Someone go give Malcolm Subban a hug.
For the second consecutive start, Subban had to play into overtime, only for the Vegas Golden Knights to fall flat in their most crucial time.
John Tavares scored 2:33 into overtime, capping off a two-point night for the Toronto Maple Leafs captain, in a 2-1 victory against the Golden Knights at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.
Tavares forced a turnover in the Vegas attacking zone from William Karlsson, setting up a 2-on-1 with Mitch Marner. Tavares sniped a one-timer just past Subban to give Toronto the victory.
GOAL. John Tavares wins it in overtime. Malcolm Subban deserves better. pic.twitter.com/B8UOT6IEcB— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) November 8, 2019
Subban made 35 saves in one of the best starts he’s had in his NHL career. The Golden Knights’ backup netminder was coming off a 35-save performance Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets; another start in which he should’ve won. Vegas led 3-1 before surrendering two goals in the third period, and ultimately losing 4-3 in overtime.
Subban shouldn’t be blamed for any loss put on his record to this point (0-1-2). With the game still scoreless, Subban had to make this fantastic save with his left pad on a Toronto power play. The definition of being in the zone; this is it.
MALCOLM SUBBAN IS THE GREATEST GOALIE TO EVER PLAY pic.twitter.com/ZiNEa71bDY— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) November 8, 2019
Unfortunately for the Golden Knights, the penalties came back to haunt them. The Maple Leafs’ power play went to work six times on this night. The sixth time was the charm, as Auston Matthews sniped one top shelf past Subban at 8:14 of the third period to tie it 1-1.
Max Pacioretty got Vegas on the board with the game’s first goal at 4:08 of the third. Pacioretty recovered the puck from an inadvertent pass from Toronto defenseman Cody Ceci and beat Andersen at the doorstep.
Outside of that, the Golden Knights could not get anything past Andersen, who had a stellar 37 saves for a much-needed win for the Maple Leafs.
Early in overtime, with Vegas at a 4-on-3, Andersen made a giant save off a one-timer from Karlsson.
Andersen makes a gigantic save on Karlsson. pic.twitter.com/r1mbobyDOO— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) November 8, 2019
Toronto entered this game 3-2-2 in its past seven games. Some of that stretch was due to Tavares not being in the lineup for those seven games with a broken finger. At full strength, the dangerous Maple Leafs presented a tough challenge for Vegas and Subban. Both, overall, played well. Vegas should feel good about getting a point.
But let’s be fair: The Golden Knights should’ve had two points on this night. In an attempt to build off Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Columbus, perhaps getting one point in a building you’ve now lost three times in (0-1-2) provides some solace.
The fact of the matter is the Golden Knights, while on a five-game point streak (2-0-3) have lost three of their past four. Those losses have come with Vegas foregoing a lead that led to overtime, and eventually the dagger. At least it wasn’t a two-goal lead tonight? That’s something.
This was a big opportunity for the Golden Knights to have a successful road trip under their belt with two games remaining. Four points on this trip would’ve been perfect. Another overtime loss will surely get that, but leaving points on the board continues to enact a repeating facepalm.
Oh, and the Golden Knights are now 3-4-3 against teams that don’t play in the Pacific Division, so there’s that.
Vegas will continue this road trip Saturday in D.C. to take on their best friends, the Capitals.