After Sunday’s convincing 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames, the Vegas Golden Knights returned to action Tuesday night against a woeful Vancouver Canucks team that, before puck drop, had lost six straight.
That streak now extends to seven games, as the Golden Knights defeated Vancouver 4-1, giving Vegas 99 points on the season.
The Golden Knights came out hot in the first period, scoring three goals through 20 minutes. Jonathan Marchessault, Cody Eakin and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare all found twine in the first third, and the momentum continued into the middle period when Tomas Tatar scored his second goal as a Golden Knight.
While Vegas walked out of T-Mobile Arena with a win, it came at somewhat of a price. Following the first intermission, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was replaced in net by Malcolm Subban, who hadn’t played a game since Feb. 2. It’s unknown exactly what caused Fleury to leave the game, but for what it’s worth, he went into the intermission having stopped all seven of Vancouver’s first period shots.
Just four minutes into the contest, Marchessault one-timed a William Karlsson feed past Jacob Markstrom to open the scoring. That would be Marchessault’s first goal since the Golden Knights’ Feb. 23 contest against, ironically, the Canucks.
About a minute later, Eakin batted an airborne puck past Markstrom for his 10th goal of the year. Credit to Shea Theodore, who made a gorgeous move around a Vancouver defender to get the play going.
With time dying down in the first third, Bellemare gave Vegas the three-goal lead thanks to some fine forechecking from Ryan Reaves and Tomas Nosek.
Aside from Subban taking over for Fleury in net, not much changed for Vegas in the middle period. They continued to generate offense at a respectable rate and it would only be a matter of time before they ended up padding their lead. This time it was Tatar getting on the board, who now has 18 goals on the season.
All was more or less said and done going into the final period. The only question that remained unanswered was whether we’d be getting free donuts in the morning. Unfortunately, Brandon Sutter decided to ruin it for all of us, beating Subban with a close-range wrister around the period’s halfway point.
That would be the Canucks’ only goal of the night, though, as the Golden Knights earned their second straight victory after a rough start to the month.
Vegas finally seems to have returned to its elite form, but a potential injury to Fleury would be a major blow as the regular season winds down. It’s unclear exactly what the situation is with Fleury, but it has been confirmed that he is indeed dealing with some sort of ailment.
Marc Andre Fleury suffered some kind of injury. Gallant confims it wasn’t a “rest” and that the trainers told him Fleury couldn’t go.— Jesse Granger (@JesseGranger_) March 21, 2018
The Golden Knights return to action Thursday against the San Jose Sharks. Stay with us as we continue to monitor Fleury’s status.