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FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Kraken – Game 1

Franchise Sports Media


Welcome to the 2021/22 NHL season VGK fans! The Golden Knights welcomed the Seattle Kraken to the NHL at T-Mobile Arena, and from the pregame show to the final score, VGK put on one hell of a showing!


Caption Credit: Ryan Pinder/Twitter

After an offseason that Golden Knights fans saw a multitude of changes to their team, VGK finally dropped the puck on their 2021-2022 regular season against the expansion Seattle Kraken. This, as we all know, was the first game in franchise history for the league’s newest club, but it was Vegas‘ first without Marc Andre Fleury as a member of the Golden Knights, who came away with a 4-3 win.

Leading up to the game, both teams had potential lineup issues that they needed to deal with. The Kraken was rumored to have multiple players out due to the league’s COVID-19 protocols, but rumors were false as all were on the ice at game time.

Meanwhile, the Knights were forced to play without Mattias Janmark due to COVID-19, so Vegas was forced to revert to using 11 forwards and seven defensemen in their first game of the season.

Dylan Coghlan skated as a forward on the fourth line and Pavel Dorofeyev, Vegas2019 third-round pick, made his NHL debut in the season opener. It was also the Golden Knights debuts for Evgenii Dadonov and Nolan Patrick; the two skated with Peyton Krebs.


The pregame show was spectacular as a 3D Kraken arose from the ice, only to become fried calamari sinking back to the depths of the ocean floor.


Golden Knights vs Kraken
Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA TODAY Sports

Less than 30 seconds into the contest, Seattle’s Jordan Eberle rang the pipe, and the Kraken got a very early power-play opportunity as Alex Pietrangelo was whistled for tripping. The Golden Knights killed the penalty but not without a breakaway opportunity from William Karlsson.

Fan-favorite Max Pacioretty got the Knights on the board moments after the penalty kill. It was his first of the season which came on a wrist shot from Philipp Grubauer’s right that went over the glove of last year’s Vezina Trophy finalist.  The Fortress was rocking and chants of “Go Knights Go!” rang out from the sold-out crowd.

The Golden Knights got on the board again as Jonathan Marchessault scored a goal after Karlsson created a turnover in the offensive zone. VGK got their first power-play opportunity of the season after Reilly Smith was tripped by Jamie Oleksiak.

In his first game as the team’s undisputed No. 1 starter, Robin Lehner stoned Brandon Tanev with a poke-check save during the power play, which did not convert. The Kraken outshot the Golden Knights in the first period 9-6 but headed to the locker room trailing 2-0.


VGK kept the pressure on the Kraken early in the second period and extended their 2-0 lead.


Golden Knights vs Kraken
Photo Credit: Chase Stevens/AP

The Golden Knights got another crack at a man advantage after the Seattle bench was called for too many men, although the Knights were unable to capitalize at that time. VGK did get on the board shortly thereafter. It appeared as though Nicolas Hague tallied his first goal of the season, though it was later credited to Pacioretty for his second of the night. Hague took the shot after drifting into the slot, getting it through traffic and past Grubauer.

Ryan Donato is now an answer to a trivia question as he scored the first goal in Kraken franchise history. The Kraken quickly cut the deficit again, as Jared McCann was credited with a goal that trickled over the goal line. Marchessault once again rang the post shortly after the Seattle goal to keep it a one-goal game.

Early in the third period, the Kraken tied the game at 3-3 with a wrist shot from Morgan Geekie that beat Lehner by the near post. The Golden Knights quickly answered back as Chandler Stephenson deflected a pass from Mark Stone with his skate into the net. The goal was reviewed for a kick but was not overturned. The primary assist was the second of the game for the Golden Knights captain.

The Kraken pulled Grubauer with 1:20 remaining in the third, and the Knights escaped with the help of a kick save from Lehner and Stone beating out an icing call in the final seconds to help preserve the win.


Looking Forward: 


The Vegas Golden Knights will hit the road and travel to Los Angeles to take on the Kings Thursday night at Staples Center. The Kings are coming off a disappointing 2021 season where they finished tied for sixth in the Western Division going 21-28 with 56 points. Unlike recent years, this rivalry could get really competitive with the Kings looking much improved from the past few seasons.

Things aren’t looking too bad for L.A. in 2021. They have a realistic chance to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2017-18 competing in the Pacific Division with the expansion Seattle Kraken and four teams (Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks) that did not qualify last season.

Forwards Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson were added to a veteran core of forwards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, defenseman Drew Doughty and goalie Jonathan Quick. There’s also a very good base of young players (defensemen Mikey Anderson and Tobias Bjornfot, and forwards Gabriel Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan) getting their footing in the NHL.

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-Joe Arrigo– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeArrigoFSM

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