.
Nice feed by Nosek and an excellent shot to beat Crawford glove side. pic.twitter.com/I7kIoIMUgW— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 28, 2018
Shortly after Carr’s opening goal, Fleury’s two-game shutout streak looked to have come to an end at around the 130 minute mark when he simply lost the net behind him and let in an easy goal. The savvy Gerrard Gallant challenged that the play was offside, and it was indeed called back. Flower’s shutout streak lived on a little bit longer.
Up 1-0, Corey Crawford thought that it would be a good idea to give a puck right to Alex Tuch, one of Vegas’ best players, right in front of the net. Of course, Tuch made sure to make him pay. He ripped a laser beam past Crawford for his eighth goal and 18th point in 18 games.
Fleury then found himself faced with a three-on-one with Patrick Kane, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome streaking towards him. He decided to whip out a full splits a day before his 34th birthday and rob Strome of his first goal as a Blackhawk. Unreal save by Flower.
My groin hurts just watching this. pic.twitter.com/uvuxqvngca— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 28, 2018
Right after that, the second line continued its utter dominance when Cody Eakin potted his ninth goal of the year, putting him within two of his goal total from last year. The Golden Knights went into the first intermission up 3-0, and have now officially scored seven goals in the past two first periods. There aren’t many better ways to start games than by scoring lots of goals and not letting in any.
Sadly, a fact of life is that all good things must come to an end, and Fleury’s shutout streak did just that just 30 seconds into the second period when a wonky shot from the point banked off of William Karlsson and in. His streak officially lasted 150:54.
Rumor on the street shortly after that goal was that Karlsson felt bad about letting a deflection bounce off of him and into Fleury’s net. A few minutes later he decided to score a goal of his own on the power play to make up for it. What a nice guy!
Ryan Reaves with a nice screen in front. #PowerPlayWeapon pic.twitter.com/pfTu51I19D— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 28, 2018
Strome got another chance to score his first as a Blackhawk late in the second, and sadly Fleury can only make so many miraculous, leg splitting saves on him. He put the puck in the net to make it a 4-2 game. With Blackhawks fans still celebrating the goal and potential comeback, fourth line superstar Ryan Reaves won a faceoff back to Deryk Engelland whose shot was deflected in by Reaves himself for the Knights’ fifth goal of the game. With six seconds left in the period, Shea Theodore scored his third of the year, because why not? The Knights headed into the second intermission up 6-2.
Vegas decided they weren’t done putting up goals, as Theodore wired in his second goal of the game on a knuckle puck wrist shot top shelf to make it 7-2. Eakin immediately saw that Theodore scored his second goal of the game and decided he had to do the same. He added his tenth goal of the season shortly after by banking a shot in off of Duncan Keith’s body to put Vegas up 8-2.
This game was never close. With back-to-back high scoring blowout wins, it feels like ages ago that the Knights got pummeled by the Calgary Flames 7-2. This team looks completely different from the team that was on the ice for that performance. The Knights are on a tear right now and look nearly unstoppable. They’ll look to keep things going Thursday night in Vancouver.