Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs. Avalanche- Game 55

Franchise Sports Media


The Vegas Golden Knights entered last night’s game extremely shorthanded as they were only able to dress fifteen skaters due to injury and cap restraints. It was the first time an NHL team had only put fifteen skaters on the ice since 2010.


Golden Knights vs Avalanche
Photo Credit: NHL

Vegas had to go without Ryan Reeves, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Nosek, Alec Martinez, and Peyton Krebs in a game where they could have clinched the Honda West Division title as well as the President’s Trophy.

VGK received the first powerplay of the night after Cale Makar hooked Chandler Stephenson just 3:49 into the first period but were held without a goal while on the man advantage. However, they did score the game’s first goal with 11:49 remaining thanks to Alex Pietrangelo after Nicolas Hague shot the puck on net and the veteran defenseman capitalized on the rebound.

With 6:36 remaining, both teams had to play four on four after both Mikko Rantanen and Alex Pietrangelo were both called for roughing. Ryan Graves was called for roughing on Nicolas Hague fourteen seconds later, giving VGK 1:46 of four on three powerplay time, but they did not add to their lead. The Colorado Avalanche received a powerplay of their own with 4:33 remaining after Alex Tuch cross-checked Devon Toews but could not tie the game. Vegas finished the period up 1-0 and leading the shot total 14-9.


The middle frame saw no penalties called as the Golden Knights did their best to hang on to the lead with a reduced roster.


The Avs finally broke through with 12:56 remaining after Andre Burakovsky made a nice move to the slot between two defenders before roofing his shot past Robin Lehner. Vegas did a great job containing Colorado’s high-powered offense the rest of the way and looked pretty good considering the circumstances they were in. With 5:42 remaining, Alex Pietrangelo nearly scored his second goal of the game, pulling off a great curl and drag move, but Phillip Grubauer stopped his shot. VGK again ended the period leading the shot total of 15-4, entering the second intermission, but this time the game was tied.


Vegas showed great effort throughout the game despite being shorthanded, but were unable to pull off any late game magic facing a top tier opponent in the Avalanche.


Golden Knights vs Avalanche
Photo Credit: NHL

Colorado received the first powerplay of the period just 3:10 into the third after Chandler Stephenson was called for hi-sticking against Carl Soderburg. Still, the VGK penalty kill unit got the job done to keep the game even. With 12:53 remaining, Vegas received the last powerplay opportunity of the night when Joonas Donskoi was called for tripping against Alex Pietrangelo. The man advantage proved to be fruitless, though as the Golden Knights were unable to get that second goal and fatigue began to set in.

With 8:27 remaining, Colorado was able to take the lead after JT Compher was able to battle in front of the net to get a good position in front of Robin Lehner and tipped in a bad angle shot by Alex Newhook. VGK was unable to score another goal as time expired even after pulling their goalie to receive an extra attacker as Colorado did not allow them to set up in the zone and was able to clear the puck enough times to kill off the clock. The Avalanche won 2-1 and prevented VGK from solidifying their division lead and capture the President’s Trophy.


Looking Forward: 


While it would have been great to see the Golden Knights clinch home ice throughout the playoffs tonight, it is understandable that they lost to a great opponent while very undermanned. Vegas has had to play quite a few games shorthanded this season due to injury and the salary cap. Still, the good news is that the salary cap rules change in the playoffs, so they should call some players up if their injuries persist into the postseason.

The good news is that VGK still has a chance to win the President’s Trophy and finish with the best record in the league on Wednesday night, taking on the San Jose Sharks for the final game of the regular season. The NHL playoffs are scheduled to begin on Saturday night, so it would be a huge confident booster to finish the regular season off with a win and clinch home ice.


The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play Wednesday evening against San Jose Sharks at SAP Center. The puck drop is set for 6:00 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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