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FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Kings – Game 1

Franchise Sports Media

Golden Knights (1-0-0)  | Los Angeles Kings (0-1-0)


The Golden Knights closed out a thriller with some late-game heroics from Mark Stone to win 4-3 against the Kings.


Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong /AP

It’s been an interesting and long offseason for the Vegas Golden Knights, but the club defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-3 at the Arena in the season opener.

The Golden Knights out-shot the Kings 51-30. The previous franchise record in a season opener was 35 in 2019. They also managed to score on a power play and denied the Kings on all three of their power plays.

Logan Thompson got the start to start the season, but Bruce Cassidy said he has a plan on how he wants to deploy Thompson and Adin Hill through October, but he is not rotating them. For one thing, Thompson finished the game with 27 saves on 30 shots for a .900 save percentage, picking up his first win of the season.

Mark Stone also played his first game in L.A. since he could barely walk back to the locker room. It just feels good to be out here with the guys,Stone told reporters after the game. “(Playing only) 37 games last year was hard. I’m glad that I feel the way that I feel right now, and I’m excited for Thursday.


In the first period, there were first-game jitters


Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: Jae C. Hong /AP

Cassidy wasted no time getting his “energy” line out there. The 4th line took the opening faceoff with Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez.

The Kings received the first power play chance with only 1:13 into the game. Phil Kessel caught a player up high and headed to the box for high sticking. But with an excellent first minute of penalty kill for Vegas, Mark Stone raced down the ice for a shorthanded backhander that Jonathan Quick stopped.

At the first TV timeout, VGK had not allowed a shot on goal but did allow the two most dangerous chances of the game. Six years in, hockey remains weird. 

All of that changed when Ben Hutton lost his stick, and Los Angeles jumped all over it with two dangerous chances. Thompson stopped the first one on the doorstep, then Gabe Vilardi snuck the second chance over his shoulder to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

The fourth line continued their strong play in the corners. So much so that Jack Eichel was able to get a shift in and put a good look on Quick, but he made the save. 4th line did its job. Spent time in the o-zone. Everything to the outside.

Stone made a pretty ridiculous backhand pass that went through 2 defenders and found Brett Howden on the backdoor. But Quick slid across perfectly for a positional save.

Kessel had his first nice play of the game, who one-touched it ahead to Eichel for a breakaway, but Eichel ripped the shot over the crossbar. Mikey Anderson got called for cross-checking Michael Amadio, and Vegas got its first power play chance with 31 seconds left in the 1st period.

It was a dangerous looking 31 seconds, but Vegas couldn’t get one by Quick. LA took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Shots at this point were 16-7 in favor of the Golden Knights.


In the 2nd period, mistakes were made


Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

After a poorly timed change by Los Angeles, A 3-on-1 for Vegas was on deck. William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault played pitch-and-catch, and Marchessault buried it to tie the game at 1-1.

VGK jumped all over the Kings‘ mistakes this period. They very easily could’ve had one or two more. Vegas headed straight back to the power play after Alex Edler was called for cross-checking.

Another 3-on-1 opportunity arose for the Golden Knights after two Kings‘ players collide. Marchessault went straight for the shot, but Quick made the stop. Quick was electric all night, but a few miscues did him in. He stopped 47 on 51 shots for a .922 save percentage.

The Golden Knights did exactly what Cassidy’s system is set up to do in this period. Nothing at all getting to the center of the ice in the d-zone, and plenty of soft shots that Thompson can easily snap up.

Kessel dropped to Eichel, who went strong to the net and drew a slashing call.  The Golden Knights went back to the power play at 12:10. DeBoer complained a lot last year that the Golden Knights did not attack holes in the defense, and that’s why they didn’t get many penalty calls. Eichel just attacked the heck out of that hole and got VGK back on the power play.

The Golden Knights won a lot of the 50/50 battles in this second period, and that was more than likely the biggest reason they spent most of it on LA’s end.

Late-period icing on a missed knockdown by the only new player on the ice, Paul Cotter, caused VGK to have to play a tired defensive zone shift, and it resulted in a penalty. These little things hurt big sometimes.

However, lady luck smiled upon the Golden Knights. As Kevin Fiala went to the box for a check to the head on Martinez. This nullified LA’s power play and started a 4-on-4 for 1:39. But nothing came out of it.


The 3rd period: The hero Mark Stone


Golden Knights vs Kings
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

There would be 44 seconds of 4-on-4 to open the 3rd, and then Vegas would get a brief 21-second power play.

VGK didn’t have a lot of power play time, but boy, did they make the most of it. Eichel gave Vegas a 2-1 lead after Quick stopped the first two, and it was the third attempt where Eichel capitalized. Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith were credited with the assists, as the goal came shortly after the power play ended.

But the Kings would answer to make it 2-2. Thompson sprawled across to take away what looked like a chance for Anze Kopitar, but he cleverly went around the net and fed teammate Adrian Kempe in front.

Golden Knights went to the power play after they drew another penalty with 12:57 left in a tie game. Which ended with a fantastic shot-pass by Pietrangelo from the point that Karlsson deflects past Quick, 3-2 Vegas. Pietrangelo and Nicolas Roy with the assists. The Vegas power play was operating at a 20 percent clip.

Cassidy told reporters after the game on Karlsson’s power-play goal, Petro and Karly have been working on that in practice, so it was good to see that pay off for them.”

Kessel was called for his second penalty of the night, slashing this time. Los Angeles went to the power play with 9:06 left. They scored just as the penalty expired to tie it 3-3. Stephenson tied up Trevor Moore’s stick in front briefly, but Moore made a great pass to Arthur Kaliyev, who buried it.

With 1 minute left in the 3rd period, the Kings seemed like they were just going to run the clock out. They tried to kill the game off by standing behind the goal for a minute. But they then opted for a long-range pass that was easily intercepted, and then Stone buried one and went absolutely wild.

The Golden Knights earned this win. Final- Vegas 4, Los Angeles 3. Stone is healthy and thriving, and it was a huge division win for Vegas as they denied LA in their own building in the season opener.

Vegas last season missed the playoffs for the first time in five seasons. It’s safe to say that Year 5 was a bust. But Year 6 looks promising. With a new head coach and new systems put in place, there’s a sense of excitement in the air as there’s a feeling of the tides turning in sin city.


The Golden Knights look ahead to their next game against the Chicago Blackhawks. They drop the puck Thursday, October 13th, at 7: p.m. at T-Mobile Arena. The game can be seen on ESPN+.


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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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