It has been more than four months since the National Hockey League paused the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but hockey is finally back.
As we settle into the second week of training camp, the Vegas Golden Knights appear healthy and focused as they gear up for the franchise’s third postseason run in three seasons.
Nothing about this year has been conventional, and the NHL’s Return to Play plan is anything but.
As one of the top four seeds by points percentage (.606) in the Western Conference, Vegas will compete in a round-robin tournament as part of the league’s 24-team playoff format. The Knights will play one game each against the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars to determine the final seeding at the top of the conference.
Meanwhile, the other eight returning Western Conference teams will compete in five-game qualifying-round series to determine the other four playoff teams. Those matchups are as follows:
Edmonton vs. Chicago
Nashville vs. Arizona
Vancouver vs. Minnesota
Calgary vs. Winnipeg
The winners of those series will fill out seeds 5-8. The losers will have a chance to get the No. 1 overall pick.
But in anticipation of what will be the first meaningful Golden Knights puck drop in 147 days, let’s take a look at how the Knights got to this point. The 71-game campaign featured dominant play, borderline-maddening inconsistency, a shocking organizational change, new faces playing key roles and plenty of electrifying hockey as part of a 39-24-8 run.
Here’s a look back at everything that’s happened in the 2019-20 season.
Season in review
The Golden Knights clinched their second Pacific Division title in three years thanks to a 3-2 overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers on March 9, giving Vegas 86 points and a points percentage of .606 prior to the pause. That helped the Knights secure a top-four finish in the conference; the win against Edmonton was the difference between participating in the round-robin tournament and having to face an elimination qualifying-round matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks.
When looking back at 2019-20, the regular season can be viewed as two halves: the Gallant era and the DeBoer era.
Arguably the biggest shock of the season was the Knights’ dismissal of head coach Gerard Gallant following the Jan. 14 loss in Buffalo, the team’s fourth straight defeat at the time. The move was particularly surprising given the level of success Gallant helped Vegas achieve in two-plus seasons, and also because the team had secured four consecutive wins just prior to the drought. Not to mention the fact that the Knights were sitting in playoff positioning at the time.
Adding to the drama was the fact that Gallant’s replacement was Peter DeBoer, the former coach of the rival San Jose Sharks. The same guy who was behind the other bench for the infamous Game 7 collapse. The same guy Gallant called a “clown” in the 2019 postseason.
Vegas managed a 4-3-2 record in DeBoer’s first nine games as bench boss. However, the Knights turned it around and eventually hit their stride, securing eight consecutive wins to close out the month of February. DeBoer finished the regular season with a 15-5-3 record before the NHL pause on March 12.
As for the team itself, the best offensive threats all year were Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone, who formed a formidable duo, regardless of whether they were skating with Paul Stastny, William Karlsson, Cody Glass or even Chandler Stephenson, who was one of several mid-season acquisitions that fit in perfectly with the Knights. In fact, despite coming to the Knights with three goals and four points, Stephenson finished the season with a career-high 11 goals, 15 assists and 26 points as well as a plus-24 rating and five game-winning goals. He also was one of 10,000 Golden Knights to score a goal in his Vegas debut (more on that later).
Pacioretty was on pace to set a career high in points, finishing the shortened season with a team-high 32 goals and 66 points in 71 games. Given the way he was producing down the stretch, it’s safe to assume he would have gotten the two points needed to set a new career high. Stone also had a stellar season, managing 21 goals and a team-leading and career-high 42 assists for a total of 63 points. Shea Theodore had his best offensive season by far, setting career highs across the board with 13 goals, 33 assists and 46 points, 16 of which came on the man advantage. Impressively, he racked up 34 points in the final 37 games of the regular season.
Jonathan Marchessault scored 22 goals, three fewer than his total output in 2018-19 in 16 fewer games, and Reilly Smith set a new career high in goals with 27. Karlsson (15-31—46) once again saw a decline in goals, but his points-per-game rate of 0.73 was higher than last season’s (0.63), and he was on pace to fall just shy of his 56-point output from 2018-19 despite missing eight games.
Alex Tuch had a difficult year with various injuries and cold streaks. He finished the season with eight goals and 17 points in 42 games, good for a points-per-game rate of .405, which was a far cry from his .703 rate from 2018-19.
Other players (not including rookies; see below) who set career highs despite the limited games include William Carrier (assists: 12, points: 19) and Nicolas Roy (goals: 5, assists: 5, points: 10). Players who may have exceeded previous seasons’ production had the season continued include Nate Schmidt (7-24—31) and especially Tomas Nosek (8-7—15), who fell two points shy of his previous career high in points.
Rookie Watch: 2019-20 Production
|Player||Age (current)||Games Played||TOI/GP||Goals||Assists||Points||CF%||HDCF%|
|Player||Age (current)||Games Played||TOI/GP||Goals||Assists||Points||CF%||HDCF%|
Marc-Andre Fleury had his worst statistical season as a Golden Knight, struggling at various points throughout the year and recording a 27-16-5 overall record with a 2.77 goals-against average and .905 save percentage. He certainly had many shining moments, and he finished tied for second in the league in shutouts (5). However, he gave up four-plus goals 18 times and managed a save percentage under .900 25 times, 24 of which were starts.
Trade-deadline acquisitions Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner and Nick Cousins had strong starts with the Knights. Martinez matched his production in Los Angeles (eight points in 41 games) in just 10 games with the Knights, recording six points in his first four games. Lehner went 3-0-0 in three starts with Vegas, posting a 1.67 goals-against average and .940 save percentage with one shutout, while Cousins chipped in a power-play goal and three points in seven games.
The Knights had one three-game losing streak, one four-game losing streak and one five-game losing streak; on the flip side, they had one three-game winning streak, two four-game winning streaks and one eight-game winning streak. They went 11-2-0 to finish the season.
The Knights went 3-2-0 in their final five games, securing back-to-back wins against the Flames and Oilers ahead of the pause. They were 15-6-2 against Pacific Division teams and 8-8-1 against Central Division teams, going a combined 3-4-0 against the Blues (2-1-0), Avalanche (0-2-0) and Stars (1-1-0).
NHL Entry Draft — June 21, 2019: The Golden Knights select Peyton Krebs with the No. 17 pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Vegas moves on to draft Kaedan Korczak, Pavel Dorofeyev, Layton Ahac, Ryder Donovan, Isaiah Saville, Marcus Kallionkieli and Mason Primeau in rounds 2-5.
Karlsson signing — June 24, 2019: The Golden Knights sign Karlsson to an eight-year extension with an AAV of $5.9 million. Karlsson gets the term he sought, while the Knights benefit from the team-friendly steal of a deal.
Haula trade — June 27, 2019: The Golden Knights trade forward Erik Haula to Carolina in exchange for forward Roy and a conditional fifth-round draft pick. Note: Haula is later traded to Florida at the trade deadline.
Miller trade — June 28, 2019: The Golden Knights trade defenseman Colin Miller to Buffalo in exchange for a 2021 second-round pick and a 2022 fifth-round pick as part of an ongoing effort to get under the salary cap.
