The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Dallas Stars in a round-robin game of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a score of 5-3. Vegas are currently in second place of the four Western Conference round-robin teams with two points (1-0-0 record). Here’s a recap of the Golden Knights-Stars round-robin game.
Before the Game
During both the American and Canadien national anthems, Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner along with Stars players Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson all knelt down on one knee. This, of course, is to show solidarity to those affected by systemic racism and the social injustices in the United States and all over the world. Reaves stated after the game that he didn’t know if Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba was a “deciding factor” for his decision to kneel during both national anthems. He said that him and Lehner were “going to come together and talk about it”.
We are united in the fight for racial equality.
We support our players and all those who peacefully seek to inspire change and raise awareness against racial injustice. pic.twitter.com/iA7CvGX1eA
— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 3, 2020
Vegas came out with a fast start scoring 1:04 into the game. Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson scored the game’s first goal. However, the Stars are a very stingy team defensively and they showed that during this game. They pressured the Golden Knights on their own end to get some scoring chances of their own. But, Lehner kept his ground and was able to hold on to the team’s one goal lead.
Vegas went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
It was a tale of two periods for both teams. Dallas came out of the intermission red hot and put more pressure on Vegas defensively. This enabled them to establish their offense in the Golden Knights’ zone. The Stars would then go on to score three goals, two of which came within almost a minute of each other. Stars forwards Joe Pavelski, Jamie Oleksiak and Corey Perry scored the three Dallas goals this period. The Golden Knights’ defense was too sloppy and complacent which caused them to lose their one goal lead heading into this period. Vegas also had too many turnovers this period that led to the Stars capitalizing on two of their three goals. However, the Golden Knights made a late push towards the end of the period to get a goal but Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop held his ground.
Dallas went into the third period with a 3-1 lead.
Again, it was a tale of two periods for both teams. Vegas knew that they didn’t play their game and that they let their game get away from them. So, they wanted to make sure they took control of the game back into their hands. The Golden Knights went on to score four unanswered goals in the last 10 minutes of the game. Golden Knights players Mark Stone, Nate Schmidt, William Carrier and William Karlsson were the goal scorers during this period. The Golden Knights also were able to establish their defensive game again and beat the Stars with their speed. But, the Stars didn’t go away easily. They also made a late push and had multiple chances to tie the game. However, Lehner kept the puck out of the net to hold on to the lead.
Karlsson iced the game scoring an empty net goal with 20 seconds left in the game. Vegas won the game 5-3.
Don’t just call Vegas the Golden Knights. They should also be called the “Comeback Kings”. Refer back to the two St. Louis Blues games on January 4 and February 13 of this year. The Golden Knights are one of the few teams that’s a favorite to win the Stanley Cup this year. They should give credit to Lehner for being able to perform the way he did in the final minutes of the third period making some key saves.
Dallas also should get credit for playing their game during the second period by pressuring Vegas to commit turnovers. Bishop should also receive credit for keeping his team in the game even though the Golden Knights scored four goals in the third period. He at least held the lead to a one goal game so that his team can have a chance to score again.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Miro Heiskanen (3 assists)
Second Star: Nate Schmidt (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Mark Stone (1 goal, 1 assist)
Vegas will play the St. Louis Blues on Aug. 6 at 6:30 pm EST. Dallas recently lost to the Colorado Avalanche 4-0 and will play the St. Louis Blues on Aug. 9.
After the Game
In a post game conference for the Vegas Golden Knights, Reaves stated that he wasn’t trying to disrespect the American flag by any means necessary. “I definitely want to start by saying ‘In no way do I—am I trying to disrespect the flag or people who have fought for this country,” Reaves said. “I have the utmost respect for everybody that’s gone over and fought and died for the freedom of this country.” Reaves also added by saying that “not everybody is truly free in this country and that’s starting to come to light a lot more.”
Lehner also chimed in saying that he regrets putting a Trump sticker on his mask. He also mentioned that he loves America but that there are many issues in the country. He finished off by saying, “I think it’s time for whites to step into battle with our brothers and sisters and make some change.”
💻 Reaves & Lehner 💻
Reaves: Not everybody is truly free in this country and that’s starting to come to light a lot more. pic.twitter.com/kLfQJnL4qx
— y-Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 4, 2020