The Vegas Golden Knights will try to increase their season-opening point streak to double-digits on Monday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights, who opened the season with an NHL record seven straight wins for a defending Stanley Cup champion, bounced back from a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night to win the second game of a back-to-back, 4-3, in a shootout at Los Angeles on Saturday night.
Jack Eichel scored in the first round of the shootout and Logan Thompson, who had 36 saves in regulation, made it hold up with three more stops in the shootout, the final one coming with a glove save of a Kevin Fiala try.
Vegas brings a nine-game points streak (8-0-1, 17 points) into Monday’s contest. The last two teams to start a season with that long of a streak were the Florida Panthers (10-0-1, 21 points) and Carolina Hurricanes (9-0-0, 18 points) in the 2021-22 season.
The Golden Knights rallied from a 2-0 second-period deficit to keep their streak alive. Mark Stone gave Vegas its first lead, 3-2, with a power-play goal at the 6:26 mark of the third period when he roofed a one-timer from the right circle but the Kings, who pulled goalie Cam Talbot, came back to tie it with the extra attacker on Drew Doughty’s blast from above the circles with 2:03 left.
Thompson got the game into a shootout with two big saves in overtime, including a right pad save on a point-blank try by Adrian Kempe from the left side of the crease.
“He made a good move,” Thompson said. “I think that was kind of a last-minute attempt because I think he had me beat there if I didn’t stick the leg out. Luckily tonight, it just caught the toe of my pad and stayed out of the net.”
“I just thought we were forced to kick it up a gear,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy, coaching his 600th NHL game, said of his team’s comeback road victory. “When we get dragged into the fight that way, we’re more on our toes right away. We’re a really good hockey team because we have skill, we have size and we have some different elements.”
He might have added depth. William Carrier tied it, 2-2, in the second period with his first goal of the season, the 18th different player on the Golden Knights to score a goal this season, which leads the NHL.
Montreal brings a two-game winning streak with it to T-Mobile Arena, rallying from 3-1 deficits to win both contests including a 4-3 shootout victory over visiting Winnipeg on Saturday night. Nick Suzuki scored the game-winner in the shootout and Jake Allen improved to 3-0-1 with a .930 save percentage with 42 saves. Allen also stopped all three Jets tries in the shootout.
Montreal had also rallied from a 3-1 second-period deficit on Thursday to defeat visiting Columbus, 4-3, on Cole Caufield’s overtime goal.
“We’re a team that likes to keep pushing when we’re down,” Suzuki said. “I think we showed a lot of character in the game coming back to win.”
“Obviously, it’s not ideal to be in that spot all the time,” Allen added. “It’s just a mindset I think. That’s really all it is. It’s finding ways (to win.) It could have been just as easy to quit after those two quick goals in the second (to give Winnipeg a 3-1 lead) and put our heads down and go the other way.”