Free agency — July 1, 2019: Vegas signs forwards Nosek and Brandon Pirri; Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Ryan Carpenter sign with the Avalanche and Blackhawks, respectively.
Subban extension — July 9, 2019: Vegas signs goalie Malcolm Subban to a one-year deal at $850,000, thus avoiding arbitration.
Engelland deal/Clarkson trade — July 23, 2019: Vegas signs Deryk Engelland to a one-year, $700,000 contract. The Golden Knights also move David Clarkson’s contract and a fourth-round draft pick to Toronto in exchange for goaltender Garret Sparks, officially getting the Knights under the salary cap.
Gusev trade — July 29, 2019: The Nikita Gusev saga comes to an end as the Golden Knights move the Russian forward to New Jersey in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick.
Schuldt contract — Sept. 5, 2019: The Golden Knights sign defenseman Jimmy Schuldt to a one-year, $850,000 contract.
2019-20 Regular Season
Vegas goes 8-5-1 to kick off Year 3.
Games #1-2 — Oct. 2-4, 2019: Vegas vs. San Jose (4-1 VGK), Vegas @ San Jose (5-1 VGK)
The highly-anticipated back-to-back games against the Sharks to open the season result in two solid wins for Vegas by a combined score of 9-2. The season opener sees Vegas come away with two points in a 4-1 victory against San Jose in the first meeting between these clubs since the infamous Game 7 debacle. Smith scores twice, and Glass finds twine in his NHL debut. Schmidt sustains an injury, which keeps him out of the lineup for several weeks.
GOAL. Cody Glass scores the first goal of his NHL career to make it 3-1 in favor of Vegas. pic.twitter.com/tpcCqqJIW9— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 3, 2019
In the second game, Nicolas Hague makes his NHL debut in place of the injured Schmidt, seeing 13:57 of ice time before receiving a misconduct in the third period. He is one of six players to receive a misconduct after a skirmish breaks out.
Four different Knights score in the game, including Carrier, Marchessault, Brayden McNabb and Nosek. Nosek nets two goals, one of which is Vegas’ second shorthanded goal of the night and third in two games.
Game #3 — Oct. 8, 2019: Vegas vs. Boston (4-3 BOS)
Vegas jumps out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with goals from Stone (PPG) and Smith, who scores against his former team. But the Bruins’ top line gets the next three, and Boston scores twice in the first 2:27 of the middle frame, which proves to be the difference in the Knights’ first loss of the season.
Game #4 — Oct. 10, 2019: Vegas @ Arizona (4-1 ARI)
Vegas gets a goal from Theodore with five seconds left in the first period to cut the deficit to one, but the Coyotes get two more in the second, handing Vegas its first loss in Arizona in franchise history. After a strong start, Subban sustains an injury and exits the game in the first period.
Game #5 — Oct. 12, 2019: Vegas vs. Calgary (6-2 VGK)
Vegas snaps its two-game losing streak with a strong 6-2 win against the Flames. Six different Knights score a goal in the victory. Hague records the first point of his NHL career with an assist on Glass’ third-period tally.
Game #6 — Oct. 13, 2019: Vegas @ Los Angeles (5-2 VGK)
The Knights go 3-for-3 on the power play in a strong win against Los Angeles. Fleury preserves Vegas’ 2-1 lead in the first period with two stellar pad saves.
Stastny takes advantage, padding that lead with two power-play goals in the second period; he finishes the game with four points.
The Kings pull within two early in the third, but Stone responds 17 seconds later with the final goal of the game.
Game #7 — Oct. 15, 2020: Vegas vs. Nashville (5-2 NSH)
Despite holding a 2-1 lead after one, Vegas loses for the third time in the short season. Nashville scores four unanswered goals, three of which come in the first 6:52 of the second period.
Zykov suspension— Oct. 17, 2019: Valentin Zykov is suspended for 20 games after violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. It is the second time in two years that a Knights player receives this 20-game suspension. This time, however, the Knights organization does not disagree with the validity of the suspension.
Game #8 — Oct. 17, 2019: Vegas vs. Ottawa (3-2 VGK, SO)
Stone faces his former team for the first time, picking up an assist in a thrilling 3-2 shootout win. Stone tallies the 200th assist of his career on Nick Holden’s power-play strike in the first period.
Once again, Marchessault brings the heroics against the Senators with a dramatic game-winning goal, this time in the shootout.
Jonathan Marchessault's shootout winner. What a game. pic.twitter.com/P610oBMGVZ— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) October 18, 2019
Vegas records a franchise-high 54 shots on goal. Former Knights prospect Erik Brannstrom, packaged in the Stone trade, returns to Vegas for the first time. He finishes the game with a plus-one rating and one shot in 14:57 of ice time.
Game #9 — Oct. 19, 2019: Vegas @ Pittsburgh (3-0 VGK)
It’s a tight 1-0 contest until the Knights score two empty-net goals in the final 75 seconds of play.
Bischoff makes his NHL debut, finishing the game with a plus-one rating, two shots, two hits and three blocks in 16:06 of ice time.
Game #10 — Oct. 21, 2019: Vegas @ Philadelphia (6-2 PHI)
The Flyers score the first five goals of the game in this lopsided defeat. Philadelphia scores twice in the span of 44 seconds and twice in the span of 55 seconds as part of a four-goal second period. Needless to say, it’s a rough night for goaltender Oscar Dansk, who gets his first NHL start in nearly two years.
Game #11 — Oct. 22, 2019: Vegas @ Chicago (2-1 VGK, SO)
Vegas steals a win against Lehner and the Blackhawks to preserve its undefeated record against Chicago. Vegas trails 1-0 for most of the game, but Fleury has an outstanding night to help the Knights stay in the fight.
With 93 seconds left in the game, elite goal-scorer Holden nets the equalizer to force extra time. The relatively soft goal is not a great look for Lehner, but it’s a beauty for Vegas.
The usual suspects come through in the shootout as Marchessault and Theodore beat Lehner to secure the extra point. Carpenter finishes the game, his first against Vegas since departing via free agency, with one shot, one hit, three blocks, two giveaways and two takeaways in 17:50 of ice time, including 4:08 in shorthanded time. His efforts contribute to Vegas going 0-for-5 on the man advantage, but the Knights still come away with two points. Thanks, Flower.
Game #12 — Oct. 25, 2019: Vegas vs. Colorado (6-1 COL)
Bellemare wastes no time against his former club, scoring just 28 seconds into the opening frame. Bellemare intercepts a centering feed from Stone, dekes around Engelland and beats Fleury glove-side.
Though Karlsson ties it up at 1-1 late in the first, the Avs respond just 43 seconds later and ultimately score five unanswered goals as they hand Vegas a lopsided 6-1 loss on Nevada Day.
Sparks makes his Vegas debut in relief of Fleury, giving up two goals on 14 shots in 27 minutes.
Game #13 — Oct. 27, 2019: Vegas vs. Anaheim (5-2 VGK)
Vegas bounces back after an ugly loss to Colorado with a dominant team effort against the Ducks, getting goals from five different players. Roy scores the first goal of his NHL career in his Golden Knights debut.
