Golden Knights open season 2-0 after sweep of Ducks
The Vegas Golden Knights secured their second win of the season with a come-from-behind two goals in a minute and a half span.
Vegas beat the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1 in overtime, Saturday, Jan. 16 from T-Mobile Arena to sweep the opening series for the second year in a row.
The Knights record as of today is 2-0, they are looking to start their season 3-0 for the first time since the inaugural season in 2017-2018.
The home team will continue their four-game season opening stretch, Monday, Jan. 18 against the Arizona Coyotes.
Last year, Vegas took the series 2-1 in the regular season.
“This is a veterans group and we’ve been in these frustrating games before… [but] I thought there was real good composure,” head coach Pete DeBoer said. “If you look around the league it’s really hard to sweep. It’s going to be really hard for somebody to beat a team twice in this format, so we’ll take these however they look.”
Veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury got his first start of the season and first win.
Fleury is in his 17th season in the NHL and now has 467 regular season victories.
“It was good to get a win,” Fleury said after the game. “It felt like a long battle, tried to keep the game close, and our guys didn’t quit, kept coming until the end and got a big goal there.”
Fleury also known as “Flower” responded with 21 saves, facing 22 shots for a save percentage of .955. Nine of those saves were in the third period, keeping the Knights in the 1-0 game.
“It was more of a sense of belief amongst the players and coaches because of Flower making those big saves, the way he always does,” left wing Max Pacioretty said.
Fleury wasn’t the only veteran to come in clutch.
Center William Karlsson scored the first goal for the Knights with 1:22 left in regulation to tie the game.
Fleury was pulled from the net to give Vegas a 6-5 advantage. Right-wing Mark Stone and center Jonathan Marchessault both assisted on Karlsson’s game-tying goal.
Karlsson had a career high 43 goals, in the Knight’s first season and played a huge role in Vegas making it to the playoffs in their first three.
Previously this week, Stone was named the first ever Golden Knights captain and scored the game winning goal in their first matchup against the Ducks.
With no preseason and very little time to prepare for the year, the three-on-three overtime format took a backseat.
“We’ve never worked on it once.” DeBoer said about the three-on-three. “We can’t take any credit from a coaching staff point of view for that, that’s just good players making a great play.”
In the first OT minute of the season, Stone won the face-off and pushed the puck down the ice to Pacioretty to score the game winning goal in seven seconds.
This is the fastest goal to start a period in franchise history.
Before the two goals scored in a minute and half span, goalie John Gibson had 31 saves on 33 shots for Anaheim, a .939 save percentage.
Maxime Comtois scored the single goal for the Ducks in the first period. Comtois also scored two goals for Anaheim in the first game on Thursday, Jan 14.
The sweep isn’t the only reason Vegas has people’s attention; the Golden Knights sported their new “all-gold” jersey this game.
The first metallic jersey in NHL history.
Fleury added gold pads and a gold helmet to match.