Golden Knights ride stellar goaltending, highlight-reel goals to 4-1 win against Senators
The Vegas Golden Knights secured their second straight win and 16th of the season with a 4-1 victory against the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Despite losing the possession battle in all three periods, the Golden Knights came out on top, in large part thanks to another impressive performance by Logan Thompson. Thompson finished the game with 38 saves on 39 shots and is now 11-3-0 on the year.
Mark Stone kicked things off with a power-play tally in the final three minutes of the opening frame, scoring against his former team for the second time in two games this season.
The goal extended Stone’s goal streak to four games; he has recorded five goals in that stretch.
But Vegas was unable to escape the first with the lead, surrendering a power-play goal in the final 18 seconds of the period. It was the first career goal for defenseman Jake Sanderson, whose shot deflected before reaching Thompson.
But that would be the only goal Thompson would surrender.
The Golden Knights proceeded to score two of the most memorable goals of the season, one each in the second and third periods.
First, William Carrier potted a superstar’s goal as he carried the puck into the zone, dangled between two Senators defenders, pulled the puck to his forehand and then beat Cam Talbot far-side.
Carrier is just two goals shy of tying his career high of nine just 21 games into the season.
William Karlsson followed suit with a highlight-reel goal of his own early in the third period.
Karlsson knocked an elevated feed out of the air with his stick while skating into the offensive zone before putting on the brakes and performing a spin-o-rama to evade Senators defenseman Lassi Thomson. He finished it off by firing a backhanded laser from the circle, beating Talbot top-shelf.
It was Karlsson’s fifth goal of the year and first since Oct. 28, and it gave the Golden Knights an important insurance goal at 2:39 of the third.
Skating in the 900th game of his career, Alex Pietrangelo recorded the lone assist on the play, giving him 21 points through 21 games this season.
Thompson proceeded to stop all 15 shots he faced following Karlsson’s tally, going 16-for-16 in the third period and finishing the game with a .974 save percentage. Jack Eichel hit the empty-net goal with under two minutes remaining to seal the win; it was his 11th goal and 26th point of the season.
Good teams find ways to win, especially on nights when the team doesn’t deliver its best effort; that’s exactly what Vegas did against Ottawa.
The Senators outplayed Vegas in most respects, holding a 68.75 percent scoring chance share and 67.88 percent expected goal share at 5-on-5.
But at the end of the day, the only thing that counts is the scoresheet. Vegas capitalized on its chances, and Thompson played a critical role, especially early on, as the Senators held a 9-2 edge in high-danger chances in the first two periods.
Despite the absence of Nicolas Roy, the Golden Knights’ fourth line continues to shine. Carrier collected his third goal in two games and fourth in the last four.
The third line, however, had another unspectacular showing, generating three shot attempts while yielding 12. Bruce Cassidy gave the unit just 7:01 of 5-on-5 ice time; the other three lines all got at least 10 minutes, with the top line leading the way at 13:19.
The Golden Knights will wrap up this three-game homestand with a back-to-back set against Seattle and Vancouver starting Friday night.