Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs. Ducks- Game 43

Franchise Sports Media


The Vegas Golden Knights traveled to Anaheim to play the Ducks on Friday night and continue their efforts to get back to the top of the Honda West Division.


Golden Knights vs Ducks
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

The first period was uneventful in terms of goals scored, but Vegas was able to dominate the pace of play and thoroughly outshot their opponent. Ten minutes after the initial puck drop, VGK led the Ducks in shot total by a margin of 11-1 but could not get one past Gibson. About fourteen minutes into the game, Brayden McNabb registered the two best chances of the game by either team at that point.

The first one came after he received a pass right in front of John Gibson but was robbed from point-blank range. Moments later, he had another great opportunity after activating from the blue line on the left side-firing it on net but was stopped yet again. The Knights led in scoring chances in the first period by a margin of 9-2 and registered fifteen shots on net, the most they have had on the road this season in the first period.


All of the hard work that Vegas put in during the first period finally paid off in the middle frame as their offense exploded, scoring three goals with one in the opening and closing minutes of the period.


Golden Knights vs Ducks
Photo Credit: KTLA

Just nine seconds after the puck was dropped, William Karlsson continued his role as a Duck killer as he followed up a rebound after Reilly Smith made a great drive to the net, forcing Gibson to cough up a costly rebound. Four of Wild Bill’s eleven goals this season have come against his former team. With 15:33 remaining Chandler Stephenson scored a breakaway goal for the second game in a row after missing three opportunities Monday night against the Kings. The goal came after Mark Stone made a beautiful pass from just inside the blue line to spring him on the breakaway where Stephenson went backhand-forehand before roofing its blocker side on Gibson.

VGK was given the first powerplay opportunity of the game towards the middle of the period as Troy Terry was called for high sticking against Chandler Stephenson. They were able to register four shots on goal but could not score with the extra man. Anaheim received a chance with the extra man shortly after, with Jonathan Marchessault going to the box for a hooking but were unable to capitalize either. The Knights were given an additional powerplay but were unable to score on that one either. It did not matter, though, as Nic Roy scored his team’s third goal of the period with twenty-one seconds remaining after he pickpocketed Troy Terry and fired the puck over Gibson’s right shoulder and in. Vegas went into the second intermission with a commanding lead up 3-0 and outshooting the Ducks 38-9.


Vegas continued their dominance in the third period as the Ducks did not put up much of a fight in the final twenty minutes.


The Golden Knights were not able to score on any of their two powerplay opportunities and a penalty shot. Still, they were able to prevent the Ducks from scoring on their powerplay opportunity in the third. At exactly eight minutes into the final frame, Brayden McNabb scored an even-strength goal firing a shot from the slot, which bounced off a Ducks skater and past John Gibson; that would be the final goal of the game. The defenseman had a few great looks tonight, so it was great to see one finally go in for him. Lehner got his sixtieth shutout of his career and second for Vegas as they won their fifth game in a row. VGK has outscored their opponents 22-8 during the streak and has handled business as of late.


Looking Forward: 


The Knights will play Anaheim again on Sunday afternoon and will look to recreate their performance from Friday’s game. While it was not the most exciting game, there will be plenty of excitement to come in the postseason, which is only thirteen games away now. For the time being, Vegas should continue to polish their game, especially against the weaker teams in the division, and they have been doing just that lately. While it would be nice to see them take advantage of the powerplay more, they have proven they know how to win, relying on even-strength goals from their big names and role players alike.


The Vegas Golden Knights will resume play Sunday afternoon against The Anaheim Ducks at The Honda Center. The puck drop is set for 1:00 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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