The Vegas Golden Knights won their first ever preseason game on Sept. 17 and last night they came out ahead in their first regular season game as well.
We’ll break down the game itself when we get to the recap, but it’s worth noting that this has been an interesting few days for the Golden Knights from a roster perspective. They surprised people when they claimed Malcolm Subban off waivers from Boston on Monday and then waived projected backup goaltender Calvin Pickard on Thursday. After Pickard cleared waivers, he was dealt to Toronto in exchange for a 2018 sixth-round selection and Tobias Lindberg.
Meanwhile Vegas has nine defensemen on its active roster while KHL superstar Vadim Shipachyov is in the minors. One would think that the plan is to clear up a spot for Shipachyov given his high offensive potential, but when that will happen remains to be seen.
So while the season’s underway, it feels like Vegas’ roster is still getting settled. Even still, the franchise now has an all-time record of 1-0-0.
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COLUMBUS 5 NY Islanders 0
Thomas Greiss got the start, but he was chased halfway through the game after allowing five goals on 26 shots. Jaroslav Halak stepped in and turned aside the 11 shots he faced. The two are expected to compete for the starting job and while nothing was decided last night, it’s obviously a one-sided start. Halak is projected to play between the pipes on Saturday.
Dennis Seidenberg had a team-worst minus-3 rating for the Islanders. He finished the 2016-17 campaign with a plus-25 rating in 73 games.
Sergei Bobrovsky kicked out the 29 shots he faced. He earned seven shutouts last season en route to winning the Vezina Trophy.
Sonny Milano netted the Blue Jackets’ first and therefore game-winning goal. It was his first career goal in eight NHL games.
Artemi Panarin registered a team-high three assists. It was his first game with Columbus after being acquired over the summer. So far the trade has worked out for both sides as Brandon Saad, who is the major player Chicago got in the trade, had a hat trick on Thursday.
TAMPA BAY 5 FLORIDA 3
Brayden Point led the charge for Tampa Bay with a goal and two assists. That’s the second time that the sophomore forward has recorded at least three points in a single game with the other instance coming on April 9 (2-1-3).
Ondrej Palat netted a pair of goals for Tampa Bay. That brings him up to 76 markers in 308 career games.
Andrei Vasilevskiy kicked out 33 of 36 shots last night. That includes the six saves he made with the man advantage as Florida went 0-for-4 on the power play.
Steven Stamkos played in his first regular season game since Nov. 15 due to a knee injury. He ended up with an assist in 18:14 minutes of ice time.
Roberto Luongo surrendered four goals on 24 shots. The Panthers found themselves down 1-0 after 20 minutes despite outshooting Tampa Bay 10-6 in the first frame.
Jonathan Huberdeau found the back of the net for Florida. He’s just one point away from reaching the 200-mark in his career.
VEGAS 2 DALLAS 1
Marc-Andre Fleury deserves a lot of credit for last night’s win as he stopped 45 of 46 shots. The only goal he did allow came on a Stars power-play during the second period.
Tyler Seguin was responsible for that power-play marker. He’s up to 190 goals in 509 career games.
That gave Dallas a 1-0 lead going into the third period, but James Neal turned this game around. He found the back of the net twice in the third period to secure the victory. Of course that means Neal also scored the first two goals in Vegas’ franchise history.
Cody Eakin registered an assist on one of Neal’s goal. He was facing his former team in the Dallas Stars.
Ben Bishop stopped the 19 shots he faced, but he exited the contest after being struck in the head by the puck early in the third period. Kari Lehtonen stepped in and allowed two goals on 11 shots. The silver lining in all of this is that Bishop is apparently fine.