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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 7 MINNESOTA WILD 2 (43-28-8, 94 PTS)

Recap: It didn’t take long before the Golden Knights took control of the game. After taking an early penalty, Vegas’ penalty kill created a turnover and broke out to the Wild’s zone. Jack Eichel found Nic Roy for an easy tap in opening goal. Pavel Dorofeyev recorded his 13th goal of the season on then and Eichel tripled VGK’s lead with a power play goal. After 20 minutes the Golden Knights held a commanding 3-0 lead.

Minnesota picked up their first goal of the game at the 7:42 mark of the 2nd period. The Golden Knights were awarded a penalty which Jonathan Marchessault recorded his 42nd goal of the season. VGK went into the second intermission up 4-1.

Tomas Hertl picked up his first goal as a Golden Knight 2:27 into the final frame. The Wild picked up their second score five minutes later but William Karlsson regained Vegas’ four goal lead a couple of shifts later. VGK would add another late to cap off a 7-2 win and clinch a playoff berth.

The Golden Knights record improves 43-28-8 crushing the Wild 7-2 at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas will face the Colorado Avalanche for a matinee matchup on Sunday. Puck drop against the Avalanche is scheduled for 12:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Coming in needing a win to clinch a playoff berth, VGK came out with a killer attitude and buried a bunch of their earlier chances. Eichel and Roy finished a break, Dorofeyev sniped one shortside, and Eichel buried one on the power play. Once they got the big lead, they could basically just coast to the finish line and officially punch their ticket to the postseason. (Analysis by Ken)

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

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 MINNESOTA WILD 1 (41-25-8, 90 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights were hoping to wrap up their successful four-game road trip with a victory in Minnesota. Vegas was awarded two power plays in the opening period but failed to convert an opportunity into a goal.

In the 2nd period, the tables turned for Vegas. The Golden Knights committed two penalties which cost them the lead. The hometown Wild held a 1-0 edge after two periods of play.

Late in the game Michael Amadio recorded his 13th goal of the season to force overtime. The Wild chose to pull their goalie in overtime chasing the extra point in the standings. Jonathan Marchessault scored the game-winner and his 40th goal of the season on an empty net in OT.

The Golden Knights record improves to 41-25-8 defeating the Wild 2-1 in Minnesota. Vegas will fly back home for one game against Vancouver on Tuesday night. Puck drop against the Canucks is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Boring hockey is back for the Golden Knights, and that’s a good thing. A low-event game for the most part picked up with Jack Eichel took a major penalty for spearing. That led to Minnesota’s only goal and with Eichel out of the game it looked like trouble. But, a great stretch pass from Martinez, followed by an even better dish by Stephenson and a great finish by Amadio tied the game. A desperate Minnesota pulled their goalie in OT, and Jonathan Marchessault accepted the gift. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Centre.

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Both VGK and Cassidy Have Historical Got The Job Done In The Final 13 Games Of The Year

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It might have gotten shaky towards the end of the game but last night’s 3-1 victory over the Kraken was vital for Vegas’ playoff push. Currently, the Golden Knights sit in the Western Conference’s final Wild Card spot with a four-point lead over the St. Louis Blues. With 13 games remaining, Vegas desperately needs to take advantage of lesser opponents like Seattle because competition will heavily pick up next week. After Saturday night’s non-conference contest with Columbus, VGK will only face teams from the West. Most believe they still have a chance. As a matter of fact, the Golden Knights will play 9 out of their final 13 games against playoff contenders.

If it was November, December, you have lots of time to work on it. But it’s March so we have less time and we have to get there quicker. But I’m positive about the direction of the team. -Bruce Cassidy

Fortunately, the Golden Knights and coach Bruce Cassidy have a track record of making a strong push to the finish line.

VGK’s Final 13 Games Year-By-Year

  • 2017-18: 6-5-2 (Stanley Cup Final)
  • 2018-19: 5-6-2 (1st Round)
  • 2019-20: 11-2-0* (Conference Finals)
  • 2020-21: 10-3-0 (Conference Finals)
  • 2021-22: 6-3-4 (Missed Playoffs)
  • 2022-23: 9-1-3 (Won Stanley Cup)
    *Season Interrupted

Unlike this season, last year after the All-Star break the Golden Knights were the best team in hockey. With Cassidy at the helm, odds suggest his players will begin to pick up the results they desire. Last night was a good example of Vegas winning games they are expected to. There’s another one of those tomorrow, but after that it gets tricky.

VGK’s Key Remaining Games

  • March 25th @ St. Louis
  • March 26th @ Nashville
  • March 28th @ Winnipeg
  • March 30th @ Minnesota
  • April 2nd vs. Vancouver
  • April 8th @ Vancouver
  • April 10th @ Edmonton
  • April 12th vs Minnesota
  • April 14th vs Colorado

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MINNESOTA WILD 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (31-16-6, 68 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights only needed :22 seconds to take the early lead over the Minnesota Wild. Jonathan Marchessault added his 27th goal of 2023-24 on his first shift of the game. Midway through the period, the Golden Knights committed several penalties at once, giving a lengthy two-man advantage to the Wild. Minnesota promptly scored twice on the power play and took a 2-1 lead. Michael Amadio evened the score before the break on a late Golden Knights power play.

