The Golden Knights start the season with a win against the NHL’s newest expansion team from Seattle, the Kraken.
The Vegas Golden Knights open their fifth season in the NHL with a win over the league’s newest expansion team the Seattle Kraken. Although it was a close game, the Golden Knights were able to pull out the 4-3 win from a goal Chandler Stephenson in the third period. The Kraken were able to battle back tying the game in the third with a goal by Morgan Geekie. This was the second game of the 2021-22 season and the first of four games between these two teams this season.
Robin Lehner was handed the keys to the pipes after Marc-Andre Fleury was dealt to the Chicago Blackhawks. Lehner made 28 saves on 31 shots for a 90.3 percent save percentage in the win. Philipp Grubauer, joining the Kraken from the Colorado Avalanche, stopped 26 of 30 shots for an 86.7 percent save percentage in the loss.
Stars of the Game
3-stars – Max Pacioretty scored the first goal of the season for Vegas. He ended up with two goals on the night along with one assist.
2-stars – Stephenson scored the game-winning goal for the Knights scoring at 8:33 in the third. He also had one assist on Pacioretty’s goal to open the game.
1-star – Mark Stone didn’t score in the opening game but assisted on three of the four goals. In addition, he had a +3 tied with Pacioretty for not only the team lead but the game lead in that category. He was on the ice the most of any forward in the game.
Pick Up Where You Left Off
The Golden Knights showed they can still score quickly and in bunches getting out to an early two-goal lead at the end of the first period. The top line for Vegas appears to be Stone-Stephenson-Pacioretty. Their chemistry and effectiveness showed in the first goal of the game when Stephenson had a clean entry into the neutral zone. From there he sent a pass to Stone who drew the attention of the Kraken defense. Pacioretty came in on the left side and received a pass from Stone. He put it in the back of the net far side on Grubauer for the first goal of the season.
Jonathan Marchessault, a founding member of the Golden Knights, used some fancy stick skills and a deke to get past the keeper for the second goal of the game. This was scored three minutes after the first goal. Pacioretty was credited with his second goal of the season in Vegas’s third goal of the game. Nic Hague sent a blast to the net off a Stone pass that was deflected in by Pacioretty. Halfway through the game, it was 3-0 Vegas.
First of the Franchise
This was the Kraken’s first regular-season game in the NHL. Ryan Donato scored the franchise’s first goal. He joined Seattle via the San Jose Sharks, a familiar foe of the Golden Knights. Vince Dunn and Joonas Donskoi recorded the franchise’s first assists on this goal. Jamie Oleksiak was whistled for the first penalty in the franchise getting booked two minutes for tripping Reilly Smith.
The Golden Knights travel to LA to take on the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
The Kraken head out east to Tennessee to take on the Nashville Predators on Thursday.