Game Recap: VGK vs Edmonton Oilers

Golden Knights (35-22-8) vs Oilers (33-23-8)


Make that seven victories in a row for the Vegas Golden Knights and 61 career shutouts for Marc-Andre Fleury.  The Pacific Division leaders pulled further up the standings as they were firing on all cylinders Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena, blanking the visiting Edmonton Oilers 3-0.  


The fear going into Wednesday’s game was that the Oilers could exploit the Golden Knights’ vulnerability during power plays.  After a mere one minute and fifteen seconds into the game, Vegas fans were holding their collective breaths as Max Pacioretty was sent into the penalty box for hooking. The Golden Knights, however, managed to kill the penalty against the league’s best power play converters and their confidence slowly started to build.

Fleury was the hero the Golden Knights needed Wednesday night. The Oilers had the Golden Knights’ back line on their heels for much of the first period, and Fleury was forced into a dramatic exhibition of scrambles and acrobatics to keep his net empty.  Fleury managed 12 saves in the first period alone.  

The Golden Knights struggled to defend last night. However, a blocked shot by Jonathan Marchessault created a rare attack opportunity for the home team as William Karlsson assisted Max Pacioretty near center ice, and opened the scoring with a snapshot on Mikko Koskinen’s left side with 3:56 left in the first period.

Pacioretty’s 9th goal in 10 games was all the Golden Knights needed to swing the momentum in their favor.  The Golden Knights began to take control of the puck as the first period came to a close and nearly made it 2-0 after Mark Stone hit Koskinen’s crossbar with 18 seconds left in the opening period.  The Oilers’ offense, meanwhile, was almost silenced for the closing 6 minutes of the first period with few shots on goal.

The Golden Knights kept the momentum going to start the second period. They controlled the puck for most of the period and created the most scoring opportunities while holding the Oilers’ offense in check. The Oilers’ front line, with two of the top three-point scorers in the league in Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid, managed only five shots on goal in the second period against the Golden Knights’ 16 attempts.  Though the second period ended scoreless, the Golden Knights seemed to be in full control of the game.

As the third period was underway, the Golden Knights had thus far managed to kill all three penalties against the Oilers.  To add to that, the Vegas team managed to convert a power play of their own with Nick Cousins, who was picked up Tuesday at the trade deadline, scoring a backhand shot in his Vegas Golden Knights debut.  Nate Schmidt and Alec Martinez were each credited with an assist on the play. Martinez, who just scored a goal and an assist in his Golden Knights’ debut a week ago, has now scored points in 3 of his first 4 games as a Golden Knight.  

Following a faceoff with 10 minutes left in the game, Shea Theodore joined in on the fun with a slap shot goal after another assist by MartinezPaul Statsny, who won the faceoff against Connor McDavid, was also credited with an assist on the play. By then, the Golden Knights had let their foot off the gas and the Oilers began a comeback attempt, but Fleury was not about to let anything go by him last night. The late-game acrobatics were just the seal to make Fleury the night’s big winner.

Wednesday’s win for the Golden Knights was that of a well-rounded, mature team with a formed identity.  The team looks well-suited for a deep run at the playoffs, and their latest moves at the trade deadline solidified their commitment to bring a championship to Las Vegas for the first time in history. 


They will continue that playoff push Friday night against the Buffalo Sabres at T-Mobile Arena.

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Las Vegas! If you want another great place to watch the fights, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games. Al’s has “Happy Hour” starting at 9 AM and ending at 9 PM. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. Tell them, “The Franchise sent you!!”


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