After a hectic day around the league, which included the Vegas Golden Knights making a trade to acquire Mattias Janmark from the Chicago Blackhawks, the Golden Knights took on the Los Angeles Kings in the second half of a back-to-back.
The Golden Knights played very well in the back-half of the game. They were able to overcome a 2-0 deficit with four unanswered goals and a strong performance defensively.
The Knights rolled with an interesting lineup. With Keegan Kolesar and Ryan Reaves out due to injury, Vegas’ fourth line featured Dylan Coghlan at forward. But the bottom six played well early on.
Robin Lehner was great once again, making 26 saves in his winning effort. He is now 6-0-1 since returning from a concussion.
The Golden Knights had an early opportunity to get on the board when they went to the power play only 25 seconds into the game, but the Kings were able to kill it off without much of a problem.
The Kings went to the power play after Tomas Nosek was whistled for tripping, but the excellent Vegas penalty kill took care of business with ease.
Minutes after the kill, the Kings broke out of the defensive end after a great pass from Brenden Lemieux to Austin Wagner. Wagner got a step on Shea Theodore, walked in on Lehner and buried it with a slick wrist shot.
The Kings were able to generate quite a few chances throughout the rest of the period, but Lehner stood tall when he was called upon and took the Golden Knights to the locker room trailing by one.
Both teams came out in the second period at a roaring pace, but the Kings still controlled the majority of the pace of play. The Kings were able to capitalize on their momentum, as it was Anze Kopitar who doubled Vegas’ deficit after a bad turnover down low.
The Golden Knights were able to answer in the later stages of the game, however.
Nicolas Roy took a great feed off the boards from Tomas Jurco to set up a two-on-one with Alec Martinez. Roy decided to hold on to the puck and was able to beat Cal Petersen with a deke and a perfectly placed shot right under the glove, which cut the Kings lead back to one.
How bout the hands on Nicolas? pic.twitter.com/XtG6dzD5a7— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 13, 2021
It was Jurco’s first point since Oct. 8, 2019.
With minutes remaining in the period, Alex Pietrangelo was sent to the box for tripping.
Despite being shorthanded, the Golden Knights controlled the play throughout the penalty kill. They were able to generate two breakaways, one from Chandler Stephenson and another from Mark Stone.
Stone’s breakaway was successful, as he beat Petersen with a great move and broke his 10-game goalless drought while tying the game less than 30 seconds before the horn.
it’s— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 13, 2021
Vegas’ momentum carried over to the third period.
Alex Tuch cashed in while doing what he does best, as he used his speed to blow through the Kings defense before beating Petersen with a snapshot to give Vegas its first lead of the game.
Taco Monday pic.twitter.com/Qo2e1imw7K— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 13, 2021
It was Tuch’s first goal since March 13.
A few minutes later, William Karlsson was whistled for his first penalty of the season, a hooking call that put the Golden Knights down a man. The Vegas penalty kill continued to be one of the team’s best assets, as the Knights killed it off while creating chances.
The Golden Knights went back to the power play after Christian Wolanin was sent to the box for holding, and the Knights capitalized.
Max Pacioretty scored his 20th of the season to give the Knights a 4-2 lead 8:22 into the third period. Notably, it was the 300th goal of his career, and it came on an absolute blast from the point with Stone setting the screen in front.
ain't no stopping that pic.twitter.com/XWOSiGzXRa— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 13, 2021
The goal marks his eighth 20-goal season and third with the Golden Knights.
The Kings got a late power play as Brayden McNabb was called for tripping, but even with Petersen on the bench, they were unable to pull within one, so the horn sounded on the Golden Knights’ 28th win of the season.
It was Vegas’ third straight strong performance and third straight win.
Yet again, the Knights peppered Petersen with 40-plus shots, but this time they were able to make them count.
The Knights have won four out of five, and tonight’s win helps them keep pace with the scorching Colorado Avalanche, who also won tonight, while further padding their lead over Minnesota.
The Golden Knights and Kings wrap up the season series on Wednesday night in Los Angeles.