The last time Golden Knights fans saw Mark Stone explode offensively was the series-clinching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. The captain tied a bow on Vegas’ first-ever championship with three goals and two assists in a 9-3 blowout. Monday’s game was not nearly as important but Stone broke out again, solving Vegas’ scoring woes for one night.
I was just fortunate enough to be in shooting spots tonight. I’d be a fool to pass up the ones that I got. Those just come some days and other days they don’t, but we just need to keep finding ways to play those 60-minute games as a good team. -Mark Stone
Stone completed the three goal challenge for the 3rd time in a Golden Knights uniform, two coming in the postseason.
Mark Stone Hat Trick Highlights
- 04/14/19 – 1st Round Game 3 vs SJ: 3 Goals, 2 Assists, 4 Shots on Goal, 18:24 Time On Ice, VGK wins 6-3
- 06/13/23 – SCF Game 5 vs FLA: 3 Goals, 1 Shorthanded Goal, 3 Shots on Goal, 16:54 Time On Ice, VGK wins 9-3
- 01/15/24 – Game 44 vs NAS: 3 Goals, 5 Shots On Net, 18:48 Time On Ice, VGK wins 4-1
Going into Monday’s matinee, the reigning Stanley Cup champions were averaging an insufficient 2.5 goals per game in the last 14 games. Without the laundry list of injured Golden Knights, healthy players must step up and score enough to win. It was no surprise that VGK’s leader was the one to break out for three of Vegas’ four goals. Hopefully, his performance solved the Golden Knights’ lack of offense going forward.
We have to be a better version of ourselves for longer if we expect to get points. We’ve even talked about that. We might even be doing that and still not get points because teams will just be playing better. We’ve witnessed some of that lately. -Bruce Cassidy
Several times this season after a slow night offensively, Stone aided his team to success by scoring in the next game. In early November, Vegas began the month with a paltry three goals in nine periods. In Vegas’ next match, the captain scored a game-winner late in the final frame. He also added two power play assists, giving the Golden Knights offense a much-needed shot in the arm.
The fourth year captain did the same later in November. After the Golden Knights failed to score twice or more in four straight games, Stone recorded points in seven of the next eight games. No surprise, the Stanley Cup champions went 6-0-2 in the span. Starting tomorrow night, Vegas is hoping to get back on a run like that. Having Stone in the lineup will help enormously, especially without Jack Eichel’s offensive abilities for the foreseeable future.
Not only has Stone been able to jumpstart Vegas’ offense over the season, he’s been scoring in big moments and against quality teams. The 31-year-old has registered 15 goals in 2023-24, nine have come against current playoff teams. It’s almost as if he forgot to turn off Cup finals mode over the offseason. Maybe, it’s more like repeat mode.