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MINNESOTA WILD 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (VGK 3-2)

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Recap: The Golden Knights needed one win to clinch their first-round series with the Wild and their first on home ice. Vegas captain Mark Stone opened the scoring with his fourth of the postseason. Minnesota would answer right back scoring three unanswered goals. After the opening 20 minutes the Wild led 3-1.

The Golden Knights took control of the 2nd period outshooting the Wild 22 to 1. Near the midway point of the period Vegas’ power play finally came through to make it a one-score game. Defenseman Alec Martinez one-timed a second a pass into the Wild’s net for the only goal of the period.

Trailing 3-2, Vegas tried to keep the pressure on but Minnesota battled back and held their one-goal lead. The Golden Knights had several quality chances in front of the Wild’s net but couldn’t tie the game. Minnesota would add an empty-net goal to finish off the game 4-2. 

After their loss the Golden Knights now lead the seven-game series 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Wednesday night in Minnesota. Puck drop is TBD. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights weren’t quite on top of their game as a group in the 1st and a few opportunities were pounced on by the Wild. Then, Vegas completely took over the rest of the game, but couldn’t quite get over the hump. Tough one to lose, reminds me a bit of the other closeout game VGK had on home ice, hopefully the rest of the series has a much different outcome. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs Minnesota Wild Game 5 at T-Mobile Arena

  • “Self-inflicted wounds” in the 1st period

Ken’s Three VGK Stars
*** Reilly Smith
** Zach Whitecloud
* Mark Stone

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“Self-Inflicted Wounds” Haunt Golden Knights In Game 5

40 Comments

  1. Howard

    Minn. forced VGK back into the useless puck cycling game where their DMEN take way too many low % shots – same exact thing that knocked them out of the bubble last year. Look familiar? Out shooting a team means nothing. Sadly, MAF gave up 2 bad goals and that was it. Yes, we out played them in 2nd, but settled for way too many low quality shots and Tuch, if HE EVER MASTERS stick control will be a star in the league – that’s his biggest weakness as way too many pucks roll off his stick.

    VGK plays a good game, well-coached, but lacks the talent to win The Cup and Ken knows this.

  2. Jeff

    Where was Karlsson….again?

  3. Tim

    Looks like we didn’t learn much from our 2019 playoff series against the Sharks. Had them 3 – 1 and couldn’t put them away today we had a chance to rectify that disaster and didn’t. At times we are our own worse enemy.

  4. Frank

    Not a great first period by Fleury. One of the very very few he’s played not so well this series. We dominated the rest of the game, just couldn’t get the equalizer. We have them next game.

  5. Peter Turner

    Nope, this is nothing like the sharks game in 2019. We were way in front of SJS before Eakin headbutted Joe Pavelski and they scored 4 unanswered goals in that 5 minute penalty.

    This is more like the 2020 2nd round playoff game against the Vancouver Canucks when we were up 3-1 games and we let them catch up to 3-3 and eventually beat them in game 7 only to be wiped out by Dallas in the WCF. In game 5 of the Canucks game, we outshot the Canucks 2 or 3 times much like tonight’s game but still lost. Rinse and repeat in Game 6. Dominated the game, outshout them by 20 or 30 shots and still lost Game 6. So this is not funny anymore.

    In all my years of watching NHL games, there’s no team like the VGK in that on paper, they should have won games like this but didn’t. When that happened in 2020 playoffs, we thought it was a freak accident. After tonight’s game, it seems that this team has an issue that wasn’t or couldn’t be dealt with by coaching. Or psychiatry.

    My observation is that this game was sloppy. I know it’s one thing to be relaxed because of the 3-1 game lead but that’s no excuse to be sloppy. Take Kaprizov’s goal shortly after VGK went 1-0 up. That’s a routine shot that MAF should have saved. How did #97 get so opened? Well the defense guy #3 responsible for guarding him got cross checked by #20 FROM HIS OWN TEAM. So it instantly became a 5-on-3 game and #97 didn’t miss. Minnesota’s 2nd goal was on MAF when he didn’t cover his post fast enough before Parise manage to bounce that puck of his back and into the net. Third goal was a greasy dirty goal that Greenway scored after it rebounded off MAF’s pad. Defense lapses and goalie’s bad luck put the Wild up 3 goals. It happens. Not a big deal.

    The big deal is 40 shots on goal and only 2 to show for it. What is going on? Last I checked, no one else in the NHL does this kind of craziness. At first one would think, well Talbot was dancing on his head and that’s why he won the game for the Wild. I don’t buy that. Not any more. Something is going on there that our guys always gets out sticked, out muscled and out blocked during our scoring chances.

