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Vegas goes Duck-hunting in a thrilling shootout win over Anaheim

Despite surrendering three straight unanswered goals to the Anaheim Ducks in the third period, the Vegas Golden Knights would hang on in a 5-4 (shootout) win.


It was Vegas’ first shootout period of the season.


“We needed the two points,” said Vegas goaltender Robin Lehner, who entered the game with the worst shootout save percentage in NHL history. “It just keeps building confidence in (shootouts). I’ve been working quite a bit on it this season. I think I won the last one, so I just gotta try to keep the momentum going.”


Lehner was off to a great start holding down the fort in net as his team gave him a comfortable, or so he thought, 4-1 lead.


Vegas’ strong lead started with a rebounded shot from forward Reilly Smith. Anaheim’s John Gibson saved Smith’s initial attempt, but Smith followed it up to put Vegas up 1-0.


Defensemen Nicolas Hague started the second period with a one-timer to put Vegas up 2-0 over the Ducks.


Anaheim would score its first goal of the evening off beautiful puck movement leading to a Trevor Zegras goal cutting the deficit to one.


The third period brought fireworks.


The first 10 minutes belonged to the Knights, who scored consecutive goals via center Chandler Stephenson and forward Will Carrier.


The 4-1 lead was not unfamiliar to a feisty Anaheim team, who erased a three-goal deficit in its previous game against Buffalo.


Anaheim would rattle Lehner for three straight goals to tie the game up at four apiece heading into overtime.


Neither team could crack the crease in overtime meaning shootout.


Zegras would strike first for Aneheim sneaking one past Lehner.


The team would split two saved shots each before Roy got one to go.


Troy Terry, who scored a third period goal on Lehner, couldn’t get the best of him on this attempt, as Lehner saved his shot attempt.


Evgenii Dadonov, who’s earned his stripes in the clutch this season for Vegas, came through once more for the game winner.


“Some of the analytics had other guys ahead of him,” Vegas head coach Pete DeBoer told ESPn regarding the decision to put Dadonov in. “His name came up and Ryan said he scored two games in a row. He has historically been a streaky scorer, so we put him out there.”


Dadonov’s heroics gave Vegas its third straight win putting the team at .500, or 4-4.


The win also has improved Vegas’ dominance over Anaheim all-time.


Vegas is 18-3 against the Ducks since the Knights’ inaugural season.

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