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
Game #14 — Oct. 31, 2019: Vegas vs. Montreal (5-4 MTL, OT)
Tuch scores in his season debut, and Schmidt returns to the lineup for his first full game of the season. Pacioretty records his first point against his former team, and Tomas Tatar scores a key power-play goal against his former team. However, the Knights blow a 4-2 lead in the third period and suffer a shocking 5-4 loss in overtime as Max Domi scores just 26 seconds into extra time.
Vegas struggles throughout the month, stringing together three- and five-game losing streaks and going 5-6-3 overall.
Game #15 — Nov. 2, 2019: Vegas vs. Winnipeg (4-3 WPG, OT)
Schmidt scores his first of the season in his second game back in the lineup.
Also in his second game back, Tuch is forced out of the game after taking this hit. He ends up missing another four games.
The Knights lose their second straight game in overtime after blowing yet another lead, this time a 3-1 lead halfway through the third period. Vegas gives up three unanswered goals, the last of which is the game-winner from Kyle Connor.
Game #16 — Nov. 5, 2019: Vegas @ Columbus (2-1 VGK)
Smith scores both of Vegas’ goals as the Knights bounce back and win their first game of the month.
It is Vegas’ first win in Columbus in franchise history.
Game #17 — Nov. 7, 2019: Vegas @ Toronto (2-1 TOR, OT)
Vegas extends its point streak to five games but suffers another overtime loss after holding a lead. It’s only a 1-0 lead, but it’s another frustrating defeat, especially for Subban, who has a fantastic 35-save effort.
MALCOLM SUBBAN IS THE GREATEST GOALIE TO EVER PLAY pic.twitter.com/ZiNEa71bDY— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) November 8, 2019
The Knights give Toronto six power plays and go 0-for-5 on the man advantage. John Tavares wins it in overtime.
Game #18 — Nov. 9, 2019: Vegas @ Washington (5-2 WSH)
The Knights find themselves trailing less than one minute into regulation and are down 2-0 less than six minutes into the tilt.
It’s a tough night for Fleury, who gives up a few soft goals, including the first of Nicklas Backstrom’s two third-period strikes.
The Knights struggle with discipline yet again, taking another six penalties (making it 12 in the last two games). The loss marks Vegas’ fifth in the last seven games.
Game #19 — Nov. 10, 2019: Vegas @ Detroit (3-2 DET)
The Knights’ road trip ends on quite a sour note as Vegas blows yet another third-period lead (the fourth since Oct. 31), dropping its sixth game in the last eight contests. The Knights enter the third period against one of the worst teams in the NHL with a 2-1 lead, which they squander nearly 11 minutes into the frame.
However, the true travesty comes in the final minute of regulation when this happens:
The Knights finish up the road trip with a 1-2-1 record and three straight losses.
Game #20 — Nov. 13, 2019: Vegas vs. Chicago (5-3 CHI)
The losing continues as the Knights fall to the Blackhawks for the first time in franchise history. Vegas jumps out to a 2-0 lead when Karlsson scores on the power play. But leads are never safe these days, and Chicago responds just 16 seconds later. It’s the first of five straight goals for the Blackhawks.
The game’s key momentum swing comes after a Tuch goal is ruled no goal as the puck hits the crossbar and post.
Chicago ties the game 18 seconds later, and the Hawks add another one 45 seconds after that. The rest is history. Though Schmidt pots his second goal of the season late in the third, it’s far too little and far too late.
Krebs signing — Nov. 16, 2019: The Golden Knights sign first-round draft pick Krebs to a three-year entry-level contract.
Game #21 — Nov. 16, 2019: Vegas @ Los Angeles (4-3 LAK)
The Knights lose their fifth straight game. It’s a less painful performance since the Knights fight back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits and tie it at 3-3 late in the second period.
However, the Kings net the only goal of the third to hand Vegas yet another loss.
Game #22 — Nov. 17, 2019: Vegas vs. Calgary (6-0 VGK)
After losing five straight games, the Knights enter a critical contest against the Flames. But instead of extending that losing streak, the Knights extend their home winning streak against Calgary with a 6-0 win, making Vegas 6-0-0 all-time against Calgary at T-Mobile Arena. Schmidt records four assists, and the new-look top line of Karlsson, Pacioretty and Smith thrives.
Ten different Knights record a point in the win, and Fleury records his first home shutout of the season with a 34-save effort.
Game #23 (“The Save”) — Nov. 19, 2019: Vegas vs. Toronto (4-2 VGK)
The Golden Knights win their second straight game after losing five in a row. Fleury makes the save of the year (literally), diving back across the crease to rob Nic Petan and preserve Vegas’ lead with a critical glove save.
Fleury records the 450th win of his career, becoming just the seventh netminder to reach the milestone in league history. The Vegas victory (a.k.a. the Toronto loss) results in the firing of Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock.
Game #24 — Nov. 21, 2019: Vegas vs. San Jose (2-1 SJS, OT)
Back to the overtime loss column we go. Timo Meier gets the Sharks on the board 1:26 into the middle frame, and McNabb scores on a pretty seeing-eye shot to even up the score. McNabb’s goal helps extend Vegas’ point streak to three games, but Logan Couture scores on his own rebound on a breakaway in overtime to lift the Sharks to victory.
Game #25 — Nov. 23, 2019: Vegas vs. Edmonton (4-2 EDM)
The Knights have gone 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and 3-5-3 so far this month.
Game #26 — Nov. 25, 2019: Vegas @ Dallas (4-2 DAL)
Dallas enters the game in the midst of a 10-0-1 stretch, and Vegas is unable to slow down the Stars’ momentum. The Knights go 0-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-3 on the penalty kill, with Alexander Radulov scoring twice on the man advantage for Dallas. Stastny records a season-high six shots on goal and scores one of Vegas’ two goals, notching a point in the 900th game of his career in the 4-2 loss.
Game #27 — Nov. 27, 2019: Vegas @ Nashville (4-3 VGK, OT)
Pacioretty stuns the Predators by tying the game with 0.3 seconds left in regulation, sending it to overtime. Stone sends a no-look behind-the-back feed to Pacioretty, who wrists it into the net just before time expires.
If you turned your TV off— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 28, 2019
TURN THAT BABY BACK ON! pic.twitter.com/rNYYGcoXvo
In overtime, Schmidt intercepts a pass in the defensive zone, setting up a 2-on-0 with Stastny at the other end. Stastny slams home the game-winning goal at 1:52 of extra time, snapping Vegas’ three-game losing streak with a dramatic 4-3 overtime win. Subban records his first win of the season.
THIS IS OUR KINDA PARTYYYYYY pic.twitter.com/xOlONRNmA1— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) November 28, 2019
Game #28 — Nov. 29, 2019: Vegas vs. Arizona (2-1 VGK, SO)
Subban has yet another impressive performance, making 35 saves in a tight contest against the Coyotes. Both goals come in the second period; Tuch scores his second of the season with a power-play strike before Arizona’s Jakob Chychrun knots it up later in the frame. Cody Eakin exits the game after taking this hit from Brad Richardson; he ends up being on the shelf for the next 17 games.
