The Golden Knights are leading the league in several categories this season but one in particular is a bit surprising. Vegas forward Max Pacioretty scored two 1st period goals last night to give him a total of 16 on the season. Pacioretty’s production has him five goals behind superstar and league leader Auston Matthews. However, that’s not a shocking statistic.
Most Goals Scored By Line
VGK: Pacioretty-Stephenson-Stone (24)
BOS: Pastranak-Bergeron-Marchand (17)
NYI: Lee-Eberle-Barzal (16)
VAN: Boeser-Miller-Pettersson (16)
COL: Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen (15)
Not only is Pacioretty scoring, but his linemates are as well. The support from captain Mark Stone and center Chandler Stephenson have transformed Vegas’ top line into the best scoring trio in the NHL. Considering the heavy offensive lines in Boston, Edmonton and Toronto it’s unexpected to see the Pacioretty-Stephenson-Stone lead the entire league.
Vegas fans have seen the chemistry all season. All three complement one another and serve important roles when they’re on the ice together. We know Pacioretty is out there to sling the puck, but Stone and Stephenson have elevated the entire line by their playmaking abilities. The captain has 24 assists, meanwhile, the top line center has 11. The trio combined has a running total of 83 points or 33% of all Golden Knights points.
The Golden Knights’ second (top) line is climbing the leader board as well. Reilly Smith, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault are second in the league with 293 Shot Attempts For (SATF). Of course, the Pacioretty-Stephenson-Stone line is right behind them.
Shot Attempts For (Includes: Shots On Goal, Missed Shots, Blocked Shots)
COL: Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen (300 SATF)
VGK: Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault (293)
VGK: Pacioretty- Stephenson-Stone (261)
BOS: Pastranak-Bergeron-Marchand (260)
NYI: Lee-Eberle-Barzal (258)
The top six seem to compete nightly to be the most productive line in Vegas. Both added offense last night against the Kings and have consistently scored important, timely goals all season long.
Another statistic the top two lines are exceeding at is Unblocked Shot Attempts For (USATF). The top six make up two out of the three best NHL lines in that category.
Unblocked Shot Attempts For(Includes: Shots On Goal, Missed Shots)
COL: Landeskog-MacKinnon-Rantanen (219 USATF)
VGK: Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault (206)
VGK: Pacioretty- Stephenson-Stone (206)
Obviously, scoring goals is the most important element to a winning club. The Golden Knights are getting that with the Pacioretty- Stephenson-Stone line, and the Smith-Karlsson-Marchessault trio are creating chance after chance per game. It’s a well-balanced top six and show no signs of slowing down. The only question is, can they keep it up in the postseason?
The categories Vegas leads the league or is close to all point to extended success. As long as both lines generate expected offense, Vegas will be a handful for any other team. No matter who they play.