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PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (24-16-6 54 PTS)

Recap: The Penguins came out strong scoring first 2:53 into the opening period. Eventually Mallin netted his 12th of the year with a nifty backhand over Marc-Andre Fleury. Patric Hornqvist added another goal giving Pittsburgh a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes played.

Pittsburgh took a 3-0 lead with 4:18 into the second period on a power play goal. Max Pacioretty would bury his 19th goal of the season keeping Vegas alive. Paul Stastny got his team even closer picking up a power play for the Golden Knights. After two periods the home team trailed 3-2.

The Penguins would extend their lead 4-2 early in the 3rd but Reilly Smith would later get Vegas back to within one. The Golden Knights had a late power play and pulled Fleury for an extra attacker but wouldn’t score the tying goal. After a strong effort, Vegas fell 4-3 to the Penguins.

Vegas’ record drops to 24-16-6 and fall into second place in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights will next face off against the LA Kings on Thursday night. Puck drops at 7PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Yet again the Golden Knights found themselves in a 3-0 hole, however this time it was a bit different. A terrible turnover, a power play goal, and a quick play off a draw meant the Penguins capitalized on all three good chances. That’s about all they had, which can’t be said about the Blues game. Vegas took a bit to start creating dangerous chances, but the Stone, Stastny, Pacioretty line started to do so and did it in a big way. However, the Golden Knights didn’t get enough from everyone else. Overall there were three issues. First, the goalie simply wasn’t good enough. Vegas allowed 15 shots and four goals, two of which he absolutely could have stopped. Second, there wasn’t enough from the other three lines. All the offense had to come from the one line and you aren’t winning much that way. Third, careless mistakes from multiple players early. When they made them, Pittsburgh scored. In the end, it’s not the worst loss in the world, but it’s a frustrating one nonetheless. (Analysis by Ken)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Pittsburgh Penguins at T-Mobile Arena

  • Unintended consequences of VGKD 2.0

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Mark Stone
** Shea Theodore
* Max Pacioretty-Paul Stastny-Mark Stone

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 0 (6-3-0 12 PTS)

Former Penguin Marc-Andre Fleury kept things close making some outstanding stops early in the 1st period against his old teammates. Pittsburgh riffled 11 shots on net but couldn’t slip one past Fleury.

After a scoreless twenty minutes, the 2nd period began quickly with the Golden Knights getting on the board first. Paul Stastny scored his 4th goal of the season on the power play to give his team the 1-0 lead. Vegas’ defensive unit did a good job of limiting Pittsburgh’s offensive stars.

Holding a 1-0 lead, the Golden Knights continued to lock down defensively in the 3rd period. The Penguins would go on back-to-back power plays but would come up empty on great efforts by Tomas Nosek, Deryk Engelland and Brayden McNabb. Fleury also made two crucial saves to preserve the one-goal lead. William Karlsson and Mark Stone added empty-netters to secure the 3-0 shutout.

Vegas improves their record to 6-3-0 on the season. The Golden Knights next play on Monday in Philadelphia against the Flyers. Puck drops at 4PM PT. (Recap by Jason)


Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena

  • Carp’s Sunday column on VGK’s consistent struggles with Russian players

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Jake Bischoff
** Mark Stone
* Marc-Andre Fleury

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 7 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 3 (29-17-4 62 PTS)

Pittsburgh started out the period on fire controlling the game and peppering Marc-Andre Fleury’s net. They got on the board first, but then the Golden Knights got hot and scored three straight, including two in under a minute and had multiple other chances. It didn’t take long into the 2nd for Pittsburgh to storm back in as they tied it early. Then, a reviewed goal that went in Vegas’ favor on a Penguin PP seemed to ignite the Golden Knights. A misplay by Casey DeSmith led to Jonathan Marchessault’s first goal, he then tallied another to restore the two goal lead heading to the 3rd. The game cleaned up a bit defensively in the 3rd as William Karlsson got on the board for the first time in a while. Marchessault sealed it with the empty netter to become the 2nd player in VGK history to score a hat trick.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Pittsburgh Penguins at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Carp on Miller’s return

Ken’s Three Stars
*** Marc-Andre Fleury
** Colin Miller
* Jonathan Marchessault

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (1-4-0 2 PTS)

Another road game and another similar story. The Golden Knights played well in the 1st period but did not leave the ice with the lead. Then, multiple breakdowns in the 2nd led to a Phil Kessel hat trick. The Golden Knights got one to get back within two, but couldn’t ever get closer. That’s five games and just one win for Vegas to start off the year. More alarming, they’ve only scored nine goals in the five games.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

  • Unveiling of the “Golden Knights Line Chart” page which tracks not only lineups from every game, but also line and player utilization rates.

