FSM Essential Recap: VGK vs Blackhawks – 8/16/2020



The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1 on Saturday night in Edmonton to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Photo Credit: Second City Hockey

William Karlsson started the scoring early, putting a nifty backhand into the back of the Chicago net while on a penalty kill. That would be all the scoring in the first period. Patrick Brown got an opportunity to dress because of Tomas Nosek and Paul Stastny being “unfit to play.” Brown stuffed home a rebound with just under five minutes left in the second period, and that would end up being the game-winner. Chicago scored only once in the third period.

Marc-Andre Fleury got the start and was magnificent. He stopped several point-blank opportunities that left Chicago players looking to the rafters for answers. In the other net, Corey Crawford had his best game of the season.

It is cliché time for Chicago as you will hear plenty of “it is not over yet” and “we just got to take it one game at a time” from the players and coaches. Chicago played their best game of the series and will have to be even better to have hope.

On Sunday, the two teams will be back at it again.  I am guessing that coach Pete DeBoer goes back to Robin Lehner. Will Stastny and Nosek be “fit to play?” Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith failed to log a point; it is safe to say that Stastny was missed.

If Vegas can get the win on Sunday, they would have at least a week to get back to full health for the second round. Vegas looks strong and primed for a deep run in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Game 3 Quotes:


“I’m not going to lie; I was a little nervous and had some butterflies,” Fleury said. “I find ways over the years to handle things better than when I was younger. It’s still a lot of fun, and it’s playoff hockey.

The game meant a lot, and to go up, 3-0 was big. I just tried to stop one puck at a time, one shot at a time, and it worked out.”


Golden Knights
Photo Credit: Second City Hockey

“We’re down three games. Tomorrow’s a must-win to stay alive,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “That’s the reality, that’s the way we look at it. We were working for the bounces; pucks were lying around; we just didn’t find the back of the net. Tomorrow, we have to believe that we will.”

“It’s a testament to [Brown’s] character,” Vegas coach Pete DeBoer said. “He’s been practicing with the taxi squad, showing up every day, and to be able to jump into a Stanley Cup Playoff game like this and be as effective as he was all night for us is a testament to how hard he works.”

“We can’t be a victim,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. “We’re playing hard, proud of the work ethic. We need to find another level. The time we can feel sorry for ourselves is later on, but now is not the time. We have to be better than them for 60 (minutes) tomorrow and continue to put pucks to the net, find a way to get a couple more greasy rebound goals. They’ve been getting chances in bunches; they get four in one shift or four on a power play, whatever it may be. We have to find a way to limit those.”

“I don’t feel I’m (playing) against Robin,” Fleury said. “I feel I need to beat the Blackhawks, and that’s my focus. I’ll do my best to help the team to win a series. Robin likes to play, and I like to play, but it’s the coach’s decision. It’s playoffs, and I want to be a good team guy, and all that matters is winning.”



Three Stars


1. Mark Stone (VGK) — 1 A, two takeaways, two penalties drawn

2. Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK) — 26 saves, seven high danger, 2.08 expected goals against

3. Corey Crawford (CHI) — 24 saves, seven high danger, 3.01 expected goals against



Series game schedule:


Tuesday, Aug. 11: Vegas 4, Chicago 1
Thursday, Aug. 13: Vegas 4, Chicago 3 (OT)
Saturday, Aug. 15: Vegas 2,  Chicago 1
Sunday, Aug. 16: Vegas at Chicago, 3:30 p.m. PT – NBCSN
*Tuesday, Aug. 18: Chicago at Vegas – TBD
*Thursday, Aug. 20: Vegas at Chicago – TBD
*Saturday, Aug. 22: Chicago at Vegas – TBD

*if necessary



The magic number for the Golden Knights to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup is now 13.

VGK vs Blackhawks

Go Knights Go!

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

Twitter: TDChrisG

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