After an ugly loss on Sunday afternoon against the Los Angeles Kings, the Vegas Golden Knights returned home to take on the St. Louis Blues and got right back in the win column with a dominant effort in a 5-1 win.
The game was rescheduled from Jan. 28.
The Golden Knights played a much better game tonight, and they were able to maintain control of the game, especially in the third period. Robin Lehner was very good in his second start since returning from a concussion; he came through when called upon, but Vegas played extremely well in front of him, making it a relatively easy night for him. In fact, the Knights allowed just 16 shots in the entire game.
The Golden Knights got off to an unfortunate start after Jonathan Marchessault was sent to the penalty box for high sticking almost immediately, but the Knights killed off the penalty and got to work.
Both teams played well in the opening frame, but the Knights played a very strong defensive period.
The Blues controlled play in the early stages, but the Golden Knights hit their stride and began to hum. Blues netminder Jordan Binnington was tested early and often, and he robbed Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch among others during a couple of scrambles in front.
However, the Golden Knights were able to capitalize on their momentum with an unlikely goal by Marchessault, who beat Binnington right off the faceoff.
sneaky sneaky— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 23, 2021
Marchy Marchy pic.twitter.com/x7gBqkKlbb
Marchessault’s ninth of the season was one that Binnington should have had and will want back, but it gave Vegas the all-important first goal of the game. The Knights are now 18-0-1 when scoring first this season.
The Golden Knights got their first power play late in the first period after Jacob de la Rose was whistled for tripping. The Knights got some very good looks on the first half of the power play, but the horn sounded, leaving 44 seconds left on the man advantage for the start of the second.
However, the Blues killed off the rest of the penalty with relative ease.
The Knights continued to have a strong hold on the game, but Binnington was able to hold them off the board.
The strong play from Binnington paid off for the Blues when Vince Dunn beat Robin Lehner on a beautiful wrist shot that went over Lehner’s left shoulder.
Vladamir Tarasenko was credited with the primary assist on the goal, which tied the game early in the second period. Lehner was screened on the play.
Shea Theodore had a beautiful opportunity late in the period, but Binnington stood tall on the high-danger chance, keeping it a 1-1 game through 40 minutes.
Lmfao Shea Theodore is filthy pic.twitter.com/Y3xZieiYRF— Ryan Quigley (@TheRyanQuigley) March 23, 2021
But that wouldn’t last very long.
The Golden Knights came out roaring in the early stages of the period, and they cashed in quickly.
Mark Stone recaptured the lead for Vegas just 80 seconds into the frame on a goal that bounced off Dunn’s skate and into the net. Stone’s 11th of the season was assisted by Nick Holden — who was in the lineup for Dylan Coghlan — and Chandler Stephenson.
With around eight minutes to go in regulation, the Golden Knights had reason to celebrate, as Keegan Kolesar was finally able to score his first NHL goal.
Kolesar deflected a puck, and the rebound came right to him in front of a wide-open net; he buried it for the milestone in his 26th NHL game.
A few minutes later, the Golden Knights went to the power play after David Perron was whistled for slashing. The Knights capitalized and put the game out of reach. William Karlsson buried a rebound off his own shot. The chance came after a beautiful cross-ice pass from Marchessault to Stone, who chipped it to Karlsson.
The Knights went back to the power play near the end of the period, and Stone continued his hot streak with a deflection goal on a shot going well wide of the net, giving Vegas a 5-1 lead. The Knights went 2-for-3 on the power play on the night, with both goals coming late in the third.
The Knights played one of their most complete games of the season in the second half of a back-to-back. It was a big statement after an ugly game the night prior.
They finished the night with a 60.92 percent Corsi share and a 70.59 percent high-danger Corsi share at 5-on-5. Though it was a 1-1 game through 40 minutes, the Knights’ hard work and persistence paid off with a four-goal effort in the third.
Binnington kept St. Louis in it early, but eventually the floodgates opened, and the Knights’ dominance took over on the scoresheet. Stone, who finished the game with three points, now has 21 points in March alone, and tonight marked his seventh game-winning goal.
With the win, the Knights improved to 22-7-1 on the season and maintained their three-point lead in the West Division.
Vegas will have two days of rest before taking on the second-place Colorado Avalanche Thursday night.