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Stone buries walk-off shootout goal to beat Blues 5-4

With the game on his stick, Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone delivered the game-winning goal in a 5-4 shootout win over the St. Louis Blues Friday, Dec. 23 to wrap up a four-game homestand.

“Lots of resiliency,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said, “We need that where we’re down a few guys and the guys that are expected to produce. Finding different ways to win, scoring at home – I know it’s a shootout game, but it doesn’t matter right now, you take the points this time of year.”

Stone has made it known that he is not the biggest fan of shootouts and usually is one of the later options for Vegas when it finds itself in such situations.

“Well he basically said, ‘Look, I’ll do whatever,’” Cassidy said. “It didn’t sound like, ‘Yeah, I got one in me coach,’ but that line had the hot hand so we decided to go with them.”

In the last two games, Stone has five points (three goals, two assists).

The Golden Knights had to overcome a one-goal deficit twice against the Blues when they trailed 3-2 in the second period and 4-3 in the third period.

With the win, Vegas is now 24-11-1 with 49 points in the Pacific Division. It’s lead is now five points over the Los Angeles Kings.

These teams will meet one more time on Mar. 12 in St. Louis to decide the season series. The Blues won the opening meeting at T-Mobile Arena, 3-2, back on Nov. 12.

Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson had a four-point night which included the game-tying goal with 1:36 to go in the third period to send the game into overtime. Stephenson also had a goal in the shootout that kept hope alive for the Vegas faithful.

Stephenson’s three assists in this game give him 14 in the 12 games played in December. These 14 assists for the month are tied for the league lead.

“It was a big point,” Stephenson said. “Come back to get one point and anytime you’re trying for two, you’ve got to have a little fun with it.”

Friday’s game concluded a four-game homestand for the Golden Knights. The team has the Christmas holiday off before hitting the road on Tuesday for a pair of games in Southern California.

Tuesday’s matchup features the Los Angeles Kings from Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on AT&T Sportsnet or ESPN+.

Four different Golden Knights had multi-point games. Stephenson led the way with a goal and three assists. Center Michael Amadio had a goal and two assists. Stone and defenseman Alex Pietrangleo each had a goal and an assist.

Amadio’s three points against the Blues tied a career high and he is now on a three-game point streak (two goals, three assists).

Pietrangelo got the scoring going in the first period when he buried a backhander from the slot to light the lamp just over five minutes into the contest. He has a point in each of the four games he has played since returning to the lineup.

Assisting on Pietrangelo’s goal was Stephenson who extended his point streak to seven games. He has 14 points during this time (3 goals, 11 assists).

St. Louis left-wing Pavel Buchnevich did not let the Vegas lead last long into the second period. Buchnevich scored 40 seconds into the second period to tie the game at one.

Stone responded with the equalizer moments later. Later in the period, he had picked up an assist on Amadio’s goal that tied the game at three going into the third period.

After Friday’s game, Vegas is being outscored 42-29 in the second period this season.

“One goal becomes two and then becomes three so there’s different reasons,” Cassidy said. “Today we took an offensive zone penalty which are the ones you typically don’t kill. Then they get a goal from an off angle so the mistakes we make get compounded in the second period.”

St. Louis won the second period 3-2 Friday.

“We’ve had a tough time getting our game back, although today, we did get it back for a stretch and then it turned again,” Cassidy said. “We have to find ways to limit those stretches of bad hockey or mistakes to three or four minutes and maybe one goal, not always two and three.

“To truly be a good team, it has to be three periods. You have to get your house in order so that’s the challenge in front of us.”


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