Three Stars
*** Casey DeSmith
** Evgeni Malkin
* Phil Kessel

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 (35-14-4 74 PTS)

What was meant to be a night for Marc-Andre Fleury to be celebrated turned into a goal fest in the first 40 minutes. Vegas struck for the first two on goal from William Karlsson and James Neal, but the Penguins were able to get three straight to end the 2nd with a one goal lead. Pittsburgh got the next two making it five unanswered. Vegas was able to make it a game but never could find the equalizer.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights at Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

  • Tonight was about Fleury facing his former team; so it’s time to take a look at how everyone has done against their old teams.

Three Stars
*** Marc-Andre Fleury
** Sidney Crosby
* Evgeni Malkin

 

“They Are Just Absolutely A Dog And A Bone On That Puck”

The House Always Wins. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

If one game could sum up the Golden Knights season, last night was it. Considered the ultimate redemption game for Vegas, they beat the two-time defending Stanley Cup champs, and did it with a goal from a guy who has been a healthy scratch in each of the last five games and 12 of the past 13. Not only did the team win for their star goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury but they continue to handle the NHL’s best. After the 2–1 Golden Knights win, Fleury’s old mates commented on an emotional night.

When you see him in there it’s a little different, but once you get into play, you’re playing. Yeah, it’s the first time we played against each other, it’s to be expected to feel different. -Sidney Crosby, Penguins Captain

Maybe that’s a reason why #87 didn’t have one shot on goal. Alright, that’s a stretch but it was a difficult night for the two-time Conn Smythe winner.

I think they skate well. Every line plays the same and they keep it pretty simple. They didn’t beat themselves or make mistakes that could hurt them. When they did they didn’t break down and got some saves. Both goalies were good, but it’s just one of those games. Then they found a way to get that last one in the third. -Crosby

The win didn’t seem to upset Crosby nearly as much as it did Mike Sullivan.

It was a hard-fought game. It was another one of those games that could’ve went either way. There were chances on both sides and I thought the goaltending at both ends of the rink was good. It seems like those are the type of games that we’re in night in and night out and we haven’t found ways to win those, and that’s what we have to do. -Mike Sullivan, Penguins Head Coach

As Sullivan mentioned, the goaltending was good on both ends of the rink. For sixty minutes, Fleury was the better goaltender. His new teammates aggressively pressured his former backup Matt Murray.

They are just absolutely a dog and a bone on that puck. They just work so hard, and I think that’s where they know it caught us by surprise on a couple. Especially on the forecheck where like I said, caught by surprise, quick turn over, bang bang to the net. That’s what they are good at we knew that going into it, but they are definitely a hard working team and a fast team. Good in transition. You know, I don’t think they do anything special but they work extremely hard and I think that’s why they have such success. -Matt Murray, Penguins Goaltender

Quick, hard-working, strong on the forecheck, and good in transition. Basically, the Webster’s dictionary definition of an NHL playoff team.

There was also something about a dog and a bone, but we’ll leave that one alone for now.

Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Photo Gallery – December 14th, 2017

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (20-9-2 42 PTS) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS 1

Vegas came out with flames in their skates as was to be expected. They jumped out on top within the games first few minutes with a James Neal goal. The Penguins got one back and the game remained tied at one through the 2nd. The most unlikely of scorers comes through for the Golden Knights as Jon Merrill gets the go ahead goal.  Marc-Andre Fleury was spectacular in his first game against his former team.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at T-Mobile Arena.

