Vegas off to hottest start since inaugural season
Updated: Jan 20, 2021
The Vegas Golden Knights came back from a two goal deficit to secure a 3-0-0 home record to start the season for the first time since their inaugural season.
The Knights defeated the Arizona Coyotes, 4-2, Monday, Jan. 18 from T-Mobile Arena.
It is only the second time the Knights have started a season 3-0, the first was in 2017-2018, the inaugural season.
Vegas is currently the only 3-0 team in the NHL. The only other undefeated teams in the league is the reigning champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers 2-0.
The Knights look to keep their winning streak alive in the second game of this four-game series, against the Coyotes, Wednesday, Jan 20.
The last two games of the series will take place in Arizona Friday, Jan. 22 and Sunday, Jan. 24.
Despite the 3-0 start, the Knights have trailed or been tied going into the third period in all three games.
Arizona had 28 shots on goal, compared to Vegas’ 15, in the first two periods. The Coyotes’ two goals came from a shorthanded goal by center Tyler Pitlick in the first and a power play goal by center Nick Schmaltz in the second.
Goalie Robin Lehner had 30 saves.
“We were playing just well enough to hang around but not well enough to win,” head coach Pete DeBoer said. “But we dug in in the third and found a way to win.”
Going into this game, Vegas had not scored a goal in the second period and Arizona had not given one up.
Darcy Kuemper, the goalie for Arizona, had the third-highest save percentage to finish the 2019-20 regular season with .928 and tied for third in goals against average with 2.22.
Late in the second period, left-wing Max Pacioretty scored the first goal for the Knights to cut the Coyotes lead in half, 2-1.
Pacioretty extended his season-opening goal streak to three and just trails Edmonton left-wing James Neal (four) in 2017-2018, for the longest goal streak by a Golden Knight.
Center Chandler Stephenson and defenseman Shea Theodore both assisted on Pacioretty’s goal.
In the third period right-wing Reilly smith scored his first two goals of the season.
The first to tie the game with 15:49 left in regulation and later an insurance goal in empty net fashion.
The assist on Smith’s goal was from center William Karlsson with a backhand from behind the net.
Stephenson was credited the go-ahead goal with assists from defenseman Zach Whitecloud and right-wing Mark Stone, a shot from Whitecloud that was deflected off Stephenson’s back.
The last time Vegas saw Arizona was Dec. 28, 2019. The Knights took the win and the series of the 2019-2021 regular season, 2-1
They face the Coyotes a total of eight times this regular season. Game 2 against Arizona is Wednesday, Jan 20.