Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs. Blues- Game 53

Franchise Sports Media


The Vegas Golden Knights faced off against a St. Louis Blues team looking to secure the fourth spot in the division on Friday night, as they only needed one more point in the standings to secure a playoff spot.


Golden Knights vs Blues
Photo Credit: NHL

Vegas was given the first powerplay of the night eight and a half minutes into the first period after Robert Thomas was called for tripping against Brayden McNabb. Still, VGK would not open the scoring until about five minutes later. It took until 6:37 remaining before either team scored a goal. Reilly Smith was the one to break the ice after he received a pass from Nic Hague while waiting on the right side of the net where he was able to jam the puck in, giving his team the first lead of the night.

With 2:05 remaining, the Golden Knights were given their second opportunity on the man advantage after Mackenzie MacEachern was called for hi-sticking against Nicolas Roy. It was the Blues, however, who took advantage of the situation as they scored a shorthanded goal to tie the game just fifteen seconds into the powerplay. Ryan O’Reilly drove to the right circle after Tyler Bozak possessed the puck, took it behind the net and found O’Reilly wide open to receive the pass and past Robin Lehner. Time expired, and both teams went to the locker room for the intermission with the game tied.


The second period saw the Blues build off the momentum created from the shorthanded goal as they scored two more goals before the VGK answered back.


Golden Knights vs Blues
Photo Credit: AP

St. Louis received their first and only powerplay just over five minutes into the period after William Karlsson interfered with goalie Jordan Binnington, but the Knights penalty kill unit held strong. It was not until 5:26 remaining that the Blues scored another goal to take the lead for the first time in the game. Former VGK David Perron scored his team’s second goal of the game after Zach Sanford sent a cross-ice pass that somehow got past Alex Tuch’s stick, where Perron was able to shoot it past Lehner in a small window.

Almost two minutes later, Jaden Schwartz added to the Blues lead, shooting the puck from a bad angle from outside the right circle. Lehner seemed to be in a good position to make the save, but he slid his right leg back towards the net just as Schwartz shot the puck, which went to the far post and passed the goal line. As time expired, it looked like the Blues would enter the third period with a two-goal lead, but Alec Martinez had other plans in mind. With ten seconds remaining, the veteran defenseman received a pass from Mark Stone at the blue line and sent a blistering one-timer past Jordan Binnington to bring VGK within one goal.


In the third period we saw the VGK tie the game up fairly early, erasing a two-goal deficit to force overtime against the opponent who they very well might see in the first round of the playoffs.



Golden Knights vs Blues
Photo Credit: Vegas Golden Knights

With 13:08 remaining, Nicolas Roy scored the game-tying goal after multiple teammates registered chances from right in front of the St. Louis goal. Roy was able to find the puck amidst the chaos and was able to spin and lift his shot up past Binnington to tie the game up. Vegas received one more powerplay with 11:19 remaining after Justin Faulk hooked Reilly Smith but were unable to take the lead, and the game eventually went to overtime.

Both teams registered three shots on goal each during three on three play, but it was VGK who were able to score just before time expired. With eighteen seconds remaining, Jonathan Marchessault scored the game-winning goal after making the initial breakout pass that got the Knights out of their own zone. After receiving the breakout pass, Alex Tuch entered the Blues’ zone and found Marchessault driving through the right side of the ice where he could receive the pass and wasted no time beating the St. Louis netminder short side to win the game for Vegas.


Looking Forward: 


VGK will face the same opponent tonight in the second of a back-to-back matchup to finish the season series against the Blues. Even though St. Louis lost last night, they could clinch a playoff spot as they received one point in the standings since the game went to overtime. While the Blues have no way to move up or down in the standings,  VGK controls their destiny regarding maintaining the first seed in the division.

They have a four-point lead on the Colorado Avalanche, who have one game in hand, and a five-point lead on the Minnesota Wild, who have the same amount of games remaining. Vegas has plenty to play for in the final three games as they could also clinch home ice throughout the playoffs by winning the President’s Trophy. The Carolina Hurricanes hold first place overall right now with 80 points in the standings compared to VGK’s 78, but only have two games remaining.


The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play Saturday evening against The St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena. The puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and will be on AT&T Sportsnet and FOX Sports Las Vegas 98.9/1340.


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-D.J. Wood– Franchise Sports Media

Follow D.J. on Twitter @DJwoody97

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