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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 DALLAS STARS 1 (39-27-5 83 PTS)

The Golden Knights couldn’t have come out any better Friday night after a four day layoff. Vegas forward Max Pacioretty quickly scored 18 seconds into the game for his 22nd goal of the season. Believe or not but Pacioretty’s goal was the second fastest goal in Golden Knights history.

Vegas didn’t hold the 1-0 lead for long as Dallas’ Roope Hintz continued his hot streak and tied the game 1-1. After trading penalties the game tightened up and chances were limited. Vegas defenseman Deryk Engelland almost broke one through but hit the crossbar and out.

The second frame was a defensive battle with each team fighting off crucial penalties. Vegas center William Karlsson created a rare shorthanded penalty shot chance on his strong PK effort. Karlsson wouldn’t convert but helped his team fight off Dallas’ third power play. After forty minutes in the books the game remained a tense 1-1 tie.

Vegas struck first 2:37 into the third when Ryan Reaves buried a rebound for the 2-1 lead. The fourth line gave the Golden Knights a much needed boost offensively as Reaves added his ninth goal of the season, and his first since January 6th.

Up one, the Golden Knights silenced the Stars pressure for most of the period. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made two key stops on a late power play for Dallas, but would be forced to face another power play with 2:30 remaining in the game. Impressively enough, the Stars pulled their goalie and still couldn’t score on Fleury.

The game ended 2-1 Vegas, sweeping the season series of the Stars. It was Fleury’s 35th victory of the season taking the league lead.


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

  • A look at how the Golden Knights pull their goalie compared to other NHL teams.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Ryan Reaves
** Ryan Carpenter
* Marc-Andre Fleury

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 DALLAS STARS 1 (33-26-5 71 PTS)

In Mark Stone’s debut as a Golden Knight, Vegas had the jump in the legs in the first 40 minutes. However, a penalty on Jonathan Marchessault as he protected Marc-Andre Fleury led to a Dallas PP goal and a 1-0 lead. Vegas got it back with a zinger of a shot from Max Pacioretty on a power play of their own. The Golden Knights could not convert on an extended 5-on-3 power play due to Ben Bishop making multiple amazing saves. A heck of a forechecking play by Pacioretty forced an own goal to give Vegas the lead. Then a pair of empty netters sealed it.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Steve Carp’s Wednesday column on Mark Stone: Future Captain?
  • Which players do the Golden Knights miss the most? A record-based look.

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Mark Stone
** Nate Schmidt
* Max Pacioretty

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 DALLAS STARS 2 (17-14-1 35 PTS)

The game appeared to start out horribly as a shot off the crossbar looked to have crossed the goal line. A review showed it did not, however that didn’t stop the Stars from taking the lead. Vegas stormed back scoring in the 1st and then a pair more in the 2nd to bring a two goal lead into the second intermission. The Stars climbed back with a second power play goal and then had a great chance to tie it with another four minute penalty, but the Golden Knights killed it off and eventually put home the empty netter.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Stop worrying about Fleury, instead, trust him.

Three Stars
*** Nate Schmidt
** Ryan Carpenter
* William Karlsson

https://twitter.com/SinBinVegas/status/1071966440293568512

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 (19-9-1 39 PTS) DALLAS STARS 3

2nd period magic returns as the Golden Knights jump out to a 4-2 lead using a three goal 2nd. Dallas was able to get the next goal, but a late empty-netter by Erik Haula seals the deal for the Golden Knights. That’s four wins in a row and an incredible road trip to Nashville and Dallas.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.

  • 35 shots = Win for the Golden Knights
  • 12 road games with a backup goalie, don’t underestimate that.

Three Stars
*** Jason Spezza
** Reilly Smith
* David Perron

Second Time Through Telling Story Of Golden Knights Sustainability

One third of the season is gone and the first 27 games couldn’t have gone too much better for the Golden Knights. However, over the course of those games, Vegas has only seen five teams multiple times. In the next 27, they play former opponents for a second or third time 17 times.

