Golden Knights secure 200th franchise win with 5-2 victory against Sabres in final game before All-Star break

The Vegas Golden Knights kicked off the brand new month with a bang, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 Tuesday night time at T-Cell Area within the ultimate sport earlier than the 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.

The win was the Golden Knights’ two hundredth franchise win, making the Knights the quickest staff to 200 wins in NHL historical past. Vegas achieved the feat in 337 contests; the earlier report was 349 by the Ottawa Senators.

The sport marked the return of three former Golden Knights, two of whom have been a part of the unique roster within the unprecedented inaugural marketing campaign.

Alex Tuch, Cody Eakin and Peyton Krebs usually play on three separate strains however all bought the beginning in opposition to their former staff. The three have been acknowledged in a joint tribute video that was adopted by a really enthusiastic ovation from the Vegas trustworthy.

However not earlier than the Misfit Line opened the scoring simply 33 seconds into the sport.

It was a stunning tic-tac-toe play that resulted in Reilly Smith’s first objective of the brand new 12 months and twelfth of the season.

It was the beginning of a formidable night time by that line, which mixed for 5 factors.

However the Knights as soon as once more benefited from depth scoring.

Brett Howden’s scorching streak continued as he scored for the third straight sport, doubling Vegas’ lead within the ultimate two minutes of the interval together with his seventh of the 12 months.

It is unclear precisely what Sabres netminder Craig Anderson was doing on the play, however he wasn’t set when Howden collected the unfastened puck and fired it from the slot. Howden is 2 objectives shy of matching his profession excessive in half as many video games.

The Knights added two extra within the first 5 minutes of the center body to take a commanding 4-0 lead because of stellar special-teams play.

First, Jonathan Marchessault netted a power-play objective after one other glossy passing play by the Knights.

It was the sort of crisp passing the Knights typically lack on the facility play, however Nicolas Roy accomplished the sequence by sending an ideal feed to Marchessault for the one-timer. It was Marchessault’s team-leading twentieth of the 12 months, marking the fifth time he has topped 20 objectives in his profession.

The Knights adopted up the power-play strike with a shorthanded tally, making it 4-0 at 4:27 of the second.

Howden collected his second level of the sport, organising Keegan Kolesar after the 2 seemingly botched the preliminary odd-man rush.

It was one other questionable second for Anderson, who gave Kolesar greater than sufficient time to slide the puck contained in the publish for his fourth objective of the season.

It was Howden’s second straight multi-point efficiency as he prolonged his level streak to 4 video games, gathering three objectives and 6 factors in that stretch.

Anderson made some key saves on a later energy play because the Knights continued to push, and Robin Lehner adopted go well with with some massive stops on a delayed penalty.

Nevertheless, it did not find yourself being the staff’s first shutout on residence ice this season, because the Sabres lastly broke by way of with 4 minutes left within the center body.

Naturally, it was Contact who lit the lamp.

The facility ahead recorded his fifth objective of the season, beating Lehner cleanly on a 2-on-1. He did not have fun his first objective in opposition to his former staff a lot, however the crowd cheered for him when the objective was introduced.

He had a number of sturdy scoring possibilities all through the sport, together with an excellent alternative early within the first that was nullified when his stick snapped on the shot, and he additionally had a breakaway within the third however was shut down by Lehner.

The beginning of the third was very like the primary and second, because the Knights struck early for the third straight interval, all three objectives coming within the first 91 seconds.

Mark Stone scored his first objective since Jan. 6 simply 1:14 into the ultimate body on a full-line objective by the highest trio.

Max Pacioretty discovered Stone in entrance, choosing up his second help of the sport; he now has 23 factors in 19 video games this season. Nolan Patrick recorded his fourth help of the 12 months, giving him three factors in his final 4 contests.

The Sabres made it a three-goal sport as soon as once more at 12:23 of the third as John Hayden tipped a Tage Thompson shot, but it surely was a comparatively uneventful second close to the top of a sport wherein the Knights led for 59:27, finally taking it by a ultimate rating of 5-2.

It wasn’t a flawless sport, but it surely was a strong team-wide effort that featured plenty of fairly passing performs, objectives in any respect strengths and factors from 9 totally different forwards from up and down the lineup.

Howden, Stone and Marchessault all completed the sport with a objective and an help, whereas Pacioretty and Karlsson recorded two assists; Patrick, Roy and Kolesar all discovered the scoresheet as properly.

Apparently, Vegas did not management play regardless of controlling the sport.

The Sabres held an edge in Corsi share in all three durations at 5-on-5, although the Knights led in anticipated objective share (58.35 p.c at 5-on-5 on the night time) and bought two objectives on particular groups.

It was one other encouraging efficiency by Lehner, who made 30 saves on 32 photographs for a .938 save share. It was his second win in a row and fourth in his final 5 begins.

Golden Knights defenseman Kaedan Korczak made his NHL debut, ending the competition with one block and a plus-one score in 16:37.

Tuch, who now has 13 factors in 13 video games this season, completed the night time with a objective, 4 photographs and 4 blocks in 21:02, which included 2:35 on the facility play and a pair of:58 on the penalty kill.

Eakin managed 4 photographs, one hit and a minus-one score in 15:02, whereas Krebs delivered two hits, one takeaway and a minus-two score in 16:29.

The win helps the Knights transfer to 27-16-3 on the 12 months and keep its spot atop the Pacific Division standings; Vegas has a two-point lead and two video games in hand over Anaheim heading into the All-Star break after going 4-1-1 in its final six video games.

The Knights will look to construct on that once they return for a back-to-back Alberta street set in opposition to Edmonton and Calgary subsequent week.

Within the meantime, Stone and Alex Pietrangelo will symbolize the Golden Knights on the All-Star Recreation, set for Feb. 4-5 at T-Cell Area.

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