Marchessault and Tuch convert in the shootout to give Vegas its second consecutive win to close out a difficult month.
Vegas’ December dominance continues with a 9-4-2 stretch, giving the Knights an all-time record of 29-8-6 in December.
Stephenson trade — Dec. 2, 2019: The Golden Knights pluck speedster Stephenson out of Washington in exchange for a 2021 fifth-round pick.
Game #29 — Dec. 2, 2019: Vegas @ NY Rangers (4-1 VGK)
The Knights win their third straight game for the first time in the 2019-20 campaign. Tuch’s dominance at Madison Square Garden continues as he scores twice in the first four minutes of the game.
FLAMETHROWER, THY NAME IS ALEX TUCH. pic.twitter.com/FCXT1u80YH— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) December 3, 2019
Smith and Pacioretty add goals in the second to give Vegas a commanding 4-0 lead. Brendan Lemieux scores to make it 4-1, and while the Rangers are the more aggressive team in the final frame, Vegas holds on for a convincing win.
Game #30 — Dec. 3, 2019: Vegas @ New Jersey (4-3 VGK)
Vegas extends its winning streak to four games with a 4-3 win in New Jersey. Stephenson scores in his Golden Knights debut off a cross-ice feed from Tuch.
Marchessault records a natural hat trick in the third period.
Subban secures the win against his brother with 32 saves for his fourth consecutive win after starting the season 0-4-2.
Game #31 — Dec. 5, 2019: Vegas @ NY Islanders (3-2 NYI, OT)
Both teams trade goals in the second and third periods, with Marchessault evening it up at 2-2 with under five minutes left in regulation. However, he takes a costly tripping minor in overtime. It takes the Isles just 10 seconds to put this one away as all three Knights skaters get caught committing to a puck battle in the corner, leaving Ryan Pulock wide open with plenty of room.
Despite taking the penalty, Marchessault helps Vegas extend its point streak to five games with his fourth goal in the last two games.
Game #32 — Dec. 8, 2019: Vegas vs. NY Rangers (5-0 NYR)
Subban makes his seventh straight start with Fleury on leave following the passing of his father.
Despite playing a solid overall game, the Knights are unable to beat Alexandar Georgiev, who finishes the contest with a 38-save shutout. Giving up two goals in the span of 14 seconds in the first period certainly doesn’t help, either. The Knights don’t just lose the game, however; they lose another center to a high hit as Glass is helped off the ice after taking an elbow to the head. The incident comes just nine days after Eakin’s injury in Arizona.
Glass ends up missing the next eight games.
Vegas’ point streak comes to an end as a determined Rangers club makes up for its recent loss to Vegas.
Game #33 — Dec. 10, 2019: Vegas vs. Chicago (5-1 VGK)
Five different Knights score a goal in a bounce-back effort to prevent a three-game losing streak. Fleury stops 28 of 29 shots in his return to the starter’s crease after missing time following the death of his father. He comes within 27 seconds of a shutout before Chicago’s Dominik Kubalik converts on a power play at 19:33.
Zykov returns to the lineup for the first time since his suspension; he has a strong showing on a new-look third line with Stastny and Tuch. Engelland notches his first goal of the season.
Game #34 — Dec. 12, 2019: Vegas @ St. Louis (4-2 STL)
St. Louis gets on the board first, but it takes Pacioretty just 25 seconds to answer. Carrier puts the Knights ahead 2-1 after one, but a three-goal second period for St. Louis tips the game in the Blues’ favor. Oskar Sundqvist continues to wreak havoc on the Knights with another multi-point performance.
Game #35 — Dec. 13, 2019: Vegas @ Dallas (3-2 VGK, OT)
Vegas comes away with an exciting overtime victory in the second half of the back-to-back. A two-goal second period gives Vegas the edge heading into the third. While Jamie Benn knots it up with just over five minutes left in the third period, Pacioretty seals the win 51 seconds into overtime with his 13th goal of the season. Pacioretty makes a gorgeous move on Ben Bishop after Theodore sends a stretch pass up the ice.
Game #36 — Dec. 15, 2019: Vegas vs. Vancouver (6-3 VGK)
Pacioretty scores for the fourth straight game, snagging two goals in the third period to offset Vancouver’s comeback efforts as Vegas picks up its second straight win in its 100th franchise home game. Pacioretty finishes the game with four points, giving him eight points in his last five games; this leads to a First Star of the Week honor.
Marchessault scores the 100th goal of his career as he finishes a beautiful tic-tac-toe play.
Fleury moves into 14th place for all-time games played by a goalie (821); Zykov scores his first goal of the season.
Game #37 — Dec. 17, 2019: Vegas vs. Minnesota (3-2 VGK)
Vegas records its first franchise regulation win and first franchise home win against the Wild, improving the team’s recent record to 8-2-1. Stephenson ties his career high in goals (6), giving him five points in eight games with the Knights.
Pacioretty and Stone extend their point streaks to five games. Nosek breaks a 13-game goal drought with what ends up being the game-winner in the third period; Carrier sets a new career high in points (10) with an assist on the play.
Game #38 — Dec. 19, 2019: Vegas @ Vancouver (5-4 VAN, OT)
Vegas enters the game with an 8-0-1 all-time record against the Canucks. A two-goal second period helps Vegas battle back from a 3-1 deficit, but Vegas has to play catch-up once again in the third after Elias Pettersson makes it 4-3 at 9:19. Stone ties it to help Vegas get the point, but that’s all she wrote. Christopher Tanev gets behind the defense and converts on the high-danger chance, beating Fleury and leaving him with another sub-.900 performance (.853); the Knights are 2-9-2 when Fleury has a save percentage under .900 this season.
Korczak contract — Dec. 22, 2019: The Golden Knights sign second-round selection Korczak to a three-year entry-level contract.
Game #39 — Dec. 22, 2019: Vegas @ San Jose (3-1 VGK)
Subban improves to 6-1-1 in his last eight starts as he helps the Knights defeat the Sharks. Theodore breaks the 1-1 tie 8:05 into the third period with a vintage Shea shot, and Marchessault gets the insurance marker with under four minutes left in the game. Smith makes a few especially memorable plays against Erik Karlsson, including on the Marchessault goal.
Tuch notches the 100th point of his NHL career with an assist on Stastny’s goal in the second period. Karlsson assists on both third-period tallies, giving him a team-leading 22 assists on the season. Subban stops 19 shots in the third period en route to a season-high 37-save effort.
Game #40 — Dec. 23, 2019: Vegas vs. Colorado (7-3 COL)
It’s Belly’s time to shine once again as the former Knight scores two goals (for the first time in his NHL career) as part of a 7-3 thrashing by the Avalanche.
Bellemare now has five points in two games at T-Mobile Arena this season.
Vegas gives up multiple goals in all three periods as the Knights’ five-game point streak comes to an abrupt end.
Game #41 — Dec. 27: Vegas @ Anaheim (4-3 ANA)
A second-period collapse leads to Vegas’ second consecutive loss.
