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Vegas Ends Their Losing Streak at the Expense of the Bolts
By: Jake Ricker
The Bolts dominated the early parts of this game but things quickly changes and the Knights kept it interesting. The Bolts offense converted early but then stalled as the Knights figured out their strategy and kept them at bay. As for the Knights, they kept on pushing and took advantage of the Bolts poor discipline towards the end of the game. This one would have to be decided in the shootout though as neither team could find the back of the net after being tied at 2. The Knights would go on to win it though so let’s take a look at how we got here period by period.
The Bolts off to a nice start getting a few quick changes in on Flurry, but he made the stops and sent the play the other way. The Knights then responded with a few chances of their own but Vasy showed he was ready to go too. The Bolts would get the first chance on the power play as Nate Schmidt was called for cross-checking. The Bolts power play was ready to go as Kuch ripped a quick shot on net and then Point found the rebound and sent it home for a 1-0 lead! The Knights would put themselves in deeper trouble though as just seconds later William Karlsson went to the box for tripping. The Bolts would get off their signature play as Kucherov sent a pass across to Stamkos who blasted it just wide. The power play would then soon expire and they were back to full strength. Both teams then went back and forth looking to make something happen but neither side would let either get something going. The Knights would then get their first power play of the night as Gourde was called for tripping. The Bolts would do an excellent job at killing it off as they even picked up a few chances of their own while shorthanded. The Knights then went right back to the penalty kill as Riley Smith was called for hooking late in the period. With 44 seconds still left on the power play, the horn would then sound and it would have to be picked up in the second.
Goals: 1-0 Tampa Bay
Shots: 10-8 Tampa Bay
The Bolts started things out with 44 seconds still left on the power play and got right to work. The Bolts picked up a few chances but time would soon expire and the Knights were back to full strength. Things then started to pick up in the physical department as both teams laid on the hits. The Knights then brought the heat and put some tough shots on Vasy, but he made the stops and made them look easy. Neither team could then seem to get a good grip on things as they fought for zone offensive zone time. Both teams also seemed to be playing a disabled period as neither team had taken a penalty as we passed the 12-minute mark. The Bolts then finally got a good opportunity as they crashed the net. they were able to find the rebound and put the puck into the back of the net, but it was quickly waived off for goaltender interference. The Bolts challenged the play as Joseph seemed to be pushed into Fluery by a Knights player. After review, it was determined that there was no interference and it was a good goal! The Bolts would then make a mistake though and Eakin made them pay, Eakin got the pass and went in on a breakaway and put it past Vasy to make it 2-1. Things then took a bad turn as Paquette launched a hit on Carpenter who hit the boards on a bad angle, Paquette called for help realizing he was in pain. Carpenter was then helped off the ice and play resumed. Time then quickly wined down and the period would come to a close.
Goals: 2-1 Tampa Bay
Shots: 19-14 Vegas
The Bolts got off to another good start as they picked up 2 nice back to back chances early in the final period. The Bolts seemed to have control of this period but the Knights were not having it. On a great play, the Knights came in on a 2 on 1 and Zykov had a wide open net to lift the puck over a stretching Vasy and tie this game at 2. The good times didn’t last for long for the Knights though as Merrill was called for a cross-check. The Knights would successfully kill it off though and keep the score tied at 2. The Bolts would soon get yet another chance on the power play as Eakin got 2 for high sticking. The Bolts would once again get some good looks, but could not capitalize. Things then quickly heated up as Eakin bursted down the ice and took two quick shots on Vasy but he turned them away. Vasy wasn’t done there though as he made a stupendous save by driving across to block a wide open net. The Bolts then went right back down the ice and got a close chance of their own. With time winding down the Bolts would have to face one more challenge as Killorn would be called for tripping with just 1:42 to go. The Bolts would fight off the knights as the horn then soon sounded and this one would head to overtime.
Shots: 31-26 Vegas
The Knights would start things off on a short 4 on 3 power play but it would quickly end. The Knights would then try and get something going but the Bolts continuously broke up their plays. The Knights then nearly ended it as a shot tricked past Vasy who had to reach out with his stick to make sure it went wide. The Bolts would put themselves in a bad spot as McDonagh was caught on the ice and the Bolts were called for too many men on the ice. The Bolts penalty kill would successfully kill it off though and the horn would soon sound sending us to the shootout.
Shots: 37-26 Vegas
Tuch- Goal ):
- Valentin Zykov (1G)
- Andrei Vasilevskiy (35SV, 2GA)
- Alex Tuch (GWG)
Up Next and Final Strike
The Bolts played well early, converting on the power play and keeping the puck in the offensive zone. However, they kept giving the Knights more chances as the game went on letting them crawl back into it. The Bolts then took penalties at critical times of the game that prevented them from getting a chance to end it. They also failed to convert on the power play in the final period despite having a few chances. The Bolts did not play a full 60 min and that is why they lost this game. Look for them to clean things up and be ready to go next time out.
The Bolts will look to get back in win collum the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, February 7th, at 7:30 Pm.