After trailing 4-2 with 7:21 remaining in the game, the Vegas Golden Knights completed a three-goal comeback against the Minnesota Wild to win 5-4 in overtime Monday at T-Mobile Arena. This was the first game in front of fans in 363 days, as the announced attendance was 2605.
This was also Vegas’ first win with the Golden Chrome Domes.
Mark Stone had a five-point night, all assists, including on Max Pacioretty’s game-winner two minutes into extra time.
The first period passed by scoreless, although the Golden Knights were given a power-play opportunity. They had just one shot on that initial chance.
The best scoring chances in the first period came via the line of Keegan Kolesar, William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault. They had a 91.85 percent expected goal share in the first period with a team-leading 0.32 for in 4:16. That line would finish with a 79.01 xG% in 6:40.
In the second period, the only thing that worked for the Golden Knights was the power play. The Golden Knights got two opportunities and scored on both. It started with this goal from Cody Glass:
And continued with this tally from Pacioretty:
Beautiful passing on the *checks notes* power play? Well, then.— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) March 2, 2021
Assists to Stone and Stephenson on Pacioretty's ninth of the year. All his goals have come at home.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/WIBIQG1UDD
The power play finished the game with nine shots and 0.49 expected goals created.
The Golden Knights got outworked at 5-on-5, however, and that led to four goals against, all at full strength.
After four high-danger chances for and zero against in the first period, the Knights allowed six and created just one in the second period at 5-on-5. Minnesota had 1.5 expected goals at full strength to Vegas’ 0.25. Minnesota also took 16 shots to Vegas’ seven.
The Wild capitalized on rebound opportunities created by Jordan Greenway and Nico Sturm. They forced the Golden Knights to stay in their own zone, and Vegas couldn’t answer anywhere but on the power play. The 5-on-5 play has to be better than it was in the second period, especially defensively; it’s not often that Vegas gets trapped in its own end shift after shift, but it can’t continue.
Only one defenseman — Alec Martinez — did not allow a goal in that second period.
After surrendering four goals in the middle frame, the Golden Knights showed no urgency to start the third period, with their first shot on goal coming more than 11:30 into the period. Yet Vegas eventually broke through the barrier, and Nicolas Hague scored from the point to make it a 4-3 game:
Second of the year for Hague, letting it go from the point.— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) March 2, 2021
Third assist of the night for Mark Stone.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/tHiqYcd0jL
There were just seven minutes and 20 seconds left on the clock when Hague’s goal went in. After that point in the period, the Golden Knights dominated play. They finished the period with 10 shots for to just three against (taking 10 straight shots without allowing one against) and four high-danger chances to just one against. The vast majority of those chances came in the concluding eight minutes.
Pete DeBoer reunited the traditional lines late in the game, and that helped fuel Vegas’ resurgence. The fact that Vegas tightened up defensively and put in more intensity offensively didn’t hurt either.
That domination eventually led to this goal with Marc-Andre Fleury on the bench:
Pacioretty with the backhand at the boards, puck bounces to Stone, and his fourth assist of the night to Tuch ties it up.— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) March 2, 2021
Not a bad way to welcome back fans.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/AfXosJfaFc
Tuch tied the game against his former team with less than 42 seconds left in regulation.
Two minutes into overtime, the Knights fully swung momentum back in their favor and completed the comeback with a goal from Pacioretty, his second of the night:
Put this one in the books for all times.— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) March 2, 2021
Pacioretty's second wins it. Gold helmets live to see another day.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/H35PT7W8zE
Stone got an assist on each goal (all of them primary) for the Golden Knights while not being on the ice for one against. Only Pacioretty also was on ice for every goal for (he also didn’t allow a goal against).
Vegas didn’t allow a shot attempt against in the overtime period and scored on its first shot on goal.
Fleury finished with 26 saves on 30 shots, including four saves on seven high-danger shots. Cam Talbot in the opposite net finished with 34 saves on 39 shots and seven saves on 10 high-danger shots.
The Knights saw the return of Tomas Nosek in this game, as he’d been missing games since Feb. 9. Nosek finished the game with 0.12 expected goals and two shots in 8:43.
The Golden Knights now have a firmer hold on their first-place standing in the West Division as these two teams are at the top. Vegas will play Minnesota again on Wednesday.