The Ducks score three goals in the span of just 1:37 in the middle frame. The game-tying goal comes at the tail end of a 5-on-3 power play as Adam Henrique one-times it from down low.
The Ducks get another power-play goal 1:23 later to take a 2-1 lead. The third goal, scored at even strength, comes just 14 seconds later.
Anaheim scores four unanswered goals before Vegas responds. With the Knights down 4-1, Schmidt scores twice in the final two minutes of the third to make things exciting, but it proves to be too little, too late.
Game #42 — Dec. 28, 2019: Vegas vs. Arizona (4-1 VGK)
In a twist, this time it’s a quick-strike second period that helps Vegas come away victorious in the second half of the back-to-back.
But the first period features some wild back-and-forth action with some glorious chances for both sides.
Stone makes a tremendous individual effort to open the scoring.
You might think you love Mark Stone goals more than Mark Stone, but you'd have to prove it pic.twitter.com/ChCdFfHFvs— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 29, 2019
Michael Grabner responds by finishing off a perfect passing play, but Pacioretty’s behind-the-back pass from behind the net leaves Stone wide open on the doorstep for his 15th of the season and second of the period.
Vegas takes an early 4-1 lead less than two minutes into the second period with goals from Stephenson, who scores 12 seconds in, and Stastny, who lights the lamp at 1:54.
Stone stays down on the ice for a scare in the third but later returns to the bench. Fleury stops 27 of 28 for a .964 save percentage; he is now tied with Curtis Joseph for sixth place on the all-time wins list (454).
Vegas goes 5-for-5 on the penalty kill and 2-for-3 on the power play; the Knights take sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Game #43 — Dec. 31, 2019: Vegas vs. Anaheim (5-2 VGK)
Vegas closes out 2019 with a strong 5-2 win against the Ducks. Despite giving up the first goal, the Knights have a dominant first period, outshooting Anaheim 22-5 and outscoring the Ducks 2-1 thanks to Stone, Tuch and Josh Manson, who helps Tuch break an 11-game goal drought by casually putting the puck into his own net.
Smith and Marchessault add to the lead in the second and third, with Marchessault netting his second career goal on a penalty shot.
you never know what you'll see at The Fortress pic.twitter.com/wC1Mtmrj9l— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 31, 2019
Vegas outshoots Anaheim 43-28. Fleury makes 26 saves and moves into sixth place on the all-time wins list (455).
Despite the fact that the Knights start out the month going 2-0-0 to extend their winning streak to four games, a four-game losing streak ensues, leading to the significant change. The Knights manage an overall record of 4-5-1 in the month.
Game #44 — Jan. 2, 2020: Vegas vs. Philadelphia (5-4 VGK)
In keeping with the theme of Golden Knights skaters scoring in their debuts, Jon Merrill does the same as he makes his debut as a forward. It is the rearguard’s first goal of the season, and it’s a beauty.
Vegas pots four goals in the opening frame and holds a 5-2 lead halfway through the second period, but two goals from Sean Couturier, who pulls the Flyers within one just 15 seconds into the third, ultimately bring this one down to the wire. Some crucial plays by McNabb on Philadelphia’s 6-on-3 at the end of the game help Vegas hold on to kick off 2020 with a 5-4 win.
ASG coaching announcement — Jan. 3, 2020: Gallant is named head coach of the Pacific Division for the 2020 All-Star Game. Coaches are selected based on teams’ point percentages at the halfway mark of the season. He later is replaced by Arizona’s Rick Tocchet (despite the fact that Vancouver was second in points percentage at the halfway mark).
AHL ASG announcement — Jan. 3, 2020: The AHL announces that Lucas Elvenes will represent the Chicago Wolves at the AHL All-Star Game. He leads the Wolves in points with 31 in 36 games at the time of the announcement; Elvenes later records four points (2-2—4) at the event.
Game #45 — Jan. 4, 2020: Vegas vs. St. Louis (5-4 VGK, OT)
In one of the most exciting games of the season, Vegas overcomes a three-goal deficit and defeats the Blues in overtime. It’s the first time Vegas overcomes a three-goal deficit to win, and it’s Vegas’ fourth consecutive victory.
The Knights give up three first-period goals but go on to score four unanswered ones, two of which come from the fourth line and the last of which comes off the stick of Smith almost halfway into the third period. Former Golden Knight David Perron knots it up at 4-4 with his third point of the night exactly three minutes later.
Just under three minutes into extra time, Stephenson pokes the puck away from Robert Thomas and uses his lightning speed to set up a clean breakaway; he capitalizes, ending the game with 1:59 left in overtime.
Patches added to ASG — Jan. 10, 2020: Pacioretty is named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his career. He has 45 points in 47 games at the time of the announcement.
Games #46-48 — Jan. 7-11, 2020: Vegas vs. Pittsburgh (4-3 PIT), Vegas vs. Los Angeles (5-2 LAK), Vegas vs. Columbus (3-0 CBJ)
The Knights lose three straight games on home ice, including a 4-3 loss to the Penguins in which Fleury surrenders four goals on 16 shots, a 5-2 loss to the Kings in which the Knights outshoot Los Angeles 36-5 in the second and third periods but are unable to overcome giving up four goals in the opening frame (including Martinez’s first of the season), and a 3-0 shutout loss to Columbus in which Vegas gives up one goal per period and fails to find the scoresheet for just the second time this season.
The Knights find themselves trailing by three goals in all three games, extending their streak of going down 3-0 to four straight games.
Game #49 (Gallant’s final game) — Jan. 14, 2020: Vegas @ Buffalo (4-2 BUF)
Despite getting Marchessault back in the lineup (after missing the last five games), the Golden Knights suffer the team’s fourth straight loss. Unlike the previous four games, Vegas does not go down by three goals. In fact, it’s a one-goal game until the final 25 seconds of regulation, at which point Buffalo seals the game with an empty-net goal. However, it proves to be a franchise-altering defeat as it leads, at least in part, to the firing of Gallant.
Coaching change — Jan. 15, 2020: The Golden Knights shock the hockey world with the announcement that Gallant and assistant coach Mike Kelly have been relieved of their duties. Gallant leaves Vegas with a 118-75-20 record and two playoff appearances, including a Stanley Cup Final appearance in the franchise’s record-setting inaugural season. Despite being in the midst of a four-game losing streak, Vegas is tied for the second wildcard in the Western Conference and three points out of first place in the Pacific Division at the time of the change. DeBoer is named as Gallant’s replacement, effective immediately.
Game #50 (DeBoer’s debut, Stone’s return to OTT) — Jan. 16, 2020: Vegas @ Ottawa (4-2 VGK)
In arguably the most intriguing game of the season, Stone makes his return to Ottawa while DeBoer makes his Vegas debut. Karlsson is ruled out before the game and misses his first game as a Golden Knight, snapping a 234-game streak going back to his days in Columbus.
For a change, Vegas takes a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Stastny, Stone and Stephenson (shorthanded).
