Welcome to the third and final part of this week’s Knightly Recap. This final part consists of the Feb. 11 game against the Anaheim Ducks, Feb. 13 game against the San Jose Sharks and what to expect on the next Knightly Recap. Now, onward to part three of the Knightly Recap.
Feb. 11 vs. Anaheim Ducks
Nothing Much to Say But Turnovers
For the majority of the game, both teams played with a defensive mindset throughout. However, Vegas would find themselves with turnover problems yet again for the second game in a row. Honestly, this wasn’t the Golden Knights’ best game this season and the giveaway numbers prove that. Players were making blind passes without anyone in the vicinity, forcing plays that shouldn’t have been made and not shooting enough pucks to the net. In fact, the Ducks outshot the Golden Knights in this game which is a first for Vegas this season.
Fleury Continues to Make Big Stops
Fleury found himself starting in two consecutive games with Lehner out of the lineup with an upper body injury. But Fleury was always ready and remained poised through the Ducks’ scoring chances throughout the game. The Golden Knights netminder made a huge save in what would be another save of the year candidate. Fleury had already won the honor of Save of the Year last season with his diving save against the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Nick Petan.
Anaheim found themselves on a 2-on-1 odd man rush thanks in part to a Golden Knights turnover. Ducks forwards Max Comtois and Isac Lundestrom lead the rush with Comtois handling the puck. Comtois then made a pass to Lundestrom who was in prime position to score an open net goal. Fleury was out of position to make a recovery. But somehow, someway Fleury manages to save a goal with his arm on the goal line. How about that for goaltending?
nice open net you’ve got there….. yeah sonk 🌸 pic.twitter.com/5VnU9266br
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 12, 2021
Feb. 13 at San Jose Sharks
Let’s Get Ready to Rumble
This was it. The first meeting between both these teams with a heated rivalry that started not that long ago. But honestly, this didn’t really feel like a rivalry anymore given the fact that only one of the two teams went to the playoffs last season. However, this game definitely reignited at least a spark in this rivalry.
The game was physical from start to finish but the Sharks had the upper hand with more shots on goal in the first period. They were able to penetrate through open Golden Knight defensive coverage to be in prime scoring position. However, it would be the play of Fleury that saves the day once again for the Golden Knights.
The Power Turned Back On For Vegas’ Power Play
Throughout the early stages of this season, the Golden Knights have stressed about improving their power play. In this game, all of their goals came on three out of their five power plays. They were able to get into the zone and quickly find passing lanes to move the puck around and get the best scoring chance.
The best part was that they didn’t rush or force any type of plays to gain zone entry. Once they were in the Sharks’ defensive zone, the players were able to determine if they needed to speed up or slow down. Their best scoring chances came off from either speed they built up going into the zone or from second chance opportunities.
putting the power in power plays ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/QPXKQnjNVr
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 13, 2021
Marchessault and Golden Knights captain Mark Stone scored goals by crashing the net and capitalizing on second chance opportunities. Stephenson scored a goal by speed built up by Tuch, who was credited with an assist.
“Why Kane’t We Be Friends” – Vegas Golden Knights Twitter
A Golden Knights-Sharks game wouldn’t be the same without a Reaves and Evander Kane (Sharks forward) altercation. During the first period, Kane was called for an interference penalty on Reaves and Reaves responded back by committing a slashing penalty on Kane. The two had a little battle on and off the ice as they continued to have a conversation from their penalty boxes.
Up Next on the Knightly Recap
This week’s Knightly Recap was hectic to say the least. And that’s not going to change for the VGK this week as they take on the Colorado Avalanche in four straight games. Three this week and one next week. This will be the second time the Golden Knights face an opponent for four games this season. The first time was against the Arizona Coyotes from their first ten games.
The Avalanche are no easy task for the Golden Knights as they look to take Vegas’ top spot in the Honda West Division. Vegas will have to keep their turnover numbers down if they want to remain at the top because Colorado can go on odd man rushes in a flash. Also, the Golden Knights are still currently without Lehner, McNabb, Nosek and Theodore. So players that are replacing those spots definitely need the “next man mentality” in order to have a successful four game run.
Colorado is expected to have one of their top players, Nathan MacKinnon, return from injury in their first game against Vegas on Valentine’s Day.
There’s lots to look forward to in these next few days. Especially with the third game being an outdoor game, which is a first for the Golden Knights. Until then, stay tuned for the next Knightly Recap.