It was a star-studded Saturday night on the Las Vegas strip. All-Star goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights hosted his former team the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pittsburgh started out the game on fire controlling the game and peppering Marc-Andre Fleury’s net. Penguins forward Phil Kessel got Pittsburgh on the board first which woke up the Golden Knights scoring three straight goals. Vegas closed out the first period leading 3-1 on goals by Shea Theodore, Max Pacioretty and Oscar Lindberg.
It didn’t take long for Pittsburgh to storm back in the second period. The Penguins scored :16 seconds into the middle frame, and eventually tied the game five minutes later.
“Yeah it was fun, you know it was busy on both sides. I wish it wasn’t three goals but the main part of the game was exciting on both sides and our guys played a great game. We defended well and got some big goals.” – Marc Andre Fleury, VGK Goaltender
Moments later on a Pittsburgh PP, the Penguins thought they owned a 4-3 lead but the goal would be overturned. The reviewed goal completely shifted the game and ignited the Golden Knights and Jonathan Marchessault.
A misplay by Penguins goaltender Casey DeSmith led to Marchessault’s first goal, he then tallied another to restore the two-goal lead. On the backs of their top line forward, Vegas edged Pittsburgh 5-3 after forty minutes of play.
“Well, they were rolling. They got the goal in the first shift of the second period to make it 3-2 and they got the tying goal shortly after that so no it definitely changed. I didn’t like the way we came out. We had a pretty good first period being a 3-1 lead. There are lots of moments in games when things change, and I think the fourth goal for us was huge.” – Gerard Gallant, VGK Coach
The game cleaned up a bit defensively for the Golden Knights in the third period. Midway through, William Karlsson extended Vegas’ lead with his 16th goal of the season.
“Yeah, I mean they played pretty tight. You know, generating chances – I think we had a problem with that. I thought we generated some good ones, had more than enough to score goals and more than enough to win a game, but we didn’t defend well enough as a group.” – Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Captain
With under a minute to go, Marchessault launched a puck into an empty Penguins net for his first hat trick as a Golden Knight. Along with Karlsson, he becomes the second player in VGK history to score a hat trick.
Vegas improves their record to (29-17-4) and currently sits in third place in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights get back to work on Monday for an afternoon matinee against the Minnesota Wild. Game begins at 3PM.