Stone records two points in the victory, and Fleury has his best game so far in 2020, finishing the night with a .943 save percentage, his first game above .900 in January. Vegas ends a four-game losing skid as DeBoer wins his first game with Vegas.
Game #51 — Jan. 18, 2020: Vegas @ Montreal (5-4 MTL, SO)
The curse of the three-goal deficit returns in DeBoer’s second game behind the Vegas bench. The Knights find themselves trailing 3-0 after 20 minutes (with Cousins scoring his sixth of the season) but make up some ground with the only two goals of the second period. Montreal regains a two-goal lead when Cousins scores again for the Habs.
With under two minutes in regulation, the Knights fight back, first with a goal from Pacioretty, his first against his former team.
Then Smith ties it up with the goalie pulled as he deflects a shot from Stastny with just eight seconds left on the clock.
But former Knight Tatar earns the win in the fourth round of the shootout, handing DeBoer his first loss as Vegas’ bench boss.
Game #52 — Jan. 21, 2020: Vegas @ Boston (3-2 BOS)
Nicolas Hague scored his first NHL goal and became the second-youngest player to do so for the @GoldenKnights. Only Cody Glass (20 years, 184 days) accomplished the feat at a younger age. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/ZfB0PcRgC9— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 22, 2020
Vegas’ struggles against the Bruins continue as the Knights are unable to hold a 2-1 lead in the third period. Boston scores twice in the final frame to take this one.
Flowery honor — Jan. 25, 2020: Fleury is named to the NHL’s All-Decade First Team with a league-leading 322 wins in that span.
Game #53 — Jan. 31, 2020: Vegas @ Carolina (4-3 VGK)
Following the bye week, the Knights run into some trouble in the third period when they blow a 3-1 lead. However, Tuch scores for the first time in a month, lifting Vegas to victory six seconds into a late power play.
With Fleury serving a one-game suspension for not participating in the All-Star Game, Subban makes 22 saves in his first start since Jan. 9. It’s his first win since Dec. 22.
Vegas bounces back with a 10-2-1 record, which features an eight-game winning streak to close out the month.
Game #54 — Feb. 1, 2020: Vegas @ Nashville (3-0 VGK)
Once again, Stephenson finds himself all alone as there are few players that can match his breakout speed. He beats Pekka Rinne on a breakaway to give Vegas a 1-0 lead 5:14 into the second period, scoring what turns out to be the game-winning goal, his 10th of the season.
u ever see Chandler Bing do this??? pic.twitter.com/tSZHLVK7A3— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 2, 2020
Zach Whitecloud makes his season debut as Vegas allows just eight combined shots in the first 40 minutes and 19 total on the night in an impressive win.
Game #55 — Feb. 4, 2020: Vegas @ Tampa Bay (4-2 TBL)
The Golden Knights outshoot Tampa Bay 29-18, win the Corsi battle 43-29 and keep the Lightning’s power play at bay in a strong overall effort. However, Vegas’ inability to execute forces the Knights to come up short in a disappointing 4-2 loss, a wasted opportunity to gain ground in the division.
Game #56 — Feb. 6, 2020: Vegas @ Florida (7-2 VGK)
The line of Stone, Pacioretty and Stephenson has a night to remember. Stone ties a franchise record with a five-point game. He and Pacioretty each score two goals and combine for eight points on the night.
Go off, Mark Stone.— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 7, 2020
Fleury passes Henrik Lundqvist and moves into fifth place on the all-time wins list (460).
Game #57 — Feb. 8, 2020: Vegas vs. Carolina (6-5 CAR, SO)
In Vegas’ first home game in nearly a month and DeBoer’s home debut, the Knights blow several multi-goal leads and ultimately lose in a shootout. Vegas takes a 3-1 lead into the third period and leads 4-2 at 2:17 of the final frame after Stephenson scores yet another shorthanded goal to reestablish the Knights’ two-goal separation, scoring just 58 seconds after Sebastian Aho brings Carolina within one.
超级精彩的进球！！— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 9, 2020
now THAT's a beautiful goal pic.twitter.com/BCoeAdKcTe
However, Vegas surrenders the next three goals for a total of four goals against in the period, one of which comes from a familiar face.
Two of those three goals are power-play tallies, including the one that gives Carolina its first lead of the game. However, Eakin ties it with under four minutes left in regulation, scoring on a wraparound goal. It ends up being the final goal Eakin scores as a member of the Golden Knights.
hard work + determination = GOOOOOOOL pic.twitter.com/FTNPNndfAu— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 9, 2020
Vegas fails to convert in the shootout, losing the game 6-5.
Game #58 — Feb. 11, 2020: Vegas @ Minnesota (4-0 MIN)
Despite getting Karlsson back in the lineup, the Knights put forth another mystifying effort in Minnesota in the team’s final loss of the month. Vegas finishes 0-for-4 on the power play and 2-for-5 on the penalty kill as the Wild score two goals on the man advantage in the first period and make it 4-0 with the team’s third power-play goal of the game at 15:47 of the second. Fleury gives up four goals on 20 shots before getting pulled.
(Spoiler: Things get better after this game).
Game #59 — Feb. 13, 2020: Vegas vs. St. Louis (6-5 VGK, OT)
In yet another electric game against St. Louis, the Knights come out on top with an overtime victory thanks to a power-play goal by Marchessault.
Zach Sanford and Pacioretty score twice apiece to get things going before the Blues pull ahead with a goal from MacKenzie MacEachern to close out the first period. Sanford nets his third of the game in the second, though Marchessault scores his first goal of the night with 1:01 left in the frame to pull the Knights within one heading into the third period. Sanford scores again (his fourth of the game), but Schmidt and Tuch sandwich his goal and force overtime, where Marchessault finishes things off with his second power-play goal of the night.
Pacioretty records three points for the second time in four games, Stone manages four helpers and Vegas’ four power-play strikes help overcome the Blues’ emotional effort in their first game following Jay Bouwmeester’s collapse. It’s Vegas’ first win at T-Mobile Arena in 40 days and the first of eight straight wins for the Knights.
Tuch sustains an injury in the third period; he ends up missing the rest of the regular season.
Game #60 — Feb. 15, 2020: Vegas vs. NY Islanders (1-0 VGK)
The golden pads make their return as Fleury records a 19-save shutout. The Islanders go almost an entire period without a shot in a dominant Knights win. Smith scores the only goal of the game because of a stellar performance by Isles goalie Semyon Varlamov.
Blasted that puck to Smithereens! pic.twitter.com/mdDBuzpLUb— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 16, 2020
Game #61 — Feb. 17, 2020: Vegas vs. Washington (3-2 VGK)
Vegas makes life difficult for the Capitals early on, taking a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the game with a goal from Holden. The turning point in the game comes when T.J. Oshie misses a wide-open net at one end shortly before Smith gives Vegas a 2-0 lead at the other.
But Oshie makes up for it by scoring two goals in less than two minutes in the middle of the third period, making this a brand new ballgame. The second goal comes on the power play with Oshie scoring on a one-timer from the slot.
Washington makes the Knights sweat it out down the stretch with some very close calls. A puck slides through the crease, and Fleury even looks behind him on the final shot of the game. But Vegas hangs on for the team’s third straight win.
