The Vegas Golden Knights extended their winning streak to three games with a 5-3 win against the St. Louis Blues Sunday at Enterprise Center.
Jiri Patera became the first goaltender drafted by the Golden Knights to appear in a game for Vegas, and he came away victorious with a 30-save effort in his Golden Knights debut.
Keegan Kolesar was a late scratch due to an upper-body injury, which paved the way for Pavel Dorofeyev to get his first NHL action since Dec. 28. He recorded his first career NHL points, including a memorable first goal that proved to be the game-winner.
There were some very close calls early, including one for former Blues forward Ivan Barbashev, who was robbed by a scrambling Jordan Binnington after he turned the puck over behind the net.
That was close - but as they say, if you're a goaltender, tend the goal. pic.twitter.com/HWbCRvctJU— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 12, 2023
Also, Dorofeyev came very close to netting his first career goal in the opening minutes, though it didn’t take him long to find the scoresheet, as he set up the first goal of the game.
It was William Karlsson who opened the scoring just over eight minutes into the contest, giving Vegas the all-important first goal for the third consecutive game. But Dorofeyev made the play and was credited with the primary assist for his first career NHL point after winning a puck battle in the skates of two Blues skaters and then setting up the trailing Karlsson on the backhand.
William Karlsson breaks the ice for the @GoldenKnights with his 12th goal of the season! pic.twitter.com/ISjMAUX4ZK— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM West (@ATTSportsNetRMW) March 12, 2023
Vegas played a disciplined hockey game but got burned on St. Louis’ lone power play of the night as Jakub Vrana evened things up at 13:26 of the opening frame. Vrana was left all alone in front and roofed Jordan Kyrou’s centering feed from behind the net.
Left all alone in front, @VranaJakub roofs home the power play goal! pic.twitter.com/aS8vgnh1Ue— NHL (@NHL) March 12, 2023
Vegas took a 3-1 lead just over two minutes into the second period after scoring two goals on three shots in the span of 1:42.
First, Jonathan Marchessault potted his 21st of the season just 28 seconds into the frame, giving him goals in back-to-back games, points in three straight games and a total of seven points in his last six contests.
Jonathan Marchessault scores 28 seconds into the 2nd period! 2-1 @GoldenKnights pic.twitter.com/1xCGsHCRAp— AT&T SportsNet™ | RM West (@ATTSportsNetRMW) March 13, 2023
Less than two minutes later, Michael Amadio capitalized on a juicy rebound, beating Binnington with his 11th goal of the season, tying his career high from last year.
Michael Amadio buries the rebound with precision pic.twitter.com/0jNuoiYRUS— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 13, 2023
Late in the frame, Kyrou brought St. Louis within one on a great passing play, leaving Patera with no chance.
Welcome to the 30-Goal Club, @JordanKyrou. Your membership card is in the mail and should be arriving soon. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/4EoTZleE6F— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) March 13, 2023
The Blues scored again just 3:41 into the third period to make it a 3-3 game as Tyler Pitlick redirected Marco Scandella’s shot-pass from the blue line.
Tyler Pitlick has it all tied up again in the third. #stlblues— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) March 13, 2023
TV: Bally Sports Midwest
Stream: https://t.co/oujQ7Bh7zi pic.twitter.com/RyxRjtMaY1
But Vegas quickly responded, as Dorofeyev’s first career goal bounced off his visor and into the net to restore Vegas’ lead just 1:42 later.
Pavel Dorofeyev with the header for his first NHL goal ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/3lNK8XgCKb— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 13, 2023
It proved to be the game-winner, though the Blues continued to push throughout the third period. But for the second game in a row, Vegas did an excellent job with the opposing goalie pulled, and former Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo sealed the win with an empty-net goal with seven seconds remaining.
The Golden Knights have won three consecutive games after falling 2-1 to Florida at the start of this five-game road trip.
It wasn’t a perfect effort, and the Golden Knights’ ineffective forecheck left Patera vulnerable, especially in the second period, but the young netminder held his own and came up with some key saves throughout the contest. He stopped 30 of 33 shots for a .909 save percentage, earning the first win of his NHL career.
Perhaps his best save came in the second period on a glorious shorthanded chance for Nathan Walker.
JIRI!!!!!!!! (feat. Phil) pic.twitter.com/ygVBunIXmc— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 13, 2023
It was yet another solid performance in net for Vegas, which has won six of its last seven games and is 12-2-2 since returning from the All-Star break. The goaltending has played a massive role in the club’s turnaround, as Logan Thompson, Adin Hill, Laurent Brossoit, Jonathan Quick and Patera have turned in stellar efforts.
“[Patera] looked very comfortable in there, battled through some shots in the head and I think a skate issue,” Bruce Cassidy after the game. “I thought they were all good goals against him. He made some big saves, timely saves, gave us some juice.
“Another guy that’s gone in there and played well for us. We probably relied on him a little too much there at times in the second for those high-end saves, but at the end of the day, I thought we were better in the third in front of him.”
Dorofeyev had a standout performance and was noticeable the entire game.
“He was on the puck a lot,” Cassidy said about Dorofeyev after the game. “On the first goal he created a turnover with foot speed. I thought on his off wing he was able to get inside a lot, to be dangerous there. Went into traffic. He’s kind of slippery around the net; he’s there but he’s not this huge guy but he finds a way to find pucks.”
Dorofeyev played particularly well on a line with Karlsson and Reilly Smith; the trio combined for six points with two full-line goals and led the team with a 60 percent Corsi share (12-8). The new-look second line led 9-2 in shots and 2-0 in goals with an 87.21 percent expected goal share and 76.92 percent scoring chance share in 10:43.
The Golden Knights, who have a three-point lead over Los Angeles with 88 points in 67 games, will conclude this five-game road trip Tuesday night in Philadelphia.