The buzz was still strong after Tuesday night’s Golden Knights 4-2 win over the Dallas Stars. Vegas fans were eager once again to watch newly acquired star forward Mark Stone.
Vegas got off to a great start, as second line center Paul Stastny snapped in the first goal of the game. The Golden Knights lead Florida 1-0 for most of the period. However, the Panthers power play went to work.
Florida forward Mike Hoffman one-timed two consecutive power play goals to give the Panthers the 2-1 edge. The visiting team added another late goal to give them a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The Golden Knights came out of the intermission on fire. Vegas pressured the Florida zone for the first seven minutes when Reilly Smith got his team closer. Smith made the game 3-2 after slick handling an up-close shot by Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo.
“I was just trying to pull it in front. It seems like a couple of guys have been doing that lately and it’s been working. I was just trying to get the puck there. I know Roberto Luongo has an active stick on that net, so I was just trying to get it through.” – Reilly Smith, VGK Forward
A few possessions later, the Golden Knights tied the game 3-3 on Jon Merrill’s third goal of the season. With under a minute to go in the period. Florida’s Alexander Barlow equalized the game 4-4.
With one period to play and the game tied both teams tightened up defensively. The Panthers struck first on Jonathan Huberdeau’s 18th goal of the season. The visiting team held the lead once again 5-4. Vegas was forced to battle back and Smith once again came up big.
“I think it’s great confidence for Reilly. He has played well for us all year and works hard every game and competes really hard, but I know he can score goals and it’s nice to see him get two tonight.” – Gerard Gallant, VGK Coach
After regulation, the game was tied 5-5 and needed extra time to decide the contest. Neither team converted in overtime leaving it up to the goaltenders in a shootout. Shea Theodore won the game faking out Luongo on a backhand puck flip into the net.
“Sometimes you feel like you can throw a fake and see if the goalie bites and I thought he bit hard enough. It worked out.” – Shea Theodore, VGK Defenseman
Vegas improves their record to (34-26-5) and remain in the Pacific Division’s third-place spot. The team gets back on the ice tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. Game begins at 7p.