    Could it be that we’re just tired after spending all that energy gaining zone entry to the opponents net? Do we waste time cycling the puck too much that gives their defenses time to create a blockade? Are we missing the goal intentionally? Are we trying to get too cute instead of just shooting the puck?

    The answer is yes, all of the above and then some.

    What was clearly lacking in this game is the selfish individual effort type of goal that we saw in Game 4 when Stone scored, when Roy scored, when Tuch broke thru’ and scored and when Karlsson out ran his guy and scored.

    It’s almost like they’re embarrassed when that happens. This team likes to score goals that showcase team effort rather individual effort. Nothing wrong with that but in front of a 12k crowd on home ice in an elimination game, can we be a bit selfish and just frickin’ score?

    Just win the next game so we can move on to the next round and get eliminated by the Avs already.

    Geez! Go Knights Go!

    • Contact Tracer

      Eakin did not “head butt” Pavelski. Did you even see what happened? Apparently not.

      He cross checked Pavelski who fell awkwardly backward into Paul Stastny who was breaking out of the face-off circle to cover a man and spun poor Joe into the ground. An unfortunate accident and a very bad call. The NHL even admitted they screwed the call on Eakin.

      But, that is not what sunk the Knights that year. They were up 3 games to 1 and lost the series. Plenty of chances to put it to bed and they didn’t. I’ll bet this one’s coming back to Vegas. VGK better put their big boy panties on ….

    • Howard

      As soon as you said

      “Take Kaprizov’s goal shortly after VGK went 1-0 up. That’s a routine shot that MAF should have saved,” I knew I was reading the thoughts of a moron.

      Notwithstanding, your idiotic comment about Eakin “headbutting” Pavsm please learn NHL on some basic level because honestly, you sound mentally challenged.

      Blasters from inside the point with no traffic shot high glove top shelf aren’t routine saves. However, moronic posts like yours seem are sadly becoming the norm on hockey sites.

      • Peter Turner

        Read my full comment. MAF letting in 3 goals was NOT A BIG DEAL, Chalk it up to defense lapses and bad puck luck. In no way was I throwing MAF under the bus, If you contend that no goalie would ever have saved Karpizov’s goal then you haven’t been watching MAF do his magic, Anyway, it wasn’t MAF’s fault, Karpizov shouldn’t have had time and space if not for our 2 players around him colliding. The gist of my posting however is more about the 40 shots on goal and only 2 making it in. That’s a bigger problem for VGK to solve. I have listed the issues and I have provided the answer. What have you got to contribute other than calling me names. What are you? 9 years old ?

        • Howard

          Again, you said “Take Kaprizov’s goal shortly after VGK went 1-0 up. That’s a routine shot that MAF should have saved,”

          Yes, the above is an absolute moronic comment which you should own up to it, instead of spinning it.

          Calling Kap’s shot “routine” is in fact a moronic comment.

    • Daryl

      I’m a little confused by your posts as most of it is not accurate. On one point I agree that MAF didn’t cover the post quick enough but at the same time Whitecloud over skated the MIN player and left him wide open for the shot. That was partly on Whitecloud. Your SJS reference isn’t even close to being accurate

      • Peter Turner

        Again my point about the SJS game was about the meltdown in Game 7. We’re not there yet. But in that SJS series, the SOG were about even and the Sharks goalie didn’t give our players hives. The Canuck games were a closer match because we’re seeing this lopsided 40 SOG vs 14 offense still lose a game. Just to refresh your memory:

        By Game 4, VGK is leading 3 games to 1 kinda like this year.
        Game 5 vs Canucks @Home: L (1-2) SOG: VGK 43 CA 17
        Game 6 vs Canucks Away : L (0-4) SOG: VGK 48 CA 23

        Why is this happening? In many ways, we were dominating the game but the goals were not going into the net. Why? My observation is that we are too busy trying to pass the puck hoping for a clear shot at goal which will hardly happen with the wild’s collapsing defense. The result is that the puck will get blocked and turnovers will happen.

        What is needed is a more simplified game. Don’t try to be cute, don’t look to try to set up a pass when you can shoot it. Be selfish, go for it. We need heros like those kind of goals in Game 4 when the skater that broke past the defenders into the offensive zone is the same skater that put the puck in the net.

        That being said, I have a good feeling about Game 6. I can understand why they can do this in Minnesota and not in Vegas. Quality of Ice. Excel center is renowned for having the best ice in USA. With that quality, our guys can skate faster and the Wild knows that which is why their team was always built for speed which resulted in that stellar home record in the regular season.

        The difference however, is that our guys are bigger and dare I say less banged up than theirs. If we play our usual shutdown defense tomorrow and unleash our speedier guys down towards their end and score the magnificent selfish goals we saw in Game 4, this round will be in the bag.

        Go Knights go!

