Vegas defeats Buffalo 5-4 in overtime thriller
Golden Knights squander late three-goal lead, but David Perron pots second goal of the night to pull out a victory.
Heading into Tuesday’s tangle with the Buffalo Sabres, David Perron had attempted a team-high 28 shots through five games, none of which found the back of the net.
David Perron's first goal as a Golden Knight. pic.twitter.com/2erH1ujRYi— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 18, 2017
Bar down. What a finish. pic.twitter.com/pNYsMdABKv— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) October 18, 2017
Perron’s twin tallies were far from the only story of the night, however. The Golden Knights must have forgotten to place a call to Ed Bernstein and Associates, because their penalty kill was the worst it’s been all season, as they allowed Buffalo to score three power play goals — one of which came at 5-on-3 — as well as the fourth in a 6-on-5 situation with Buffalo goaltender Chad Johnson pulled.
Also, some of the ghosts from Vegas’ only loss of the season — a 6-3 game against Detroit — returned in this contest, as the Knights did not give a full 60-minute effort. Through the first 48 minutes and 23 seconds of the game, Vegas and Buffalo were nearly even in shot attempts, with the Knights leading 50-49. At this point, they held a 4-1 lead and the game appeared all but won. Vegas then appeared to sit back for the remainder of the contest, took a few careless slashing penalties, and proceeded to get out-attempted 21-1 until the final buzzer.
However, to the team’s credit, they put their foot on the gas in a big way in overtime, and did not allow Buffalo to take a single shot, spending most of the nearly four minutes in the Sabres’ zone.
Alex Tuch again proved why he belongs in the NHL, scoring another goal on a gorgeous deflection.
Reilly Smith also likely played his best game of the year, recording an assist on Oscar Lindberg’s third tally of the season, as well as adding only the Knights second power play goal to date.
Meanwhile, starting his second game of the season for the Golden Knights was Malcolm Subban. Coming off his impressive 21-save performance against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, the 23-year-old Toronto native looked to capitalize on the confidence gained from earning his first career NHL victory.
Despite allowing four goals on 34 shots, it is difficult to say that Subban played poorly. All four goals, it could be argued, came as a direct result of some sloppy play in front of him, and while you might like to have an occasional save, it would be hard to fault the young netminder for any of the four goals.
All four came while his team was down a man, be it due to a penalty taken by one of his teammates or by way of Buffalo having pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. The Golden Knights took three penalties in the final frame leading to two of those three powerplay goals for the Sabres.
Still, pretty though it may not have been, a win is a win and two points is two points.
The Golden Knights are now 5-1-0 on the year, and 2-0 in overtime. Their start is the best six-game initial stretch by a true expansion team in NHL history. They next play on Saturday against the St. Louis Blues.