Year 2, Game 24: Golden Knights win second straight, defeat Flames 2-0
Revenge is sweet.
The Golden Knights took care of business with a 2-0 win over the Flames Friday afternoon, avenging Vegas’ recent 7-2 loss in Calgary.
The win is Vegas’ second in two games after defeating Arizona in overtime on Wednesday; this marks the first time the Knights have won back-to-back games in over a month.
Just four days after the 7-2 blowout, a game in which Vegas surrendered five first-period goals, the Knights came back with a vengeance against the Pacific Division-leading Flames.
Alex Tuch put together his fifth multi-point performance of the season, and Colin Miller scored his first goal of the year. But the true star of the game was Marc-Andre Fleury, who was very sharp in a 29-save shutout, his league-leading fourth shutout of the season. He now sits 24th overall on the NHL’s all-time shutouts list.
Vegas set a physical tone early and came about as close as it gets to taking a lead late in the first period. However, Reilly Smith missed a glorious opportunity when he hit the post, failing to capitalize on a wide-open net off a beautiful feed from William Karlsson.
Correction: Smith's shot goes off the post and Rittich somehow managed to keep it out. Unreal.— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 23, 2018
(shoutout to that insane feed by William Karlsson) pic.twitter.com/8lOVTe11Zv
But Tuch eventually got the Knights on the board at 16:09 of the middle frame with a deflection goal off a Cody Eakin point shot.
GOAL. Alex Tuch opens the scoring to give Vegas the lead. pic.twitter.com/9etUj0Evbr— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 24, 2018
Tuch has established himself as a true top-six talent for Vegas this season, and his net-front presence has served the Golden Knights well.
So good in front of the net. Perfect redirection. pic.twitter.com/XcLoLjZZtq— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 24, 2018
Miller then doubled the Knights’ lead early in the third period on Vegas’ first power play of the game.
GOAL. Colin Miller finally gets his first of the season with a rocket from the point. pic.twitter.com/SloOvT6Psf— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 24, 2018
It was a significant goal for Miller, who had been unable to convert on his first 49 shots of the season.
Max Pacioretty extended his point streak to four games with an assist on Tuch’s go-ahead marker. The win served as further proof that the second-line trio of Tuch, Eakin and Pacioretty continues to click, which is great news for Vegas.
Daniel Carr made his Golden Knights debut as a member of Vegas’ third line, which was noticeably improved in all three zones.
Vegas' third line is really getting after it tonight. Excellent chance for Tomas Nosek. pic.twitter.com/yA4zuGvpv7— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 24, 2018
Tomas Nosek had several prime scoring chances and even hit the post; his effort throughout the game was encouraging.
But it was a true team win by the Knights, as everyone in the lineup stepped up. The Flames had pockets of momentum, including a 13-shot push in the third period, but Fleury and the Knights weathered the storm and were rewarded for their collective effort.
Vegas is the first team to shut out the Flames this season, which is a rather impressive feat, especially considering how Monday’s game turned out.
A lot of that is thanks to the stellar play of Fleury, who had one of his best performances of the season. Fleury made 29 stops, including several at the tail end of the contest, in his second shutout in the last nine days.
Fleury with a couple big saves to preserve the donuts. pic.twitter.com/lEx0tsxF42— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) November 24, 2018
It also didn’t hurt that the Knights were able to contain Calgary’s power play, which struck three times in Monday’s tilt.
The fact that this gives Vegas wins in consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 20 is not insignificant, since consistency has been a back-breaker for the Knights all year.
The two points from today’s win help Vegas jump into fourth place in the Pacific Division. With an overall record of 11-12-1, the Knights find themselves one win away from .500 once again; they will have a chance to reach that all-elusive benchmark tomorrow night when they host the San Jose Sharks.