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VGK survives Lightning strike, win 4-3 in OT

The Golden Knights found themselves back in the win column Thursday, March 9 after dropping the opener of this five-game road trip on Tuesday in Sunrise, FL. Thursday’s redemption came against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the form of a 4-3 overtime victory.

“At the end of the day, I think we found our emotional needle in this game,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I think a couple of those shifts really got us engaged.”

Thursday’s overtime winner came off the stick of defenseman Alec Martinez who sealed the game for Vegas with 1:51 to go in the extra period. That was Martinez’s second goal of the season.

“He’s had a few over the years with me back there,” goaltender Jonathan Quick said about Martinez’s game-winning goal. “It’s good to see.”

Quick and Martinez were teammates just a few years ago with the Los Angeles Kings and have now been reunited as teammates with the Golden Knights since Quick was acquired last week.

Quick finished his night making 34 saves on the 37 shots he faced for a final save percentage of .919 while being crowned the first star of the game in the win.

Vegas grabbed their seventh overtime win of the season, giving them the second-most overtime wins in the league this year behind New Jersey who has 10 wins in the extra period.

This win for Vegas moves their record to 39-20-6 on the season with 84 points in the Pacific Division. This 84-point mark is tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the division lead with there being a four-point gap to Seattle and Edmonton who are tied for the second-most points in the division.

Vegas continues their five-game road trip Saturday, March 11 as they make their way to Raleigh, NC for a matchup with the Carolina Hurricane. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m. and can be seen on AT&T Sportsnet in Las Vegas or ESPN+ nationwide.

The scoring got going early for the Knights when right-winger Keegan Kolesar lit up the lamp just 27 seconds into the game. This was the seventh goal of the season for Kolesar which ties his career-high for goals in a season. Kolesar originally set that career-high last season.

Lightning center Brayden Point answered the Kolesar goal with one of his own just four minutes later to tie the game at one. It was Point’s 40th goal of the season.

Unlike the first period, the second period did not see any scoring and the game remained tied at one heading into the final frame. By the end of the second period, the Lightning were all over the Knights in shots on goal, leading that stat 21-9.

By the end of the second period, Vegas had nearly doubled Tampa Bay in terms of penalty minutes. Vegas had served 13 penalty minutes compared to seven for the Lightning.

Vegas started the third period with a bang as they were able to get goals from a pair of centers in William Karlsson and Chandler Stephenson within the first six minutes of the period to grab a 3-1 lead.

“It was a nice win,” Karlsson said, “It was a very tough game so to get away with two points is a good feeling.”

Tampa responded with two goals in the final 2:07 of the game from right-winger Nikita Kucherov and a second goal of the evening for Point to tie the game at three with 28 seconds to play in regulation.

Point and Stephenson’s goals came via the power play for their respective teams while Karlsson scored shorthanded, making both goals for the Golden Knights in the third scored off special teams.

One of the storylines from this one came with 7:44 to go in the third period when a fight broke out on the ice between the two teams that resulted in five players from each team being ejected for the remainder of the game. Both teams combined for 146 penalty minutes with the bulk of those minutes coming in this incident.


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