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Golden Knights blow three-goal lead but recover in 5-4 shootout win against Ducks

The Knights gave up three goals in 5:11 after leading 4-1.

Anaheim Ducks v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights had quite an up-and-down performance but came away with two points in a 5-4 shootout win against the Anaheim Ducks Friday night at T-Mobile Arena.

Vegas was coming off an emotional back-to-back road set against Colorado and Dallas, and it looked like it was going to be another successful outing when the Knights held a three-goal lead just under six minutes into the third period.

However, Anaheim scored three unanswered goals in the span of five minutes and 11 seconds to even things up and force overtime.

Robin Lehner made four saves in overtime, and Nicolas Roy and Evgenii Dadonov scored in the shootout.

It marked the third straight win for Vegas, bringing the club back to .500 (4-4-0) after starting the season 1-4-0.

It was evident that the momentum from Wednesday’s overtime feat against the Stars had carried over, as Vegas had one its best starts of the season with an absolutely dominant first period.

Reilly Smith opened the scoring just 3:30 into the game, scoring on his own rebound on a breakaway after collecting a feed from William Karlsson.

It was Smith’s second of the year.

The Knights smothered the Ducks for most of the period; if not for the play of Anaheim netminder John Gibson, Vegas could have run away with this one before it even started.

The Knights held the Ducks without a shot for more than seven minutes, and Anaheim didn’t get its second until more than 12 minutes into the frame.

In the end, Vegas owned a healthy edge in shots (21-8), scoring chances (18-8) and Corsi (33-18, 64.71 percent).

The start of the second period looked a lot like the start of the first, as Vegas lit the lamp early.

Nic Hague gave Vegas a 2-0 lead with a Haguerbomb from the point just 3:52 into the frame.

Hague has been excellent over the last few contests and has played very well on the top pair with Alex Pietrangelo. He called for the puck on the play and continues to look more and more confident.

He took a trip to the sin bin later in the period, but the Knights killed it off. Shortly after Anaheim’s failed power play, the Ducks had a dangerous opportunity when Troy Terry stripped Dylan Coghlan of the puck at the blue line and went in on a breakaway.

Jonathan Marchessault raced back to catch up to Terry; he delivered a blatant slash, but no call (penalty or penalty shot) was made.

The Knights got another fortunate bounce later in the second when Keegan Kolesar and Josh Manson dropped the gloves, which ended up negating an Anaheim goal.

The Ducks would not be denied for long, however, as Anaheim scored just under two minutes later.

It was Trevor Zegras who got one past Lehner, making it a 2-1 game with 4:11 remaining in the second.

The goal was a result of a turnover behind the Vegas net. Sonny Milano sent a centering feed to Zegras, who was all alone in front, leaving Lehner with no chance on the one-timer.

Vegas led 33-19 in shots after two periods, but the Ducks were much better in the latter stages of the second. That was a preview of what was to come in the third.

But once again, it was all Vegas early.

After killing off the carry-over time on a penalty taken late in the second, Vegas got to work at the other end of the ice and scored on its first two shots of the frame.

Chandler Stephenson helped Vegas regain its two-goal lead with his team-leading fourth goal of the season. He used his speed to get behind the defender and beat Gibson on his backhand, making it a 3-1 game just 2:45 into the period.

It was Stephenson’s first shot of the game and marked the 11th time in franchise history that every player on the Knights recorded at least one shot in a game.

William Carrier scored on the next shot, sending a one-timed blast past Gibson for his first of the year.

The goal gave Vegas a 4-1 lead just 5:56 into the third.

From there, it was all Anaheim.

The Knights took another penalty just 18 seconds after Carrier’s tally, and the Ducks came within an inch of scoring.

The puck hit the post, hit Lehner’s back and fell back into the crease. As it was rolling on the ice and over (but not across) the goal line, Pietrangelo came in and saved a goal, pulling the puck back under Lehner for the whistle.

Later in the frame, the Knights had one of their best shifts of the period with extended time in the offensive zone. The Knights almost made it a four-goal game but struck iron.

As is often the case, a close call at one end preceded a goal at the other.

Terry was left all alone in the middle of the ice, and this time he made no mistake.

Much like Stephenson, Terry got behind the defense and slid the puck onto his backhand before depositing it in Vegas’ net, cutting Anaheim’s deficit to two goals at 11:19 of the third.

Just 4:26 later, the Ducks pulled within one.

Isaac Lundestrom was waiting for a rebound near the crease and eventually got one, making it 4-3 with 4:16 remaining.

The ice had shifted entirely in Anaheim’s favor, and the Ducks had multiple odd-man rushes. Vegas’ coverage in the defensive zone was sloppy at best, and the Ducks ultimately capitalized.

The game-tying goal was a bizarre one. It looked as if Lehner fanned on the save, but Adam Henrique got his stick on it right before it reached the crease, deflecting it up and over Lehner to complete the comeback.

The Ducks scored three goals in 5:11, with Lundestrom’s and Henrique’s coming just 45 seconds apart.

At the end of the third period, the Knights had just a five-shot lead over Anaheim (39-34), and scoring chances at 5-on-5 were even at 28-28.

Lehner made several key saves in overtime, and Roy and Dadonov scored in the shootout to secure the second point. Lehner stopped three of four Anaheim shooters in the shootout and finished the game with 34 saves on 38 shots for an .895 save percentage. Gibson stopped 38 of 42 (.905).

The third period was concerning, as the Knights blew a three-goal lead for the second time this season. However, the Knights are still playing much better than they did earlier this season, and Vegas came away with the all-important two points to preserve the momentum and extend the streak.

The Knights will look to get above .500 when they take on the Maple Leafs Tuesday in Toronto.