Golden Knights 3, Oilers 2: Vegas sweeps Alberta trip with overtime victory

Vegas remains on top of the Pacific thanks to Theodore’s game-winner.

The Vegas Golden Knights completed a comeback to beat the Edmonton Oilers 3-2 in overtime in a clash for the top seed of the Pacific Division Monday night at Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Jonathan Marchessault scored to tie the game at 2-2 late in the third period and then set up Shea Theodore for the game-winner 2:13 into extra time. It was Theodore’s second game-winning goal in two nights.

Connor McDavid was a late scratch, which certainly worked in Vegas’ favor.

It also helped that Vegas didn’t take a penalty all night.

But Vegas was dominant throughout the entire game, ultimately outshooting Edmonton 48-24.

At one point, the Knights held a 23-3 advantage in shots, but Mikko Koskinen made 45 saves for Edmonton, keeping the Oilers in the game all night. The Oilers opened the scoring in the first period, but fortunately for Vegas, it was the Knights that got the final two goals of the night.

That was mainly because Vegas maintained a lead in possession through every period of the game, including overtime. The Golden Knights outshot the Oilers in every 20-minute session and had more high-danger chances and expected goals in every period as well, both at all strengths and at even strength.

That resulted in a 56.9 percent Corsi, 63.64 percent shot share and 66.54 percent expected goal share. Despite giving up the first goal, Vegas took control of this game early and didn’t relent.

Alex Chiasson made it 1-0 exactly nine minutes into the game, though the Oilers failed to record a shot for the rest of the period.

Nicolas Roy knotted things up with his fifth goal of the year on the power play later in the first. For a while it was credited to Nate Schmidt, who took the shot from the point, but Roy got a piece of it after setting the screen.

Though Vegas dominated, the score remained 1-1 through 40 minutes. However, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins gave Edmonton a surprising 2-1 lead 6:46 into the third period.

But Marchessault scored for the second straight game, potting his 22nd of the year off a backhand feed from Reilly Smith.

Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t overly tested in this one but came up with a monster save on Ethan Bear in overtime. As is often the case, the huge save at one end of the ice led to a goal at the other.

For the second game in a row, that goal came off the stick of Theodore.

Bear turned the puck over to Marchessault, who set up Theodore for the one-time blast. The game-winner was Theodore’s 13th goal of the season, a new career high.

Theodore said before the game that the Golden Knights needed to take away the Oilers’ time and space, which is something they did very well for much of the game. Once again, they held Leon Draisaitl off the scoresheet, and they even held him without a single shot on goal, a first for Draisaitl this season.

In fact, the line of Draisaitl, Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto was held to just a 27.27 percent shot share and 42.86 percent Corsi at 5-on-5. No Knights line (that played more than three minutes) had worse stats.

Vegas’ best line was the combination of William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty and Roy. Although they went without a goal at 5-on-5, the trio had a 75.86 percent Corsi and 88.24 percent shot share and allowed just two shots in 15 minutes at 5-on-5.

Fleury made 22 saves on 24 shots for a .917 save percentage, good for the win. Koskinen may have had a flashier performance, but it was a strong bounce-back win for Fleury, who did what he had to do to get the win, particularly on the clutch save in overtime.

Chandler Stephenson was a late scratch for Vegas, so Jon Merrill lined up at forward again. It was his first game since Feb. 20, although this time he did not register a goal (or a point). Stephenson will be reevaluated tomorrow, according to head coach Pete DeBoer.

Though Vegas secured the two points, the fact that the game reached overtime gives the Knights only a three-point lead in the Pacific Division standings. Plus, the Oilers still have a game in hand.

That being said, the Knights swept the Alberta trip for the first time in franchise history, and they came away with four out of four points.

Mission accomplished.

Next up is a road matchup against the Wild on Thursday.