Let’s get this out of the way now: The Vegas Golden Knights had no business winning this game. For two period, the Golden Knights looked like a team that was destined to find out what it felt like to lose to the Chicago Blackhawks.
That being said, holy cow, the Golden Knights did the thing again.
Shea Theodore scored at 1:19 in overtime, and the Golden Knights rallied from two goals down to defeat the Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime at United Center on Saturday.
GOAL. Shea Theodore wins it in overtime. What a goal. pic.twitter.com/aqhu2plIZr— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 13, 2019
The Golden Knights have now played the Blackhawks six times in two seasons. Vegas has won every single matchup. Pity point galore for Chicago for the first time in the showdowns here. And it didn’t appear to be that way at the start; Alex DeBrincat scored two goals, with his second coming at 7:22 of the second period to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.
That goal came at the cost of a double-minor hi-stick call on Jon Merrill. When you give Chicago that much time to work on the power play, bad things are likely to happen. For example, DeBrincat getting this much space from the left circle should not be a thing.
GOAL. DeBrincat scores his second of the night. Gorgeous feed from Kane. Knights trail 3-1. pic.twitter.com/enExom9Od0— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 13, 2019
But the Golden Knights were able to strike back near the end of the second period. Ryan Carpenter, known offensive savant, scored his fourth goal of the season with a wicked laser from the top of the left circle with 54 seconds remaining in the second period to make it a 3-2 game.
And by wicked laser, I mean, where in the world has this been?
GOAL. Ryan Carpenter snipes one past Delia. Hawks still lead 3-2. pic.twitter.com/1SwAeNIyGX— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 13, 2019
Before all of this hoopla, the Golden Knights got on the board because Alex Tuch did the point scoring thing again. His goal at 1:34 of the second period was not just his 15th of the season, but gave him a nine-game point streak (three goals, seven assists); the longest such streak in Golden Knights history.
The previous streaks were held by David Perron and Erik Haula.
GOAL. Alex Tuch extends his point streak to nine games and cuts the Chicago lead in half. Longest point streak in Knights history. pic.twitter.com/eK3WRvkV8I— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 13, 2019
Vegas had to overcome such shenanigans to win this game. Patrick Kane had a goal (15:20 of the first period) and the assist on DeBrincat’s second goal to give him 16 points in seven games. There was also the development of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare’s potential game-tying goal in the third period called back due to a swift kick of the puck.
But Paul Stastny did, in fact, tie the game at 15:56 of the third period for his sixth goal of the season. This came moments after Max Pacioretty hit iron from up close, and Stastny finished at a really tough angle.
GOAL. Paul Stastny ties it after Max Pacioretty hit iron. pic.twitter.com/GcxC8ngLUS— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 13, 2019
A couple of things here: The Golden Knights did not lose in overtime on the first shot. That was perhaps the more shocking development outside of Colin Delia somehow losing the puck off Theodore’s stick for the game-winning goal.
But alas, this will go down as Theodore’s second point in 11 games and he becomes the first Golden Knights defenseman to score a game-winning goal in overtime. More importantly, the Golden Knights move to 28-16-4 on the season with their eighth win in nine games. It was also Marc-Andre Fleury’s 430th win in the NHL; he’s seven from tying Jacques Plante for eighth all-time.
This was a much-needed win for the Golden Knights after Thursday’s letdown against San Jose. Yes, the fact Chicago still hadn’t defeated Vegas entering Saturday should not have given any thought of concern for Vegas to lose. But this would have been a trap game of such proportions, and it was for almost 40 minutes.
But the Golden Knights got a win they needed, Tuesday will be another such game; a Western Conference Final rematch against the Winnipeg Jets. Rest easy until then.
For now, I’m going to go be mad at the Dallas Cowboys for letting me down once again.