The Vegas Golden Knights and the Detroit Red Wings faced off Sunday evening. Vegas was missing some key players this game. Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and newly acquired Jack Eichel are absent due to injuries. Detroit gained back Dylan Larkin after missing the last three games for personal reasons, but were down Jakub Vrana due to an upper body injury. Vegas came into Detroit having just beat up Montreal the night before. Meanwhile Detroit comes back home after a difficult road trip only earning two out of a possible eight points. Both of those points came from their win the night before in Buffalo. This was the first time the Golden Knights and Red Wings meet this young season. Both of these team have had decent starts and looked to keep their positions in their respective divisions.
Detroit tested their special teams early as they took a penalty in the first few minutes. They had successful kill against a team who has struggled greatly on the power play. Just after they got their man back though Nicolas Roy put the Knights up by one with his second of the season. Detroit bounced back quick while on the power play when Lucas Raymond picked up his sixth goal of his rookie season. Just a minute later Detroit went back on the power play, this time Robby Fabbri got the goal putting the Red Wings up by one. They weren’t done there. Before the period ended Pius Suter picked up his third of the year. Detroit lead 3-1 at the end of the first.
Picking up right where they left off, Detroit looked aggressive early on in the second. Their top rookies connected on some great passes and had very close chances. Basically every line of theirs were chomping at the bit to be on the ice at this point. Finally nearly halfway into the period Vegas seemed to get there game back. They closed down the blue line a bit better and appeared to control the neutral zone. When it did make its way down the ice Detroit’s forecheck was tenacious. Detroit was producing turnovers and making things difficult for the Golden Knights to clear the puck. During one of these such moments, Vladislav Namestnikov was able to cash in and give Detroit a three goal lead. Detroit continued to up the pace and really took control for the remainder of the period. After 40 minutes the Red Wings lead 4-1.
The Red Wings looked to close the game out and pick up a solid win. Vegas made this difficult for them early on as they found their legs and put some decent looks together early. Jonathan Marchessault picked up the loose puck in his offensive zone after a turnover and got Vegas within two with his sixth goal of the year. Vegas continued to turn up the heat, firing all they could at Thomas Greiss and the Red Wings defence but they stood tall. Their desperation for the two goals to equalize lead them to pulling their goalie with 3 minutes left. This extra skater let them get some great opportunities and solid chances. However Greiss was a brick wall at the end of the game. After all their time in the offensive zone with no results, they seemed to be running out of steam. Detroit finally cleared the puck to the neutral zone and Tyler Bertuzzi snagged it and fired it into the empty net from the blue line. The Red Wings win with a final of 5-2.
Detroit’s rookies continue to shine and produce. Their rookies combined are leading point production so far this year. It’s a scary thought that this already fairly competitive team is littered with outstanding young stars. The farm system under Yzerman is gleaming with talent. Coming home after a rather pathetic road trip, the team put together a good show for their fans. Aggressive play on the puck and great movement of the puck especially during their power plays lead to a commanding win. This game looked to be a nice confidence boost for the team. They wait at home for the arrival of the red hot Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Vegas looked solid early, silencing the home crowd quickly. Shortly after that they fell flat on their heels. After scoring their fist power play goal this season the night before, their power play team returned to their old ways and produced nothing. Clearly the injuries that are stacking up have cost their play greatly. Another dull point of their game was their backup goaltender who got the start, Laurent Brossoit. He simply did not have it, allowing a couple goals on shots that a NHL goaltender would normally stop with ease. They’ll look to get some rest as they travel home to host the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday night.
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