The Vegas Golden Knights defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 1 of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a score of 4-1. This was also the first time both teams matched up in the playoffs. Here is the game recap of the first ever playoff match between the Blackhawks and the Golden Knights.
This was a “feel out” period where both teams were figuring each other out. However, the Golden Knights were able to control most of the period outshooting the Blackhawks 9-5. Though, the Blackhawks had a good scoring chance in the early stages of the period off of a Golden Knights turnover.
The game was tied at zero heading into the second period.
Again, the Blackhawks had a scoring chance to take the lead in the early stages from captain Jonathon Toews. Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore scored the game’s first goal at the 7:22 mark of the period and forward William Carrier scored 2:17 after Theodore’s goal giving the Knights a two goal lead. However, the Blackhawks were able to get a goal back after losing an offside challenge that awarded Carrier with the goal. The Golden Knights went on a power play but Blackhawks forward David Kampf scored shorthanded to cut the lead down to one. Both teams had great scoring chances on each of their power plays this period but couldn’t convert on them.
Vegas went into the third period with a 2-1 lead.
The Golden Knights were in control this period on both ends of the ice. Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith scored two answered goals to extend the team’s lead to three with forward Jonathon Marchessault assisting on both goals. But, the Blackhawks came close to making the game close. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane had the best scoring chance but he hit the post on their only power play of the period.
Vegas won the game 4-1 and took the series lead 1-0.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Robin Lehner (19 saves)
Second Star: Jonathan Marchessault (2 assists)
First Star: Reilly Smith (2 goals, 1 assist)
The Golden Knights continue to be impressive during the postseason. They also got back forward Max Pacioretty after he missed all three Golden Knights round robin games. Pacioretty sustained a minor injury during training camp. Smith and Theodore also continue to show improvement as the postseason goes along. Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner faced his former team in the Blackhawks for the first time since the three-team trade which involved the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 24.
On the other hand, the Blackhawks played a fairly good game despite what the score showed. They were able to force turnovers from the Golden Knights and capitalize on one of them. The Blackhawks also sustained good offensive pressure whether it was on 5-on-5 or a power play. Veteran Blackhawks players like Toews and Kane still have what it takes to make another Stanley Cup run and Vegas has to be aware of that during this series.
Game 2 between the Blackhawks and Golden Knights is on Aug. 13 at 5:30 pm EST.