Where was this team during the first four games of the season?
Vegas Fans we can take a sigh of relief (for now anyways!). The Vegas Golden Knights ended their four game losing streak with an impressive 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche Tuesday Night. The 31st team added in 2017 has struggled this season, as they entered the game losing four-in-a-row and starting out the first five games (1-4-0). They were taking on an Avalanche team on the road starting (2-3-0) and looking to even its record to .500 with a winnable home game on paper. But the Knights had other plans after taking a 2-0 lead in the first period.
Chandler Stephenson rattled the Avalanche’s defense by scoring the first goal to give the Knights an early 1-0 lead in the first period. He had to be happy that he was the one who energized the struggling hockey club. It was a big confidence booster, after Vegas was shut out at home by the visiting New York Islanders. The Knights have great talent on the team, but they have been crushed with injuries to start out the season. It also does not help when goalie Robyn Lehner has angered the fanbase with the questionable starts he’s had.
The Ball Arena, which was loud at the beginning of the game, all of a sudden went silent, while the Vegas fans watching either at the game, or back home in Vegas went bonkers. With the Avalanche on the power play, had a chance to even the score 1-1 and take away the excitement of Vegas scoring the opening goal. Instead, Reilly Smith tallied a short-handed goal and Vegas was up by two.
As a Vegas fan, you had to be happy about the early two-goal lead after the first period of play. Whether you were at the game or sitting on the couch at home, you were thinking, “Where was this team during the first four games of the season?” As for the players, they had to be happy too. But as for this Vegas team this year, no-lead-is-a-safe-lead and no win has been guaranteed. The players had to mentally tell themselves the game was still 0-0.
In the second period, The Avalanche got on the board as Cal Makar netted a goal to cut Vegas’ lead in half 2-1. Now Vegas fans, you’ve seen this before this season. The Knights jumped out to a 3-0 lead and were dominant against the Seattle Kraken in the home opener. It was the battle of the expansion teams, and the debut game for the Kraken. Seattle did not want to go down quietly and get goose-egged in its inaugural game. The Kraken tied it 3-3 in the third period before Stephenson scored the game winner for the Knights.
This time however, Vegas would hold on in the third period, scoring a late empty netter sealing a much-needed 3-1 win on the road. Vegas now improves its record to 2-4 on the season.
“That’s kind of Vegas hockey how we played tonight,” Stephenson said. “I think it’s been catching up to us. It’s just about time the whole game came together and I think tonight was one of those nights.”
“We’ve got a lot of new guys and it builds confidence in the group,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “It shows us that if we play the right way we can win games.”
The Golden Knights (2-4-0) don’t have much time to celebrate as they will stay on the road to take on the (3-3-0) Dallas Stars in the second of the back-back road games Wednesday Night. Can they do it Vegas fans? Can the Golden Knights win their second straight game?
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