Video Credit: NHL

FSM Essential Recap: Golden Knights vs Penguins – Game 25 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Vegas Golden Knights (17-7-1)  | Pittsburgh Penguins  (12-8-4)

 

The Golden Knights blew a lead in the 3rd period, as Vegas fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, losing their 2nd game on the road this season.

 

The Vegas Golden Knights have been known as “Road Warriors” and have earned that name this season with a 10-1-1 road record going into last night’s game. But that record was put to the test against the Pittsburgh Penguins led by Sidney Crosby at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.

This was the Knights 2nd of out of 4 road game trips, as they were poised to remain dominant on the road. Going into this game, Vegas goaltender Logan Thompson was named the NHL Rookie of the month for November with his stellar performance of an 8-2-0 record as a starter, 2.88 GAA, and .909 SV%. With that honor, he was the first VGK player ever to receive that accomplishment.

Stats that Thompson earned very well and is something that he would like to continue, Vegas head coach Bruce Cassidy started Thompson in the net that night, while goaltender Tristan Jarry started for the Penguins. Pittsburgh also was without Kris Letang for the second straight game after he suffered a stroke recently.

The Knights started the first period right away when Jack Eichel scored after a tap-in from the left post after a Mark Stone shot across the crease to put Vegas on the board first, 1-0. Also, Eichel sported a new look wearing a face shield to protect himself after suffering a puck shot to the face in his previous game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. 

Almost towards the end of the first period, with just over 5 seconds left on the Vegas power play, Reilly Smith extended the lead to 2-0 after a snapshot from the right face-off circle off of a pass assist from Phil Kessel. The power-play goal was the first time the Penguins gave up a power-play goal in 8 games.

 

Despite the Golden Knights getting outshot by the Penguins throughout the game, Vegas still managed to hold on to their lead.

 

With Vegas going into the second with the lead and the momentum, the lead would be cut in half when Pittsburgh’s Brock McGinn scored after spinning for a wrist shot from a sharp angle to the right of the net, finally putting the Penguins on the board 2-0.

Vegas seemed to lose momentum through the 2nd period, getting outshot by Pittsburgh and bullied by forechecking as well. It only got worse for the Knights when the Penguins tied the game 2-2 after Rickard Rakell scored on the backdoor after Sidney Crosby intercepted Nicolas Hague’s attempt to rim the puck around the boards. The turnover from Vegas turned into a goal for the Penguins as the game was now tied.

The second period ended tied, not the way the Knights wanted; throughout this season, VGK has scored 62% of the goals in the first and third periods but only 43% in the second. The woes of second-period performances for the Knights were still a thorn in their back to remove.

But all was forgotten in the third period with over a minute going in when Shae Theodore scored a power-play goal after a shot from the point past a screen from Mark Stone to put Vegas back ahead 3-2. But the Penguins would continue not to let up when Jake Guentzel would score on a power play goal after a one-timer shot from an Evgeni Malkin assist to tie the game 3-3. The power-play goal for the Penguins also ended their man-advantage drought of 18 games.

The Knights, now we’re in a challenging situation with the game tied. Still, two minutes later, the momentum completely shifted after Kasperi Kapanen gave the Penguins the lead for the first time after a shot from the right post after a pass from Brock McGinn took the lead 4-3.

Despite Logan Thompson’s career-high of 43 saves, it was not enough as the Golden Knights suffered their second loss on the road losing 4-3 to the Penguins. 

“They were quicker than us tonight,”  Reilly Smith said. “It’s a little bit of a wake-up call. We’ve got to do a better job just upping the tempo, especially when you play a team like Pittsburgh.”

Throughout this game, the Knights were outshot by Pittsburgh 47-37, even though Vegas held the lead that would eventually slip away in the end.

 

The Golden Knights stay on the road as they head up to Hockey Town in the Motor City as they take on the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, MI. They are scheduled to drop the puck at 4:00 pm. The game can be seen on  AT&T Sports Net (channel 313 on Cox Cable) or heard on 98.9 FM, FOX Sports Las Vegas 1340 AM.

 

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– Jonathan Randall – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jonathan on Twitter @jonnyquest1991

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