Historic night at T-Mobile Arena sees VGK win in shootout
There was a hockey game played Monday at T-Mobile Arena and the Knights did top their rival (San Jose Sharks) in a thrilling game decided by shootout, but none of it topped the bigger story on hand in San Jose’s Patrick Marleau.
Marleau became the ultimate ironman for hockey as he broke Hall-of-Famer Gordie Howe’s record for games played with 1,768.
That number is nearly five calendar years of hockey games played.
“Just extremely grateful for everything and all the support everyone has given me throughout my career, especially tonight,” Marleau told ESPN. “I don’t know how many phone calls or texts I got. It might take me a week to reply to everybody. It’s been overwhelmingly humbling, to say the least.”
Despite an intense rivalry between the two teams, Vegas gave Marleau a loud ovation.
“Coming in you play one shift, the emotion of the fans and the honoring of Patrick,” captain Mark Stone told ESPN. “You can get a little wrapped up in it sometimes. We’re trying to find ways to win, that’s what good teams do.”
Stone had two goals in another brilliant performance from Vegas’ top player.
His knack for being in the correct spots on the ice as well as spectacular all-around play has led to a dominant year for Vegas, who sits atop the West Division at 32-11-2.
Stone’s two goals knotted the game at two prior to heading to overtime.
In overtime, both goalies made spectacular saves each way to keep their teams in it.
Vegas’ Robin Lehner stopped 29-of-31 shots on the night while San Jose’s Martin Jones stopped 38-of-40 coming his way.
Jones has played the Knights well over the last couple of seasons including the playoffs.
The thrilling game would come down to a shootout.
The 41-year-old Marleau would have his shot deflected by Lehner before Tuch snuck his past Jones on the other end.
San Jose’s Ryan Donato was denied by Lehner then Vegas’ Chandler Stephenson whiffed on his opportunity.
Lehner would then deflect San Jose’s Logan Couture’s shot to secure the win for Vegas.
The crowd erupted and Lehner clenched both fists as Vegas escaped with a win.
“We’ve been playing really well lately, and we wanted to keep building, keep everything going. This was an important win for us,” Lehner told ESPN. “We stuck with it. The last 10 minutes of the third was a lot of back and forth, same in overtime.”
Lehner has yet to lose in regulation this season as he is currently 8-0-1 as a starting goalie this season.
Up next, the rivals will clash once more at the T-Mobile Arena also known as “The Fortress” Wednesday, April 21. Puck drop is at 6:30 p.m.