After a pair of inauspicious performances against the Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes, the Vegas Golden Knights were back in action Saturday night looking to earn their third win of the young 2019-20 season. The Calgary Flames — fresh off a solid 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday — were in town, giving the Knights a legitimate test on the first half of their weekend back-to-back (they take on the Kings in Los Angeles on Sunday).
Even despite giving up an early lead and being forced to come back from behind, the Knights did pass their test against Calgary. It wasn’t a completely dominant effort, but who cares? Vegas gets the two points after a fun 6-2 victory.
The Golden Knights got on the board first with a greasy goal from Tomas Nosek. William Carrier raced down the right wing and crashed the net with Nosek trailing. When Carrier couldn’t get the puck past David Rittich, Nosek finished the job.
Their lead didn’t last too long, though. Not even a full minute after Nosek’s goal, Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson beat Fleury on a 2-on-1 rush to tie it.
But that wasn’t it for Calgary. Just 33 seconds after their first tally, Elias Lindholm redirected a perfect feed from Johnny Gaudreau to give Calgary the lead.
Not long after, Vegas woke up from their momentary hibernation. And, of course, it was Mark Stone who stepped up and got Vegas back on the board. After a shot that Rittich couldn’t handle, Stone recovered his own rebound and beat him to tie the game at two goals apiece.
From there, the Knights were firing on all cylinders. First it was William Carrier who kept the momentum going for Vegas after he roofed a behind-the-net feed from William Karlsson past Rittich to reclaim the lead.
Not long after, Paul Stastny capitalized on a Calgary turnover in the neutral zone and beat Rittich five-hole for his first goal of the 2019-20 season.
Just before the end of the middle period Marc-Andre Fleury put on a clinic while shorthanded. With a seemingly never-ending mad scramble in front of him, Fleury stepped up and made a number of massive stops to preserve Vegas’ two-goal lead going into the second intermission. The Golden Knights have struggled with allowing goals late or early in the period recently, and a goal for Calgary here could have been disastrous. Fleury stepped up, though. Massive effort from the 34-year-old.
The stops by Fleury late in the second seemed to invigorate Vegas when the third period began. Not long after killing off a penalty to Mark Stone, Ryan Reaves (!) scored his first of the season to give the Golden Knights the 5-2 lead.
Off the crotch and in. Beautiful.
Late in the third, Cody Glass, the greatest young man ever birthed, scored his second of the season. A bit fluky, but we’re not complaining.
That wound up being the last goal Vegas scored Saturday night, but they didn’t need anymore. Marc-Andre Fleury was perfect for the remainder of the contest and Vegas took home a badly-needed pair of points after a couple subpar performances last week.
The Golden Knights will be back in action Sunday in Los Angeles to take on the Kings at 7 p.m. PT.