  • The Golden Knights can play with (and sometimes outplay) the NHL’s elite.
  • Penguin’s reaction to Fleury, T-Mobile, and of course… VegasFlu.
  • Photo gallery from Brandon.

Three Stars
*** James Neal
** Matt Murray
* Marc-Andre Fleury

NMCs Causing All Sorts Of Expansion Speculation

Never before has the NHL world cared more about No Movement Clauses. The most obvious candidate to waive his NMC, Marc-Andre Fleury signed his paperwork after his third ring-fitting. Others like Dion Phaneuf were asked, and though it’s expected he declines, we may have to wait to see the lists to get the final answer.

With the buyout period looming and roster lockdown a few days away, NHL clubs are scrambling to get prepared for the Expansion Draft. However, some teams appear willing to stand pat and take their Vegas lumps.

In Florida, the first reports were that Panthers front office had asked defenseman Keith Yandle to waive his NMC. The 30-year-old signed a seven-year deal last offseason and apparently Florida was willing to chance him in expansion. Updated reports now confirm Yandle was never asked and will not be exposed. Out guess, Yandle was asked, politely declined, and then the team covered his back by saying they never asked.

Either way, Yandle’s exposure would’ve created an interesting dilemma. Had the Golden Knights selected the All-Star defenseman they could’ve scored big in a flip. Established teams are desperate for blueliners and a rock like Yandle would draw plenty of interest. Or, with the long term deal, would the Golden Knights have thought to keep him and make him part of their “Cup in 6” plans.

Other notable players with NMC’s that were not asked to waive; Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Andrew Ladd, Johnny Boychuk, Zdeno Chara, David Backes.

A lot of things are out of my control right now. I don’t know what other teams are discussing with regard to expansion and Vegas. I know what I’d like to do, but we’ll see how it plays out. -Steve Yzerman, Tampa GM

In Tampa, despite speculation, the Lightning did not ask Ryan Callahan to waive his NMC. Reports are GM Steve Yzerman reached out to the Golden Knights and is interested in protecting more players in exchange for picks. The Lightning are also rumored to be shopping stud Jonathon Drouin possibly for a defenseman in Anaheim or Minnesota. Opposing GM’s are calling McPhee but they’re texting one another as well. But even if teams make offers to the Wild it doesn’t mean they’ll agree to a deal prior to the roster lockdown.

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Let’s Talk About MAF, Baby

Today was a big day in the world of Marc-Andre Fleury rumors, as the Penguins officially asked the back-up goalie to waive his No Movement Clause (NMC) to allow Pittsburgh to expose him for the Expansion Draft.

But before we go into the significance of that news, let’s go all the way back to October when the Penguins signed Matt Murray to a contract extension. At that point, it was clear one of two things were going to happen (whether at that moment or later), either the Penguins knew Fleury was going to waive his NMC, or the Penguins were planning on giving up assets to the Golden Knights in exchange for passing on Murray in the Expansion Draft.  We now know, the more likely of the two has happened. Fleury has waived his NMC and the Penguins will protect Murray.

So now on to the next portion, “only for Las Vegas.” Here are the important facts surrounding Marc-Andre Fleury, his contract, and the Expansion Draft.

  • Today, June 12th, was the last day “for Clubs to request that a player ‘waive’ his ‘No Move’ clause for purposes of Expansion Draft.” (From NHL press release)
  • Fleury has two clauses on his contract, a “No Move” clause and a “Limited No Trade” clause. These are part of the contract he signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in November of 2014.
  • Players with NMCs must be protected in the Expansion Draft, unless the player agrees to waive it.
  • All contracts will be taken over, with clauses, when the Golden Knights select a player in the Expansion Draft.
  • Fluery’s limited NTC includes a list of 18 teams in which he can be traded to. The remaining 11 he must sign off on if a deal is made. We are unaware of which teams are on this list.

So, today, Fluery waived his NMC, for one purpose, the Expansion Draft. Once he is selected by the Golden Knights (or not selected by the Golden Knights) his NMC will be reinstated. His limited NTC does not affect the Expansion Draft, and will stand whether he is on the Golden Knights or the Penguins on/during the Expansion Draft.

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