Martinez trade — Feb. 19, 2020: Vegas acquires defenseman Martinez from Los Angeles in exchange for two second-round picks.
Game #62 — Feb. 20, 2020: Vegas vs. Tampa Bay (5-3 VGK)
The Lightning enter the game on an 11-game winning streak, having not surrendered four-plus goals in 2020. However, Vegas puts a stop to all of that with a statement win against the league’s hottest club.
Martinez scores in his Vegas debut and finishes the night with two points, a plus-three rating, one shot, one hit, four blocks and one takeaway in 20:10 of ice time.
The Knights’ quick-strike offense in the third period is the difference in this one. Ryan Reaves scores 10 seconds into the frame, and Pacioretty follows suit 37 seconds later, giving Vegas a commanding 5-2 lead in the blink of an eye. The Knights improve to 4-0-0 on their homestand and take sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Eakin trade — Feb. 21, 2020: Vegas trades Eakin to Winnipeg for a conditional 2021 fourth-round pick. This later becomes a third-round pick when it is announced that all teams competing in the return-to-play qualifying round are considered to have made the playoffs.
Game #63 — Feb. 22, 2020: Vegas vs. Florida (5-3 VGK)
Vegas wins a season-high fifth straight game as Smith scores twice in the third period against his former team, tying his career high in goals (25). Fleury comes up huge with an 18-save third-period effort to help the Knights hold on.
Gage Quinney becomes the first Nevada-born player to skate in an NHL game; he draws two penalties and finishes the game with one shot in 9:09 of ice time.
Vegas goes 5-0-0 on its five-game homestand.
Game #64 — Feb. 23, 2020: Vegas @ Anaheim (6-5 VGK, OT)
Karlsson breaks a 21-game goalless drought in dramatic fashion as he scores a hat trick in a wild game against the Ducks.
His third goal of the game gives Vegas a 5-3 lead at 11:05 of the third period, but Vegas surrenders two goals in the final three minutes of regulation, both with the goalie pulled. The Knights are able to recover as Theodore nets the game-winner in overtime, giving Vegas its sixth straight victory.
Stone records four assists for the second time in six games.
Notably, Patrick Brown follows the trend and scores in his Golden Knights debut. Quinney records his first career NHL point with an assist on the play.
Feb. 24, 2020: The Golden Knights complete the second three-team trade in franchise history to acquire goaltender Lehner from Chicago, ultimately dealing Subban, Stanislav Demin, a 2020 2nd-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick and receiving forward prospect Martins Dzierkals in the process. Toronto retains part of Lehner’s contract ($1.1 million) in the transaction.
Feb. 24, 2020: Vegas re-signs Holden to a two-year deal with an AAV of $1.7 million.
Game #65 — Feb. 26, 2020: Vegas vs. Edmonton (3-0 VGK)
Just two days after the Knights acquire Lehner, Fleury has a statement performance with his league-leading fifth shutout of the season, blanking the Oilers to give Vegas its seventh straight win and sixth straight on home ice.
Fleury is particularly clutch in the first period as he keeps a swarming Oilers team at bay. Pacioretty rewards him by netting his 30th goal of the season; it is the sixth time he has done so in his career.
Vegas answers in the second with a completely dominant frame, one of the team’s strongest of the season. Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen is up to the challenge, however, stopping all 16 shots faced. But Cousins drinks the Kool-Aid and scores in his Golden Knights debut. He beats Koskinen on a backhand as he pounces on a rebound in front of the net, converting on the power play for his 10th of the year.
First as a GOALden Knight!!!! pic.twitter.com/rEbjpQbJBK— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 27, 2020
Theodore scores to give Vegas a 3-0 lead midway through the third. Martinez notches two assists in the win, giving him six points in four games as a Golden Knight.
Stone sustains an injury in the second period; as a result, he misses the rest of the regular season.
Carrier extension — Feb. 27, 2020: The Golden Knights sign Carrier to a four-year extension with an AAV of $1.4 million.
Game #66 — Feb. 28, 2020: Vegas vs. Buffalo (4-2 VGK)
Lehner makes his Golden Knights debut against his former team, helping Vegas record its eighth straight victory, which ties a franchise record. He gives up a goal on the first shot of the game and in the final 12 seconds of regulation but has a strong overall performance, stopping 32 of 34 shots on the night to help Vegas extend its division lead to six points.
Smith scores twice, setting a career high in goals with his first of the game 5:25 into the third period; on the same play, Whitecloud records the first point of his NHL career.
chicken caesar wrap-around pic.twitter.com/h6DELz6Wjc— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 29, 2020
The Knights finish the month on an eight-game winning streak with seven straight wins on home ice.
Vegas’ streak comes to an end as the Knights go 3-2-0 in the first nine days of the month leading up to the pause. The Knights finish up the season with back-to-back wins against division opponents, the last of which proves to be crucial for the return-to-play format.
Game #67 — March 1, 2020: Vegas vs. Los Angeles (4-1 LAK)
The Knights’ eight-game winning streak is snapped at the hands of Kings netminder Cal Petersen, who makes 42 saves in a 4-1 loss for Vegas.
Anze Kopitar proves to be a familiar foe as he gives Los Angeles a 2-0 lead less than eight minutes into the opening frame. Though a power-play goal by Theodore makes it a 3-1 game in the second period, Petersen shuts the door for the rest of the game, stopping 36 of 37 shots in the final 40 minutes to play spoiler as the Knights fail to set a franchise record in consecutive wins.
Game #68 — March 3, 2020: Vegas vs. New Jersey (3-0 VGK)
The Knights bounce back thanks to a 27-save effort by Lehner, who moves to 2-0-0 as a member of the Golden Knights. It is Lehner’s first shutout of the season and the 15th of his career.
Karlsson records the 100th goal of his career to give Vegas a 2-0 lead early in the third.
Vegas wins its ninth game in the last 10 games.
Game #69 — March 6, 2020: Vegas @ Winnipeg (4-0 WPG)
In the final loss of the regular season, the Knights leave Fleury out to dry as he gives up four goals for the second game in a row. He’s hardly to blame, however, as the Knights seem to forget how to play hockey at various points throughout the game. That includes the very beginning of the game when Nikolaj Ehlers scores on a wraparound that goes into the net off Reaves’ stick. Patrik Laine is alone in front with a wide-open net for good measure, but Reaves gets the assist to help Ehlers give the Jets a 1-0 lead just 32 seconds into the game.
Eakin gets the secondary helper on the goal in his first game against Vegas since getting dealt ahead of the deadline.
Winnipeg goes on to score two more goals in the first, putting Vegas in the dreaded three-goal hole. A second-period power-play goal gives the Jets a 4-0 lead as they put this one away.
Glass announcement — March 7, 2020: The Knights announce that Glass has undergone surgery and will be out for the rest of the season.
Game #70 — March 8, 2020: Vegas @ Calgary (5-3 VGK)
Despite blowing a 3-0 lead, Vegas responds to its lackluster 4-0 loss to Winnipeg with a crucial two points.