So you don’t buy that there’s no book on your team? -SinBin.vegas

Not a chance. No. When people talk about our team they know that we are a team that’s quick and we compete. -Gallant

Why can’t they all be like the Coyotes? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Arizona Coyotes
Win 2-1 (OT)
Win 5-2
Win 4-2
Win 3-2 (OT)

Anaheim Ducks
Win 4-2
Win 4-3 (SO)

Boston Bruins
Win 3-1
Loss 2-1

Dallas Stars
Win 2-1
Loss 3-0

Winnipeg Jets
Win 5-2
Loss 7-4

Last night’s game was a big one in showing how opposing teams would respond to their second crack at the Golden Knights. It was hard to take much out of the Arizona games because, well, Arizona tends to lose most games no matter how they are played.

However, with Dallas and Winnipeg, the second games were played similarly to the first. With Dallas, Vegas had a tough time getting out in transition, they didn’t get a lot of shot attempts, and the Stars controlled the game. In the first game, the Golden Knights were able to overcome it. In the second game, they were not. Against Winnipeg, Vegas played their style of north-and-south hockey which gave them a jump on the Jets and they were able to ride the hot start to the finish line. The second time against Winnipeg, the 1st period went that way, and there were moments throughout the 2nd and 3rd, but when all was said and done, the Jets came out on top.

Then there’s Boston. The two games were nearly identical with the home team winning each one. They are by no means the style of game Vegas wants to play, but the two games are further proof that the second time through, the games tend to go the same as the first.

The first game in Anaheim was one of the Golden Knights’ best. They were flying around in all three zones, created tons of scoring chances, and were even able to overcome an incredibly hot goalie and a deficit to fight back and get the win they deserved. Last night, it appeared to be going the same way in the 1st, but it came to a screeching halt out of intermission.

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Stars Take It To Golden Knights, Again

Maybe this is getting old? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was bound to happen at some point. The Golden Knights have been playing historically great hockey at home, there was no way it was going to continue forever. Maybe it doesn’t need much analyzing. It could be possible the Stars were more prepared for the Golden Knights after losing to them on opening night. They were a hungry team in need of a road victory.

Vegas is a hell of a hockey club. They’re the fastest team we’ve played all year, quickness on pucks, quickness on attack, so it’s a hard game for a goalie. Vegas comes at you with numbers and puck possession… That’s the challenge when you play against Vegas you are going to give up chances off the rush and you just have to negate them. -Ken Hitchcock, Dallas Head Coach

Opponents have consistently talked about the Golden Knights team speed. Hitchcock went ahead and called them the fastest squad Dallas faced all season. The Stars apparently learned after the first matchup how to defend against the Golden Knights speed. Add in their elite offensive skill, superb goaltending and it’s no surprise Dallas won 3-0.

I think Dallas came in with an attitude that Vegas is playing good hockey here and we’re going to come in here and work real hard. I thought their team played an excellent game.. We just couldn’t create any scoring chances. I think a lot of that had to do with how Dallas played. -Gerard Gallant

It’s reasonable to think teams previously burned by the Golden Knights will come in with an attitude. The Stars planned on defending speed and possession, specifically by muddying up the game early and then making exiting the defensive zone and going through the neutral zone difficult for the Golden Knights. It’s no secret the way to beat a fast team is to slow them down and keep them off the puck, most teams just haven’t been able to do it.

Jamie Benn was one of two NHL Captains (Henrik Zetterberg) to leave Las Vegas in a good mood. He smiled when I asked about the atmosphere in the T-Mobile Arena.

It was awesome. It was pretty electric and these fans were great tonight. We’re glad to bring along our Dads, brothers and mentors as well. – Jamie Benn, Stars Captain

I continued to snoop around and asked Benn if the team would take advantage of their time in Las Vegas? He sent me away with an answer only a veteran Captain would give.

Nah. We’ll get dinner tonight and start getting ready for Chicago. -Benn

This is when I thought I saw multiple Dallas Dads hiding their laughter. He may be the captain of the hockey team, but no one is the captain of the Wolfpack.

DALLAS STARS 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 0 (15-7-1 31 PTS)

After a lackluster scoreless 1st period, the Stars put it to the Golden Knights in the 2nd getting three goals, all from Radek Faksa. Vegas got it going a bit in the 3rd, but just could not get one past Ben Bishop.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Dallas Stars at T-Mobile Arena.

