In what was one of their more exciting games of the season, the Vegas Golden Knights knocked off the red hot St. Louis Blues 4-3 in overtime Friday night to inch their way closer to being crowned Pacific Division Champions.
With this win, the Golden Knights need only one point to secure the division title.
In his first home start since New Year’s Eve, Malcolm Subban looked solid in net, stopping 21 of the Blues’ 24 shots on net. Subban now has 11 wins on the season in just 18 appearances.
Jonathan Marchessault had a whale of a performance Friday night, scoring two goals, including the game-winner, to lift Vegas past the surging Blues. It was William Karlsson, though, who got the scoring going for Vegas after a sloppy start to the contest. James Neal also found twine, marking his 25th goal of the season after being held scoreless in his last 12 games.
It was the Blues who got on the board first, though, when Patrik Berglund beat Subban with a one-timed shot from the slot. Not exactly the start Vegas was looking for.
Not long after Berglund’s goal, Vegas took two penalties back-to-back. It appeared things were quickly unraveling for the Golden Knights, but Karlsson had other ideas.
About halfway through Vegas’ second kill of the first period, Cody Eakin hit Karlsson with a picture-perfect tape-to-tape stretch pass and, well, you know the rest. Wild Bill notched his third shorty of the season to knot the game up at one apiece.
Vegas kept the momentum going and got on the board once again a little later on. This time, it was Marchessault finding twine from a tough angle to earn his 26th of the year.
Just a couple minutes later, though, Brayden Schenn scored his 26th of the year, tying the game back up with less than four minutes to play in the first third.
The score remained tied at two for the majority of the middle period, but Neal changed that with just 3:25 to play before the second intermission. Tomas Tatar got a quick game of tic-tac-toe started before Neal finished the play off with an unreal shot from point-blank.
I mean come on.
St. Louis kept hanging around, though, and just 6:14 into the final period, Chris freaking Thorburn, of all people, scored the game-tying goal. It was his first goal since Dec. 11... 2016.
Thanks to Thorburn’s unforeseen tally, this game went to overtime. But it only lasted 22 seconds before Marchessault buried the game-winner.
The Golden Knights now have 105 points on the season and get right back to work Saturday against the San Jose Sharks — the one team challenging them for the Pacific Division title. The Golden Knights can clinch the division as soon as Saturday night with a win (obviously) or an overtime/shootout loss against San Jose.
Vegas can also clinch the division with a San Jose loss of any kind in any of their remaining four contests.
Nothing’s over until the fat lady sings, but it certainly feels like the Golden Knights have this thing in the bag.