In a pivotal Game 5 with the series deadlocked at two wins apiece, the Vegas Golden Knights exploded in the second period en route to an eventual, 4-3, win over the Edmonton Oilers Friday, May 12 from the T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas now leads the Best-of-7 series 3-2.
The win came in the absence of defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who served a one-game suspension for a slashing call with less than two minutes left in regulation of Game 4. Edmonton was without defenseman Darnell Nurse as well for instigating in the final five minutes of regulation of Game 4 as well.
With a chance to close the series out and head to the Western Conference Finals, the Golden Knights will now head back to Canada for Game 6 in front of a hostile Rogers Place crowd. That game is scheduled for Sunday, May 14 with the puck drop still yet to be determined.
Coming into Game 5, Vegas had outscored teams 13-5 in the second period during the playoffs. Heading into the second period of this one, the team found itself down one on the scoreboard before rattling off a +3 20-minute session.
After an Oiler penalty, the Golden Knights went on their fourth power play of the game with just over eight minutes left in the period in hopes of capturing their first power play goal of the night. Less than a minute later, Edmonton would compound matters by tallying another penalty, this time a high-sticking call while the other was a holding penalty.
Both penalties were committed against center Jack Eichel.
With 5:55 left in the second period, VGK captain Mark Stone scored in a 5-on-3 situation to tie the game at two goals apiece. He now has 12 points this postseason run including five goals.
Since the start of 2021 playoffs, Vegas is 12-2 when Stone scores a point while being 5-10 when he doesn’t.
Things took a wild turn when the Knights took their first lead of the game on a goal from right-winger Reilly Smith, which marked his first playoff goal since the 2021 season. That goal marked the second score for Vegas in 29 seconds.
Exactly one minute later, the Knights put a third goal on the board in the second period. It came on the first goal of the postseason from defenseman Nicolas Hague with a slapshot lighting of the lamp from near the blue line.
Even with all momentum in the home team’s favor, right-winger Keegan Kolesar blitzed Edmonton’s Mattias Ekholm near the side glass and was issued a five-minute major for boarding.
Just under three minutes into the third and final period, Oilers center Connor McDavid lit the lamp for his second goal of the night. In addition, his goal marked the third Edmonton power play goal of the night.
McDavid scored his first goal of the game a minute into the game on a power play that stemmed from a hooking call on Smith.
The Oilers didn’t take long in most of their scoring power play opportunities highlighted by the goal to take the 2-1 first period lead on a power play goal 42 seconds into the chance.
Edmonton went 3-for-4 in power play situations during Game 5 while Vegas went 2-for-7 on the opposite end.
Goalie Adin Hill saved 32 of the 35 shots he faced for an overall save percentage of .914. Hill got the start for the second straight game after previous starter Laurent Brossoit went down with an injury in Game 3.
Before going down with injury, Brossoit allowed an average of 3.18 goals per game for a save percentage of .894. Since taking over, Hill has a 2.25 goal against per game average while lifting his save percentage to .927.