Three Stars
*** Alex Tuch
** Ben Bishop
* Radek Faksa

External Factors Galore As Golden Knights Face Dallas Stars

Hopefully the dads took the Stars out for a good ole fashioned boy’s night in Vegas. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

During the course of a long season, we often look for oddities that may give us clues towards how a particular game might go. Things like back-to-backs, first game off a long road trip, odd start times, basically anything abnormal from a standard NHL game.

Most games don’t really have anything, occasionally a game will have one, tonight’s game against the Stars is ripe with them.

VegasFlu

It’s no secret the Golden Knights are dominant at T-Mobile Arena. 9-1-0 on home ice is the best in the league. It can be attributed to many different reasons including the great play of the home team, but one that can never be overlooked is VegasFlu.

We define VegasFlu as anything that causes a team to differentiate from their normal routine. That can mean partying until four in the morning the night before the game, or it can even mean purposely staying in the hotel to stay away from the temptations Vegas offers. It can also be something as simple as inconspicuous as spending an extra hour at team dinner.

Some teams travel early to try an get it out of the way. Others wait until the last minute to get to Vegas. While some try and fall in between. VegasFlu means it’s in their heads, and special precautions are taken. With the Dallas Stars, it’s no different.

I’ll tell you after. We’ll see. We’ve heard the stories, and we just don’t want to be any of the stories. Other than a win. –Ken Hitchcock, Stars Head Coach on coming to Las Vegas

This quote is the definition of VegasFlu. Coming to Vegas is just a bit different, everyone knows it, and no one has quite figured out the antidote.

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Welcome To The Regular Season Where Hitting Is Actually Allowed

We’ve been told that the Golden Knights aren’t a particularly physical team. Coach Gerard Gallant probably never expected the game to go the way it did (big hits, 46 shots faced, 0/7 PP) and still leave with a 2–1 victory.

I thought the first period was physical. There was some big hits. You expect that in the first game, everybody is excited to play. I thought in the first period, there were some star players that were hitting guys more so than the third or fourth line players. Some of the big guys were banging bodies and it settled down a bit. I thought it was a great hockey team. -Gerard Gallant

Early in the game, the Stars were flying around, landing heavy hits on the visiting Golden Knights. Dallas forward Alexander Radulov, and defenseman Marc Methot (remember him?) delivered multiple crushing hits in the first period. After twenty minutes, Dallas had the edge in hits 11 to 6. By the second period, Golden Knights players seemed to have had enough and stepped up physically. By the end of the game, the style Dallas started the game off with had faded. Along with their lead.

No this was normal. Anytime you play this team, that’s the way it is. They’re a physical team. The west is tough. It’s like that with LA, Anaheim, Dallas, Winnipeg. These are all heavy teams. – James Neal

Video Courtesy of AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain

Neal took a few hits, and gave a few himself. Sure the sniper played rough, but his impact offensively is what neutralized the Stars physicality. The Golden Knights weren’t intimated by anything Methot, Radulov and that secousse Antoine Roussel handed out. In fact, Dallas’ overly-aggressive play put them in the penalty box for almost 20 minutes. Coach’s call that, a momentum killer.

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Not Going To Be Pretty, But That’s The Blueprint To VGK Success

46 shots against, five penalties, and 0 for 7 on the power play… on the road, against a team that will likely be contending for a Stanley Cup this season. That’s not how you normally go about winning an NHL game, but that’s exactly what the Golden Knights did, and it’s something Golden Knights fans should probably get used to.

2-1 work. Amiright? (Photo Credit: Jason Pothier, SinBin.vegas)

No no no, I’m not saying this team is going to shock the world, make the playoffs, and win the “Cup in One.” What I’m saying is that if the Golden Knights want to be a competitive team night in and night out, sometimes it’s going to take individual efforts like tonight.

I don’t want to be giving up 40 some shots. I thought we competed and battled hard and Fleury stole that hockey game. -Gallant

Other times it’s going to take a bit of luck and good fortune.

Let’s hope not. But some games will go that way. –Reilly Smith

But often it’s going to be ugly. Quite frankly, Vegas isn’t going to have the best players on the ice in most games. If they are going to stay in games, and even steal some like they did tonight, it’s going to take a bit of magic, or as hockey players call it, a bunch of cliches.

We’ve got to play a team game, all 20 guys out there have to go to battle for one another. Keep it simple. Battle battle battle for one another, and just outwork teams. –Deryk Engelland

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