Sometimes, a video game can be an accidental source of realism.
Strike that: It can be a source of realism until you get 8-5 final scores like we got the other night.
Wednesday’s stream was not only the most entertaining we’ve done to this point, but the most realistic. The Vegas Golden Knights, on the second night of a back-to-back, lost 5-3 to the Arizona Coyotes at “Arizona Arena.” Why sports games obtain licenses for arena names is beyond me.
Whether the Golden Knights played at Gila River Arena or T-Mobile Arena did not dismiss the fact that the NHL 20 gods were not on Vegas’ side this night.
Taylor Hall scored twice, and Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves for Arizona, while Marc-Andre Fleury had 28 saves in the Golden Knights’ first loss in three video game sims.
This was a game that had it all. If you wanted a fight, a crazy save sequence, and horrible defense, this was the time for you.
Arizona jumped out to a 2-0 lead after Christian Dvorak scored in the opening minute-plus, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored 58 seconds into the second.
Vegas responded with two goals of its own in the second to tie the game; one from William Karlsson on the power play at 2:38, and Nick Holden on a slapshot at 6:00.
Yet not even such a miraculous comeback (and by video game metrics this was a miraculous comeback) could propel the Golden Knights away from such tomfoolery as bad defense and unlucky bounces. Arizona’s go-ahead goal from Brad Richardson at 10:33 was the exact result of that. Brayden McNabb’s outlet pass from the corner deflected off Jonathan Marchessault, the puck landed right at Vinnie Hinostroza, whose initial shot was saved by Fleury, only for Richardson to be all alone for the rebound.
Hall scored his first goal on the power play with 40 seconds left in the second off a 2-on-0 with Carl Soderberg. He scored an empty-net goal to end the night’s proceedings.
Nicolas Roy did make it 4-3 that was initially called back due to high stick, but an actual video review in this game overturned the call. Alas, the Golden Knights could not break through Kuemper for the tying tally.
If you’re keeping score at home, Karlsson has four goals in three sims. Chandler Stephenson did not have a shot on goal despite a hat trick in the last sim against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday.
If you missed the stream, you can watch it in full below. The plan is to stream again either Friday or Saturday for the home matchup against the Detroit Red Wings. The real Golden Knights may never beat Detroit at T-Mobile Arena ever in life, but maybe the virtual Knights can do such a thing.