  6. Love how folks get so down on the knights for losing a game. Goodness sakes they been playing extremely well to get to this point, so much to be excited about. We realize the other team is good, playing desperate, and has pride too right? VGK can not just walk all over other teams at will, the other team has a say in it too. Nothing to be down about or claim they can’t win the cup, or go back to the same old knights from the playoffs talk. Playoffs are hard and the knights have been making great strides, learning how to score more in tough playoff games where everything is desperately contested.

    And imo MAF did not let in bad goals, arguably, so let’s not blame him for the loss. Sometimes we get bounces, and sometimes the other team gets bounces, or just good luck.

    First goal, MAF was on his right side of crease cuz there was a MN player about 20 feet in front of him w the pick ready to shoot. That was the right angle. MN passes it to kaprizov who was wide open in the right slot. He doesn’t even settle the puck, rockets it in. What goalie in the NHL stops that? Fleury’s fault, bad goal, really?

    The second one was palmiery as I recall from the back or the net, ricochets it off Fleury’s bad who saw it coming and was moving to close that gap, that’s a tough one, really lucky bounce.

    3rd one was Greenway comes in and shoots from close, Fleury blocks it but it rebounds right back to Greenway who shoots it again. Fleury blocks it again but 3rd time it bounces perfectly back onto greenwats tape, behind Fleury in front of an open net.

    These are very fortunate bounces. Take a look at the video. I’m not being a MAF homer, just calling it like a saw it.

    Sometimes this stuff happens, no reason to be down after this game. Liking where we are still in the series. If anyone said VGK would have a great chance of closing out in 6 before the series we would have all been very happy at that opportunity .

    • Howard

      MAF gave up 2 bad goals. It’s basic goaltending 101. Out of position on the bank one, bad rebound control on the other. 1st goal was a super hard chance that will get in the net 99 out of 100 times against any goaltender.

  7. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Only one commenter mentioned the two bad goals Flurey let in.

    Had this been Lehner, he would have been crucified!

    We’ll regroup and see what happens Wed.

    • Daryl

      If we ever see Lehner, it means VGK has already lost. MAF only let in one semi easy goal when he didn’t cover the post but the shot was available because Whitecloud lost his player

      • Tim

        Daryl, it wouldn’t surprise me if Lehner was in goal Wednesday. DeBoer figures after a not so stellar performance that Fleury is a little tired and rest him for game 7 if necessary.

        • Daryl

          I would not be surprised either… But does that show a lack of support or just providing MAF with rest???

          • Tim

            Daryl, I would think rest and he did mention more then once how he was going to use both goalies. If he was going to what better time then Wednesday.

          • If they want yo play game 7 putting the walrus in the net for 6 pretty well assures that will be the case. He won’t have a chance in hell with the way the wilds play IMO. They are quick and he is slow. I would say start Fleury and go for broke. If the serious comes back to Vegas there is a better than average chance that will be the last time you see the knight this season. History unfortunately has a way of repeating itself.

  8. Daryl

    I disagree here Howard. Like you said first goal was a good goal. 2nd,MAF didn’t cover the post as quickly as he should be Whitecloud lost his man and left him wide open. On the 3rd goal how do you let one man get 3 shots on net? I would have liked to see the rebound pushed further away but sometimes you just have to make the save. Where was the defensive help?

    • THE hockey GOD

      In games 1 -4 Fleury would have made this saves. Well at least two of the three, you can argue which ones.

      Puck luck has shifted to the Wild, and shining luster on VGK goalie has been diminished. The question is , will it bounce back in next game?

      • Daryl

        MAF stood on his head on the earlier games and there is no way a goalie can continue that level of play non stop. If it wasn’t for those saves in prior games VGK loses. Hopefully MAF can find that magic again

        • Julie

          I hope so too. It would be over now if Fleury wasn’t playing. Not to mention Vegas wasted Fleury’s performance in Game 1. He kept them in the game, same for Game 2. He is 2/3rds the reason he/Lehner won the Jennings trophy. Had Lehner played a full season, who knows if they would have won that thing. I agree with Tim about having Lehner play Wednesday. That is the best time. Lehner is extra nerve-wracking because he simply doesn’t move quickly and the Wild and Colorado are greasy gophers. But if the team can gel well on Wednesday and keep the puck in Talbot-land for the most part, it’s possible he will be ok. I don’t know about winning Game 6 that way, but if the planets align, ok.

          Overall, I am hopeful that this was just one of those games and Tuch finds his mojo again. Theodore is due. Hague didn’t play last night, right? I would like to see him back. I am hoping Janmark is feeling spry as well. He seems to show up when needed mostly. Marchessault and Karlsson are sputtering a bit, so I hope their engines turn over in Game 6. Stone is feeling good, but he is one guy. Fingers crossed for Pacioretty and Nosek.

