Golden Knights 5, Ducks 1: Vegas sets franchise record with ninth consecutive win
Chandler Stephenson scored twice in the series finale against the Ducks.
The Vegas Golden Knights extended their winning streak to nine games with a 5-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
The nine-game winning streak is a franchise record.
The win is especially significant considering Colorado lost its game against St. Louis earlier in the day.
The Knights didn’t waste any time in this one.
In fact, Chandler Stephenson scored only 28 seconds into the game. He was set up by a perfect centering pass from Max Pacioretty.
Narrator: it wouldn’t be Stephenson‘s last goal of the period 🚨 pic.twitter.com/kbgBsNGe2p— x-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 25, 2021
Despite the goal, the Knights got off to a bit of a sluggish start to the game. However, Stephenson scored his second of the period at 14:44 to make it a 2-0 contest.
we’re on Chandler Stephenson hat trick watch...... are you? 👀 pic.twitter.com/k2X2ubed72— x-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) April 25, 2021
Shea Theodore made a beautiful two-line pass to Stephenson, who collected the puck at the blue line, spun around and skated in on a breakaway. He buried it for his 12th of the season, a new career high.
Neither team generated much early on in the second period, but the Knights extended their lead to 3-0 at 6:12 of the middle frame with a goal from William Carrier.
Alex Pietrangelo stole the puck at the defensive blue line and broke into the zone on a 2-on-1 with Carrier, demonstrating great patience before sending a perfect feed to Carrier.
Vegas was awarded two power plays in the middle stages of the period, but the Knights were not able to capitalize on either.
The pace of play picked up, but neither team was able to further add to the scoring in the second period.
The Ducks got one back early in the third, though.
After a scramble in front of the net, Sam Steel poked in the loose puck to get Anaheim on the board two minutes into the period. The goal snapped Robin Lehner’s shutout streak that lasted nearly two games (154:02).
William Karlsson answered right away, however.
He brought the Vegas lead back to three on a rebound that bounced off his skate after an acrobatic save by John Gibson, who absolutely robbed Jonathan Marchessault on the initial shot.
Karlsson had come close on several previous chances, but Gibson kept this from being a blowout.
The Knights kept pouring it on, and Shea Theodore rocketed one past a screened Gibson just under two minutes later. It was Theodore’s seventh goal of the season and helped him reach the 40-point mark.
Both teams had a power play in the third, but neither translated on the scoreboard. Thus, the horn sounded on the Knights’ ninth straight win and seventh in eight contests against the Ducks this year.
Lehner finished the game with 23 saves on 24 shots for a .958 save percentage to improve to 12-1-2 on the year.
This was not the Knights’ best game, but the difference between the two teams was sizable. Stephenson helped the Knights get an early lead in a lackluster opening frame, and the Knights continued to pour on the chances. Stephenson finished the game with three points.
The power play continues to struggle, as Vegas went 0-for-3, though the league-best penalty kill handled both of Anaheim’s power plays with ease.
One concern is the status of Tomas Nosek and Nicolas Roy, though Pete DeBoer did not have an update after the game.
But the two points help Vegas become the first team in the league to hit 70 points. The Knights sit atop the NHL in wins (34) and points percentage (.745). Vegas also has the best goal differential (+57).
The Avalanche come to town on Wednesday in what should be a crucial game in deciding the West Division’s winner.