Both teams battled for possession in the middle frame with the Golden Knights having several opportunities to snap the 2-2 tie. Minnesota committed three penalties in the second period but Vegas couldn’t convert in any of them.

The scoring picked up in the final 20 minutes. Minnesota took the lead at the 6:28 mark of the frame and scored a minute later to make it a 4-2 advantage. Mark Stone gave Vegas life by cutting the score to 4-3 but the Wild tacked on an empty-net goal to finish off the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

The Golden Knights record drops to 31-16-6 losing the Wild 5-3. Vegas will have the next few days before they face off against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights got themselves into a bit of trouble in the 1st by taking three straight penalties. They played well at 5-on-5 for most of the night but kind of fell apart at the start of the 3rd. The pushback was decent but they have got to sort out this 6-on-5 thing. They cannot give up the empty net goal every single time. (Analysis by Ken)

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

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VGK Used Physical “Competitive Advantage” To Generate Offense Against Minnesota Wild

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Typically, when we think of tall, heavy teams in the NHL, we equate them with big hits, strength along the walls, and boxing out in front of the goal.

For the Golden Knights, one of the physically largest teams set to compete in the playoff this year, it tends to materialize in a different way.

Vegas ranks just 12th in the league in hits and they have only one player in the top 40 in the category. They certainly are strong along the walls but rarely will we see a game dominated by VGK pushing the opposition off the puck. And while Bruce Cassidy’s zone defense has helped with winning pucks in front of the goalie, of playoff-likely teams only the Edmonton Oilers have allowed more rebound goals at 5-on-5 this year.

Where size has helped the Golden Knights most is when they are in possession of the puck. Vegas has been one of the best teams scoring goals off the rush in the NHL, but when they spend time in the offensive zone they are not the most creative. So, instead, they rely on wearing down opponents and exposing lapses in coverage to score. The best way they’ve done this is with extended puck possession, especially by one player holding the puck for 5-10 seconds at a time.

When VGK are at their best, they begin to control games by holding the puck near the faceoff circles in the offensive zone. Jack Eichel, Nic Roy, William Karlsson, Chandler Stephenson, Jonathan Marchessault, and many other Golden Knights forwards are excellent at fending off defensemen to maintain possession of the puck. The longer they are able to hold it, the more options open up as the defense scrambles to stay in position. From low-to-high passes that bring VGK’s offensive-minded defensemen into the play to cycling the puck behind the net to let the next forward hold it, eventually, better more dangerous passing lanes become available.

This has all been especially evident in the last two games against the Minnesota Wild, and Cassidy has a theory as to why.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 MINNESOTA WILD 3 (48-22-7, 103 PTS) – SO (3-2)

Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to Minnesota and for the second straight matchup against the Wild. Vegas scored the opening goal of the game after Keegan Kolesar tipped a puck into Minnesota’s net. The period ended with the visiting team leading 1-0.

The Wild’s offense woke up in the middle frame. Minnesota scored three times in the period to take a lead. Thankfully for Vegas, Pavel Dorofeyev rifled a puck in the net to keep the Golden Knights within one. After 40 minutes of action, the Wild held a 3-2 advantage.

With seconds remaining in the final period, Dorofeyev tied the game 3-3 and forced overtime and eventually a shootout. Reilly Smith came through with a slick move to win the game for Vegas.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 48-22-7 defeating the Wild 4-3 in shootout. Vegas will continue on the road with a visit to Nashville on Tuesday. Puck drop against the Predators is scheduled for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: VGK started out great doing much of what they did in Vegas last game to slow down and frustrate the Wild. But, the execution fell apart a bit from Vegas and picked up from Minnesota in the 2nd and they turned the game around. The equalizer really didn’t look like it would come but with under a minute the hero, Pavel Dorofeyev, emerged. He then re-emerged in shootout. What a game for #16.(Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 MINNESOTA WILD 1 (47-22-7, 101 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hosted the Minnesota Wild hoping to snap their two-game losing skid. Minnesota jumped out to an early lead after a puck bounced off several players and into VGK’s net. Minutes later Ben Hutton scored in tight to even the score. Zach Whitecloud broke the tie to give Vegas a 2-1 advantage before the 1st intermission.

Vegas extended their lead 2:21 into the middle frame. Minnesota took 13 shots in the period but none of them were quality chances and couldn’t find the back of the net. After 40 minutes the home team led 3-1.

The 3rd period tightened up with neither team getting many dangerous chances on net. With 3:36 remaining the Wild pulled their goaltender for the extra attacker but it wouldn’t matter as Chandler Stephenson sealed the game with an ENG. Vegas took the first game of a home-and-home with Minnesota 4-1.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 47-22-7 with their 4-1 win over the Wild. Vegas and Minnesota will play each other again on Monday night in Saint Paul. Puck drop is scheduled for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights got back to their style of hockey, forechecking well, holding the puck in the O-Zone, and controlling the middle of the ice defensively. Despite going behind early, they were able to ride a wave of unlikely goal scorers to play one of their better games in a while. Do it again Monday and it’ll be quite the statement against another team near the top of the conference. (Analysis by Ken)

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

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