          All of this and the prize is playing Colorado.

  9. THE hockey GOD

    have the VGK run out of gas ?

    do they have anything left in tank ?

    is this franchise doomed to be the Minnesota Vikings of the NHL ??

    (The Vikings have appeared in four Super Bowls (1970, 1974, 1975, and 1977), losing each time)

    • Daryl

      Buffalo Bills???

      • Darly – I witness those four consecutive losses – the first was close but got worse year after year. Close but no cigar – as you know close is only useful in horse shoes.

      • If they want yo play game 7 putting the walrus in the net for 6 pretty well assures that will be the case. He won’t have a chance in hell with the way the wilds play IMO. They are quick and he is slow. I would say start Fleury and go for broke. If the serious comes back to Vegas there is a better than average chance that will be the last time you see the knight this season. History unfortunately has a way of repeating itself.

      • THE hockey GOD

        what exactly is a Buffalo Bill ? (invoice on a sale of a Buffalo ?)

      • Howard

        I don’t people realize just how much PDB is getting out of this group. They don’t have the depth of talent to be a real Cup contender, they simply don’t.

        VGK has a good team built to be good enough to make postseason, but when Chandler Stephenson is your topline center, you aren’t winning The Cup. VGK had a chance to get center depth and choose to waste money on players not needed – that’s on front office not PDB.

        Can someone with an honest take actually say VGK talent is equal or better than Tampa or Colorado? If you do, you are either very bias or NHL ignorant.

        However far these guys go, It’ll be fine with me as far as I’m concerned, they aren’t a true Cup favorite. A healthy Max, MAYBE, but not with this lineup. no sir.

  10. Tim

    The only thing we can all agree on is if we put them away last night a well needed rest before we would play Colorado. Now it’s off to Minnesota where they’ll be fired up and then back the Vegas for game 7.

  11. In all fairness and reading all the hum drum posted the loss was not surprising but was disappointing. What the Wild did to Vegas last night was much the same Vegas did to them in games 3 and 4. They took advantage of the neutral zone and slowed up Vegas. The second period with minimum results was a tough deal for Vegas to swallow. Some one said something about being out of gas – if you noticed Reaves his tank was empty at the start – he can hardly skate. If he is to remain on the bench taking a spot of a useful player PDB needs to rewrite is playing orders and have him do something useful like some strong body checks on a number of Wild players. Of course that applies to the rest of the team as well eg 97 could have easily been taken out of the play at the blue line. They need to be smart about throwing their weight around but they also need to do some of it which is sorely lacking. They better finish of the Wild Wednesday otherwise they could be looking at an early exit much to many dismay.

  12. Vic

    Petro, where are you? Can you skate, check, pass or shoot? Still waiting. The chemistry with Shea is not there, and Shea remains off his game. Number 88, are you watching this?

  13. Jeff

    I don’t think Petro skates with Theodore but rather skates with Martinez.

    • THE hockey GOD

      no. 7 seems to off in his aim and timing just when you seem to need it

      • Peter Turner

        It’s not just him. #27 was a turnover machine and so was #19. Look at the game stats. Even Martinez who scored was whiffing like crazy and so was Whitecloud. Why is this happening? Chippy Ice. Our guys are not used to playing on bad ice. When the ice is chippy like it was last night when outside the stadium was a balmy 85deg, the puck doesn’t stay still on the ice, it moves ever so slightly, enough to make a player who’s focus is every where but on the ice to either whiff or to shoot wide of the goal. It is what it is. The good news is that Minnesota has got much better ice so our passes will be crisp tape to tape and our shots will be on point. Be that as it may, VGK still needs to simplify their game and don’t rely on the stretch passes because the WIld has a bunch of fast guys on fast ice that can intercept them. Instead, bring the pucks into the zone, accelerate past them and score. If we do this 40 times, I guarantee you that more than 2 will go in to the back of their net. That and crashing the net is our formula for success.

        Go Knights Go!

  14. rgangue

    Could have told you when he was signed Petro has trouble hitting the net. The 2019 Blues had the worst PP in the last 20+ years of a team to win the Cup. And he also will not hit anyone. With the 7 years left and a No Movement Clause he cannot be traded. You will get very tired of seeing this over and over.

  15. Jeff

    Pete could you comment on how the Wild handled the ice. Don’t know the factors in ice maintenance but is it correctable?

  16. Peter Turner

    The Wild would have similar trouble which didn’t affect them as much because they didn’t possess the puck as much as we did and they don’t rely on stretch passes as much as we do. Finally, shorter guys tend to keep their head down when skating fast so they have better sight and control of the puck.

  17. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Man the hot air bowing hard here. ha ha

    Amazing!

  18. Peter Turner

    Are you not entertained?

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