Stone nets game-winning goal in season opener
Vegas Golden Knights’ captain Mark Stone picked a perfect time to make his presence felt in Tuesday’s regular season opener versus the Los Angeles Kings at Crypto.com Arena.
Stone buried the game-winning goal for Vegas with 26 seconds left in regulation to secure a 4-3 win for Vegas.
Tuesday was a day of firsts for the Golden Knights in this new season that has been dawned “The Golden Age” by the team. For starters, it was the first regular season game with new head coach, Bruce Cassidy, on the bench.
“Happy for the guys,” he said. “I thought we showed a lot of resilience. We kept pushing back whenever something didn’t go our way.”
Tuesday marked the first of 82 regular season games the Vegas Golden Knights will face this season and with the win, also marks the first two points earned in the standings for the Knights.
Stone’s game-winner prevented any possibility of there being an overtime period which would have awarded the losing team one point in the Pacific Division standings.
Vegas currently holds the lead in the Pacific Division with a 1-0-0 record after opening night and have 2 points to currently lead all teams within the division.
Thursday, Oct. 13 is the home opener for the Golden Knights as they prepare to welcome the Chicago Blackhawks into T-Mobile Arena. Puck drop is set for 7pm PST and can be seen on AT&T Sportsnet. Fans interested in attending the game are encouraged to purchase tickets at AXS.com
“[Stone’s goal] was awesome,” goaltender Logan Thompson said. “I think we deserved that win. From puck drop, we were all over them all game.”
Thompson finished his night with 27 saves on 30 shots faced for a .900 save percentage.
Two-time Stanley Cup winner Jonathan Quick finished the game with 47 saves on 51 shots faced for a .922 save percentage for the LA Kings.
One stat that hasn’t been much of a surprise to the Vegas fans for quite some time is the power play for the Golden Knights. Vegas ranked outside the top 20 in the league in power play goals. Tuesday night, VGK went 1-for-5 on the power play.
On the flip side, the Vegas penalty kill was perfect in their season debut as they managed to kill off all three power play opportunities for LA.
Vegas was held scoreless for the first 21:41 of the game until forward Jonathan Marchessault tied the game 1-1 early in the second period.
The third period was filled with goals on both sides as Vegas found its first lead 1:27 into the period when center Jack Eichel snuck one past Quick’s blocker off a rebound. It’s the first time he’s scored in the season opener since his debut in 2015.
Two and a half minutes later, LA’s Adrian Kempe tied the game back up at two apiece.
It only took three minutes before Knights forward William Karlsson tipped in a power play goal that put Vegas back ahead 3-2 with just under 13 minutes to play in regulation.
Arthur Kaliyev of the Kings scored LA’s final goal with 7:02 left in regulation which brought the game to a 3-3 tie before Stone sealed the deal for Vegas on the road.