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Recap: The Golden Knights traveled to Pittsburgh to try and break their two-game losing streak. The Penguins took the first lead of the game late in the 1st period. After one Vegas trailed 1-0 in Pittsburgh. 

Pittsburgh added to their lead early in the middle frame giving them a 2-0 lead. Vegas wouldn’t stop fighting as two minutes later Jack Eichel cut the lead in half with his fourth as a Golden Knight. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo tied the game 2-2 scoring his eighth goal of the season.

The game opened up in the 3rd period with the Penguins controlling play. Pittsburgh added a 5-on-5 goal, a power play goal and an empty net goal to seal the game. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 32-24-4 falling 5-2 to the Penguins. The Golden Knights drop another of their five game road trip and have lost three straight. Next, Vegas will face Columbus on Sunday. Puck drop is set for 4 PM PT. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas looked somewhat like itself for a good portion of the 2nd period which gave some hope that the tide was turning. But losing another player to injury (Pacioretty) and seeing more points slip away due to a poor 3rd period leaves the feeling still the same as it has been. The Golden Knights must improve, and in a hurry, or things will get much worse. (Recap by Ken)

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

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Recap: The Golden Knights took the first lead of the game on Chandler Stephenson’s 11th goal of the season. Evgenii Dadonov and Nic Roy added offense giving Vegas a 3-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes.

Pittsburgh started to warm up in the 2nd period scoring on an early power play opportunity. Less than a minute later the Penguins got within one. After 40 minutes the Golden Knights held a 3-2 edge. 

It didn’t take long for Pittsburgh to tie the game in the 3rd period. The Penguins evened the score :28 into the final frame and took the lead two minutes later. They later added an empty net goal to score five unanswered goals. The Golden Knights had several late pushes but couldn’t close the gap. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 23-15-1 falling 5-3 to the Penguins. Vegas next faces the team that knocked them out of the playoffs on Thursday night. Puck drop against the Montreal Canadiens is set for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: For 20 minutes, the Golden Knights could do no wrong. They dominated the run of play, they drew penalties, they scored on the rush, and they were excellent in front of the goal. Then, intermission hit, and that was the end of it. Pittsburgh whipped the Golden Knights all over the ice for the final 40 minutes, scoring five unanswered. Brutal loss on what is turning into a miserable homestand. (Recap by Ken)

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

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Fleury To Former GM: “Get Me To Vegas”

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This past offseason most Golden Knights fans thought the face of the franchise would be traded. Based on reports, it almost happened. However, that face, Marc-Andre Fleury, made it known publicly that he desired to stay in Las Vegas and hadn’t asked to be moved. Luckily for the Golden Knights front office, a deal never materialized.

The front office that gifted the Golden Knights with the future Hall of Famer knew long before, that Fleury wanted to resume his career in Las Vegas.

I knew he had lots, lots left in him. In Fleury’s case, when he knew that he was the odd man out he came and met with me and said ‘if there’s any way you can get me to Las Vegas, that’s where I’d like to go.’ So, I made sure I made that happen. I felt like I owed that to him. –Jim Rutherford, former Penguins GM w/ Cam & Strick podcast

Long before his name was called by The Creator in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft, Fleury was focused on becoming the starting goaltender for the Golden Knights.

After being drafted by Vegas, the 33-year-old, at the time, went on to have one of the best seasons of his career. After losing his starting position in Pittsburgh, the “I’ll show them” motivation factor was high for Fleury. Sort of like what’s happening this season.

I’m emotionally connected to guys that I win a championship with. The Marc-Andre Fleury trade was the hardest one for me, because I love the guy. He’s a special, very special person. –Rutherford, former Penguins GM

Last night’s 1-0 defeat to Minnesota was only Fleury’s fourth of the season. In those four losses, the goaltender allowed eight goals combined. He’s second in the league with a 2.04 GAA in losses, and number one overall with a 1.57 GAA. Win or lose, the numbers show that Fleury keeps his team in the game more than any other goalie in the NHL.

Of course, they’ll be no way to prove it but the handwriting was on the wall for the goaltender and the new franchise. Pittsburgh knew they had to move on, Fleury was aware and the Golden Knights were opportunistic. It was the perfect second marriage, and both parties were excited to form a union of misfits.

I make a lot of trades, I’m not going to get them all right. When I don’t get one right I’m not afraid to say it. I move on. –Rutherford, former Penguins GM

It was set up to be a storybook ending for Fleury in Vegas, but questionable decisions seemed to derail that path, until now. He told Rutherford in 2017, and Golden Knights fans in 2020, the goaltender wanted to be in Vegas and didn’t want to leave Vegas. His performance this season is showing that.

Oh, and make no doubts about it, Fleury has a little motivation to prove them wrong. He didn’t need to but he does nightly.


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


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


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


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


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: 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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