If not for Ducks goaltender John Gibson, this could have been a true blowout win for the Knights, who were in control almost the entire night.
It was certainly a breath of fresh air for the Knights, who were looking to bounce back following Friday’s brutal 6-1 loss to the Avalanche, and bounce back they sure did.
For a change, things didn’t get off to the best start, as the Knights gave up the first goal for the fourth game in a row.
It was a fluky play as Marc-Andre Fleury went for the poke check but missed. The Knights got caught watching the puck as Ryan Getzlaf gave the Ducks the early lead.
However, just 34 seconds later, Mark Stone technically tied things up on yet another fluky play with a little help from Ducks defenseman Cam Fowler, who actually put the puck into his own net.
CORRECTION: Cam Fowler actually knocked the puck in himself. Very, very funny stuff. Love to see it. pic.twitter.com/2kZrgya44Z— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 28, 2019
From there, Vegas simply took over, scoring two more goals in the first period, both of which were memorable.
The first was a Ryan Reaves tap-in off a beautiful individual effort by William Carrier.
GOAL. Absolutely insane effort from William Carrier to set up Ryan Reaves for the go-ahead goal. pic.twitter.com/eROoG6fZ1u— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 28, 2019
The second was one of the better highlights of the game as Nicolas Roy, making his Golden Knights debut, scored the first goal of his NHL career 15:29 into the opening frame to give Vegas a firm 3-1 lead. It was a gorgeous goal as he drove down the ice and split the defensemen before beating Gibson five-hole.
GOAL. Nicolas Roy scores the first goal of his career in his Golden Knights debut to make it 3-1. pic.twitter.com/nRiOQZixYI— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 28, 2019
Vegas got goals from five different players, including William Karlsson, who scored for the second straight game, and Paul Stastny, who made it 5-1 just over four minutes into the third period. Both goals came on the man advantage, which was significant since the Knights went a combined 0-for-9 in their previous two games.
Adam Henrique did get one past Fleury a few minutes after Stastny’s second of the year, but the Knights weren’t phased.
They continued to get quality chance after quality chance, but Gibson stood tall.
I almost feel bad for John Gibson. pic.twitter.com/fZyhK1wyxV— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 28, 2019
Parts of the second period and most of the third felt more like target practice than an NHL game.
What a pad save by John Gibson. pic.twitter.com/CQEB55lGTE— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 28, 2019
But Gibson continued to rob the Knights and was able to keep this a three-goal game until the final horn.
All in all, it was a spectacular team win for the Knights, who are now 7-1-1 all-time against the Ducks.
Vegas controlled play for almost the entire game, outshooting Anaheim 49-15 and winning the Corsi battle 77-32. In fact, Vegas finished the game with a Corsi For percentage of 70.64 and a high-danger CF% of 71.43 at 5-on-5.
Fleury made stops when he had to, but Anaheim’s chances were few and far between.
Ducks get their first quality chance in forever just before the period ends. pic.twitter.com/RD4Ed34NRY— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 28, 2019
Every Knights skater finished with a CF% of at least 50, including Nic Hague (82.35), who played well in his return to the lineup in place of Jake Bischoff.
The Knights came away with two points in a win that should be a real confidence booster moving forward; they next take on the Canadiens Thursday night.
Vegas is now 8-5-0 on the year.