Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Canucks – Game 20

Franchise Sports Media

Golden Knights (9-6)  |  Vancouver Canucks (5-8-2)

 

The Vegas Golden Knights rallied with goals by Evgenii Dadonov and Reilly Smith in a 7-4 win over the Canucks.

 

Golden Knights vs Canucks
Photo Credit: NHL

The Vancouver Canucks played the perfect road game. They sucked the life out of the game, the crowd, and scored a pair of early goals. But VGK rallied with goals by Evgenii Dadonov and Reilly Smith and needed three leads before one stuck.

In the third period, Jonathan Marchessault scored a power-play marker, his 100th goal as a Golden Knight, and it stood as the game-winner.

When they said it, I didn’t understand. So I asked someone on the bench, and they told me (it was my 100th goal). I’m pretty proud of that,” Marchessault said.

Mark Stone, who missed the last 12 games, set up Dadonov for the clincher with five minutes remaining. On a two-on-one, Stone gave Dadonov a layup, and Vancouver was finally done. Marchessault added more insurance with four minutes left when he poked a loose puck into a yawning cage. The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Vancouver Canucks 7-4 at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.

 

Early in the second period, Vancouver defenseman Brad Hunt left Reilly Smith uncovered on the left wing. Smith ripped the wrister past Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko to even the game.

 

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

Midway through the period, the Golden Knights forecheck created a turnover in the Vancouver zone, and Brayden McNabb was the lucky Golden Knight to be uncovered by scrambling defense. Like Smith, McNabb snapped it past Demko from the left-wing.

Vancouver lost three of their previous four games and was carpet-bombed in Colorado on Thursday night, 7-1. However, the Vegas Golden Knights didn’t put away Vancouver.

Instead, Vancouver tied the game twice. Later in the second period, Nils Hoglander pressured the Golden Knights point, created a turnover, and scored on a breakaway when he outraced Ben Hutton and Dylan Coghlan. 3-3.

In the third period, Jake Leschyshyn scored his first NHL goal to give the Golden Knights a 4-3 lead. Less than one minute later, Lehner kicked a big rebound which went directly to Hoglander, who scored again to tie the game. Again.

Vancouver earned a two-goal lead early in the first period, just three minutes into the game, including one Robin Lehner probably kicked himself just a bit. Vancouver pressured the Golden Knights point (again), and J.T. Miller streaked past the Golden Knights defensemen and beat Lehner through the five-hold from about 35 feet (back of the circle).

 

Before the game was six minutes old, Vegas was down 2-0. Vancouver’s quick puck movement scrambled the Golden Knights’ defense, and Tanner Pearson was alone near the crease for an easy deflection.

 

Golden Knights vs Canucks
Photo Credit: Jason Franson/The Canadian Press/AP

It wasn’t Lehner’s best night. He certainly would like the game’s first goal back, and the juicy rebound to Hoglander in the third period was an unforced error. He faced over 40 shots (43). For the fourth time in six games, the Golden Knights allowed 38 shots or more.

There are very few goalies like Lehner’s predecessor who get better when bombarded. Most goalies need a bit of protection.

Vancouver is an absolute mess. They had a good start but got sucked into the Golden Knights’ game. They traded chances, and they played open. Vegas is a better team or at least better at that, and Lehner is a better netminder than Demko.

The weaker teams of the Western Conference must be defeated, and Vegas did that Saturday night.

 

The Golden Knights will be back in action tonight as they take on the Nashville Predators at 5:00 pm. The game can be seen on AT&T SportsNet.

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-DJ Wood– Franchise Sports Media

Follow DJ on Twitter @DJWoody97

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