The Vegas Golden Knights scored the first goal of the game on Wednesday vs. the Vancouver Canucks, and unfortunately it was their first and only one. Vegas headed into the game on a five-game winning streak, and was hoping to extend it to six and keep the momentum toward getting into a playoff spot going. That didn’t happen as the Canucks scored two goals in the first, two more in the second, and a final tally in the third to decisively defeat the Golden Knights by a score of 5-1.
Vancouver came out hot with 14 shots in the first, and responded on the power play shortly after Jack Eichel made it 1-0 at 12:02 of the first.
let's take it back to Jack pic.twitter.com/sBat5MZ6Mi— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 7, 2022
Bo Horvat scored his 28th goal of the season at 16:38, and less than 20 seconds later at 16:55 Brad Richardson scored his 3rd goal of the season to give Vancouver a 2-1 lead.
Things remained 2-1 for a good portion of the second, and Tanner Pearson made it 3-1 at nearly the half way mark of the period, with Elias Petterson adding his 23rd goal of the season just under five minutes later. Petterson scored his 24th of the season, on the power play, just over a minute into the 3rd period. The fifth goal was a bit of a back breaker as Alec Martinez fumbled the puck as he was attempting to clear it on the penalty kill, and it was intercepted and then passed to Petterson who was able to capitalize on a glorious chance.
This game was another example of the importance of special teams, as the Canucks went 2 for 3 on the power play, whereas the Golden Knights went 0 for 3. Vegas had two power plays in the third period, and although it was already 5-1, a goal or two could have changed the entire complexion of the period and overall game.
That said, Thatcher Demko had a very strong performance in goal, stopping 33 of 34, including six shots on the power play. He was a big difference maker for the Canucks. There’s other factors as to why Vegas was unsuccessful, and here’s another way of looking at the game, using HockeyStatCards’ Game Score charts.
Following the loss, the Golden Knights sit a point behind the Dallas Stars for the final Wild Card spot, with the Stars still holding three games in hand.
Vegas is off today and Friday, and will play the Arizona Coyotes at home on Saturday. Following that, they will embark on an important three-game Western Canada road trip vs. the Canucks, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers.