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Golden Knights 5, Canucks 4: Very close to beating the big odds against division giants

The Golden Knights have held a great number of winning hands this season.

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The odds were stacked against the Vancouver Canucks like the stack of poker chips at Rogers Arena on Monday.

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The Vegas Golden Knights have had an impressive number of winning hands this National Hockey League season.

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But what was even more shocking was that the Canucks went 2-1 in the second period with two goals in 49 seconds before going wild and crazy at 5-4.


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In fact, Bo Horvat’s 15th goal of the season (a third-period lister ripped from a slot) put his club back in the fight. And four minutes later, Dakota Joshua set the screen and Luke Shen’s shot from the wall flew home.

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And they weren’t finished yet.

Another wave came and Elias Petterson found a rebound off his knee to make it 4-2. However, the Golden Knights did not spend the night quietly.

They answered 43 seconds later when Will Carrier was allowed to pounce on the loose puck before Riley Smith got stuck in the puck next to the net.

And when Mark Stone appeared to be down 5-4, the challenge called for a stop as the puck hit a hole in the glass housing the cameras.

you can’t make this

Alex Pietrangelo then landed a backhand on Demko to end the drama.

The Golden Knights improved to 15-4-1 with an 8-2-1 roll and 9-1-1 away. If that wasn’t enough, the Pacific Division heavyweight is 11-2-0 when he scores first and 8-1-0 when he leads after two periods.

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They also scored the third most goals per out, scored the fourth fewest, and ranked third in penalty kills.

Their real strength, however, is their ability to roll three lines that can hurt you, refuse to enter or exit the zone, and display quickness, balance, and composure. Just Jack Eichel.

In fact, their coach actually wanted some adversity after the Golden Knights set a franchise record by coming through the gate with a 13-3 record. That’s right, Bruce Cassidy was looking for something that could go wrong to bolster his postseason resolve, as many things have gone well.

“Hopefully we can have a little bit of[a lull],” Cassidy said. You don’t want to run into (adversity) when you’re in Round 1.

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He saw it on Monday.


Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (right) stops Jonathan Marchesault of the Vegas Golden Knights in the first period.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (right) stops Jonathan Marchesault of the Vegas Golden Knights in the first period. Photo courtesy of Daryl DYCK /canadian press

Another lull, another goal

The Golden Knights can beat you in many ways, so you’d better not beat yourself up.

The defining sequence of the second period was one of skill and will to erase the Canucks’ 1-0 advantage. All told how a winning team wins.

First, it was Stone who established position in the high slot, deflecting Eichel’s shot to Demko’s gloveside. The Canucks then sat back and allowed Eichel to hang around before easily finding his career and scoring the forward goal.

Getting in and out of the zone wasn’t easy against Vegas. A simple early D-zone rim exit by Riley Stillman was picked up by Shay Theodore on his point far and kept the play. And gaining the O-zone was often hampered by strong back pressure.

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Vegas Golden Knights forward Brett Howden, 21, will face Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Voser, 6, in the first period at Rogers Arena.
Vegas Golden Knights forward Brett Howden, 21, will face Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Voser, 6, in the first period at Rogers Arena. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAYSports

bozer is getting better

The winger opened the scoring in the second period and put on some spectacular playmaking, scoring his eighth goal in the span (2-6) to extend his scoring streak to seven games.

Quinn Hughes took control of the puck with a high slot before finding Bozer on the far wall. He took the puck with his backhand and gave Andrei Kuzmenko his tip for Kreese.


Vegas Golden Knights' Paul Cotter (left) jumps to avoid a hit by Vancouver Canucks' Luke Shen (2) in the second period.
Vegas Golden Knights’ Paul Cotter (left) jumps to avoid a hit by Vancouver Canucks’ Luke Shen (2) in the second period. Photo courtesy of Daryl DYCK /canadian press

Shen leaves

The veteran defense led the league with 81 hits when Jonathan Marcheseau’s shot hit the back of his helmet late in the first period. Despite looking intimidating, he came back for a second term.

Not only would it ruin the symmetry with Hughes, but it would have reduced the Canucks to five Blueliners and potentially put them to a tougher test against the opportunistic Golden Knights.

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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Riley Stillman (61) checks on Vegas Golden Knights forward Keegan Kollcer (55) in the second period at Rogers Arena.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Riley Stillman (61) checks on Vegas Golden Knights forward Keegan Kollcer (55) in the second period at Rogers Arena. Photo by Bob Frid /USA TODAYSports

goals that didn’t come true

On a night when the Canucks were able to use all their goals, what they didn’t get sooner proved costly. Good job by Joshua in getting the puck out in front of the net for Curtis Lazar Jam’s job, but Vegas succeeded in the offside challenge.

bkuzma@postmedia.com

twitter.com/@benkuzma


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Golden Knights 5, Canucks 4: Very close to beating the big odds against division giants

Source link Golden Knights 5, Canucks 4: Very close to beating the big odds against division giants

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