Game Recap: VGK vs New Jersey Devils – Game 67

Golden Knights (37-23-8)  New Jersey Devils (26-28-12)


Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings, the Golden Knights had many of their weaknesses rear their ugly heads and suffered a loss that set them back in the division snapping an eight-game winning streak.


Just two days later, the Golden Knights rebounded with a decisive shut out win against the New Jersey Devils. Tuesday night’s game against New Jersey saw Robin Lehner, acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers just before the trade deadline, get his first shutout of the season. Saving 27 shots on goal, the young goalie allowed his teammates offensively to take their time and find ways to attack the Devils defense.

After a scoreless first period, the Golden Knights scored in the opening 45 seconds of the second period with a long slap shot goal from star Max Pacioretty, his 31st of the season. The Knights then repeated the feat in the opening of the third, when five-year vet Will Karlsson scored the 100th goal of his career in the first 37 seconds of the third period. A Ryan Reeves goal at 12:11 left in the game followed, effectively ending the contest at 3-0 in the Golden Knights favor, putting the Knights back in the win column.

Outstanding play by Robin Lehner has assisted the inconsistent play of Mark-Andre Fleury in recent games, giving the Golden Knights some stability on the defensive side. With all-Star Mark Stone still out due to injury, the Golden Knights on offense have patched together goals to win two out of three without him on the ice. With this win, Vegas has shown their ability to recover after hard losses and flip their identity from a high scoring team to one that can be stingy, physical, and defensive. This is a crucial realization late in the season that can help the Golden Knights the rest of the way.


But more importantly, this win over the Devils keeps the Golden Knights in first place of the Pacific Division. As the NHL moves into the last full month of games, the race for the pacific divisions #1 seed has become much more interesting.


With back to back wins for the Edmonton Oilers, coupled with the Golden Knights loss against the L.A. Kings, the Oilers had a chance last night to tie Las Vegas for the top spot. But with the Golden Knights taking care of business against the Devils, Edmonton finds themselves behind the Golden Knights by two points, Vegas with 82, and Edmonton with 80.

For the Golden Knights, every game from this point on has meaning, and a single loss could knock them out of the top spot in the Pacific Division. With a hungry Edmonton team running step for step with the Knights, Vegas has to continue to pay well from the Goalie position to take the next step and lock up their playoff position.

The Golden Knights’ next game will be against the Winnipeg Jets, currently fourth place in the Central Division. This game will have a playoff feel to it, with both teams fighting to secure playoff positioning. For Las Vegas, this game is the first of five straight road games and is a precursor to a three-game stint where the Golden Knights will have all division games against Calgary, Edmonton, and Minnesota.


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– JaRon Turner – Franchise Sports Media 

Las Vegas! If you want another great place to watch the game, 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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