Pacioretty scores his 32nd goal of the year less than four minutes into the second period to give Vegas a three-goal lead, but that’s a lead the Knights proceed to blow entirely. Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk ties it up at 3-3 with just three minutes remaining in the third period.
Tkachuk might never see a more wide-open net. pic.twitter.com/X76yUTtCQT— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) March 9, 2020
The Knights make good use of that time, however, with Theodore scoring the go-ahead goal less than two minutes later.
Marchessault snaps a 10-game goal drought with the empty-netter to seal the win with 18 seconds left. Lehner moves to 3-0-0 with the Knights.
Game #71 (Regular season finale) — March 9, 2020: Vegas @ Edmonton (3-2 VGK, OT)
McDavid is a late scratch, which pays dividends for Vegas. Both teams trade goals, with Marchessault knotting things up at 2-2 just under 12 minutes into the third period. It’s Marchessault’s second goal in as many nights after going 10 games without lighting the lamp.
Theodore scores the game-winner for the second game in a row, lifting the Knights to a 3-2 overtime victory.
YEAH HE'S A BEAST— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 10, 2020
NOW HE'S UNLEASHED pic.twitter.com/ZDyO8JiFCI
The Knights outshoot Edmonton 48-24 to take a three-point lead in the Pacific Division standings.
The win ultimately proves to be the difference between competing in the round-robin tournament and having to face elimination in a best-of-five qualifying-round matchup.
The Knights finish up the regular season with back-to-back wins.
Season paused — March 12, 2020: The NHL suspends the 2019-20 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitecloud extension — March 22, 2020: Vegas signs Whitecloud to a two-year extension with an AAV of $725,000.
McLaughlin signing — March 24, 2020: The Golden Knights sign defenseman Jake McLaughlin to a one-year AHL contract; he’s the first player signed to join the AHL Henderson team.
Roy extension — April 22, 2020: Vegas signs Roy to a two-year extension with an AAV of $750,000.
Dugan agreement— May 11, 2020: Vegas agrees in principle to sign Knights prospect Jack Dugan to a two-year entry-level contract.
AHL arena — May 19, 2020: The Henderson City Council approves construction for Vegas’ AHL affiliate arena, the Henderson Events Center.
Return-to-play announcement — May. 26, 2020: The NHL announces its Return to Play plan with a 24-team playoff format.
Henderson revealed — May 28, 2020: Knights owner Bill Foley announces that Vegas’ new AHL affiliate will be named the Henderson Silver Knights.
Masterton nominee — June 9, 2020: Theodore is named as Vegas’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy following his battle with testicular cancer.
Dansk signing — June 11, 2020: Vegas signs Dansk to a one-year contract extension worth $700,000.
Reaves extension — June 15, 2020: The Golden Knights sign Reaves to a two-year extension with an AAV of $1.75 million.
2020 World Juniors camp rosters — June 25, 2020: Krebs, Korczak and Kallionkieli are named to the World Juniors development camp rosters for Canada and Finland.
NHL draft lottery, phase one — June 26, 2020: The lottery determines that the No. 1 overall pick will go to one of the teams that loses in the qualifying round. Los Angeles receives the second overall pick, while Ottawa will draft third and fifth overall. Detroit drops three spots to the No. 4 pick despite being the worst team in the league.
Phase 2 — June 8, 2020: Players participate in optional small team workouts at team facilities.
RTP/CBA — July 10, 2020: The NHL and the NHL Players’ Association ratify the Return to Play plan and extend the collective bargaining agreement through at least 2025-26.
Phase 3 — July 13, 2020: Training camp opens.
Captaincy — July 15, 2020: DeBoer announces that the Knights will name the organization’s first captain before the start of next season.
Thompson departure — July 16, 2020: Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon reveals that Chicago Wolves coach Rocky Thompson is leaving the organization, thus necessitating a search to hire the first Henderson head coach in franchise history.
Exhibition — July 30, 2020: The Golden Knights face the Arizona Coyotes in an exhibition game.
Phase 4 — Aug. 1, 2020: The NHL season resumes with round-robin tournament games and qualifying-round matchups.
Let the games begin (Round robin: Game 1) — Aug. 3, 2020: The Golden Knights play their first real game since March 9 as they kick off the round robin with a game against the Stars.
Round robin: Game 2 — Aug. 6, 2020: The Golden Knights face the Blues in the second game of the round robin.
Round robin: Game 3 — Aug. 8, 2020: Vegas concludes the round-robin tournament with a matchup against Colorado.
NHL Draft lottery, phase two — Aug. 10, 2020: One of the eight teams that loses in the qualifying round will win the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
Playoff hockey — Aug. 11, 2020: The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin.
2019-20: Golden Knights by the numbers
Overall record: 39-24-8
Western Conference record: 23-14-3
Pacific Division record: 15-6-2
Central Division record: 8-8-1
Record in Edmonton: 1-0-0 (2-3-0 all-time)
Goals for per game (NHL rank): 3.15 (13)
Goals against per game (NHL rank): 2.84 (11)
Power play (NHL rank): 22 percent (9)
Penalty kill (NHL rank): 76.6 percent (27)
Points: Pacioretty (66), Stone (63), Smith (54), Marchessault (47), Karlsson/Theodore (46)
Goals: Pacioretty (32), Smith (27), Marchessault (22), Stone (21), Stastny (17), Karlsson (15)
Assists: Stone (42), Pacioretty (34), Theodore (33), Karlsson (31), Smith (27), Marchessault (25)
CF%*: Roy (60.15), Pacioretty (58.98), Theodore (58.5), Stone (57.74), Stephenson (57.47)
CF/60: Stone (69.97), Pacioretty (69.95), Theodore (67.22), Karlsson (64.97), Hague (64.86)
xGF/60*: Stone (3.25), Pacioretty (3.17), Theodore (3.06), Stephenson (2.92), Karlsson (2.88)
P/60*: Stone (2.51), Smith (2.38), Pacioretty (2.33), Karlsson (2.12), Stephenson (1.89)
*Minimum 20 games played
Trade deadline recap
In case you missed it, here are some other key moves made by Western Conference teams leading up to and at the 2020 trade deadline:
- Minnesota trades forward Jason Zucker to Pittsburgh in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk, a prospect and a first-round pick
- Vancouver acquires forward Tyler Toffoli from Los Angeles and goalie Louis Domingue from New Jersey
- Winnipeg acquires defenseman Dylan DeMelo from Ottawa
- St. Louis acquires defenseman Marco Scandella from Montreal
- Edmonton acquires forward Andreas Athanasiou and defenseman Mike Green from Detroit as well as forward Tyler Ennis from Ottawa, losing Sam Gagner and Kyle Brodziak in the deals. Note: Green later opts out of the return to play
- Colorado acquires forward Vladislav Namestnikov from Ottawa and goalie Michael Hutchinson from Toronto
- Calgary lands defenseman Erik Gustafsson from Chicago and defenseman Derek Forbort from Los Angeles
- Nashville swaps defensemen with Anaheim, shipping out Matt Irwin in a package for Korbinian Holzer