Las Vegas–Tonight the Vegas Golden Knights welcomed into town the original six franchise the Detroit for their first of two meetings of the season after their 3-0-0 start of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Detroit fans that came tonight in large numbers to T-Mobile Arena made you feel like you were back in “Hockeytown” at Little Ceasers Arena.
In the games opening period, the Detroit Red Wings opened the scoring courtesy of the 2 on 1 by Gustav Nyquist with assists from Henrik Zetterberg and Trevor Daley at the 1:38 mark of the first.
Detroit Strikes First
The Red Wings held on to their lead until 11:48 remaining in the 2nd period when Vegas finally tied up when Detroit’s Frans Nielsen with a costly turnover to Golden Knights Reilly Smith who fed the puck the Jonathan Marchessault via a cross-ice pass and buried the rubber past Petr Mrazek and made a 1-1 game.
Minutes later in the games 2nd period Detroit’s Zetterberg broke the 1-1 tie when he went five-hole and put the puck past Fleury to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.
32 seconds after Detroit took the lead, James Neal tied the game up at 2-2 from a sweet feed for David Perron and continued his goal scoring streak to 4 games at 6 on the season.
Neal’s 6th Of The Season
Neal made history in the matchup vs. the Red Wings as he became the first NHL player to score in 4 straight games with an expansion team in their inaugural year.
For the Golden Knights, their offense attack continued and it was Erik Haula who answered the called for the home team with a great redirect off of Luca Sbisa‘s shot from the point with 3:15 left in second as Knights lead 3-2.
In the 3rd period, the Red Wings tied the game up a 3-3 when Zetterberg found Anthony Mantha on a bad turn over by Golden Knights Brandon Leipsic in Vegas’s end and the put the puck past Fleury via the five-hole at the 4:42 mark.
With 12:57 left in the 3rd, a sloppy play from the Golden Knights lead to another turn over with a 2 on 1 connection with Zetterberg and Neilsen to give the Red Wings a 4-3 lead.
Zetterberg Doing What He Does Best
The Red Wings offensive continued when Nyquist who has been having himself a hell of a contest banged in the rebound to extend Detroit’s lead to 2 goals at the 10:49 of the 3rd that brought it to a 5-3 game.
For Detroit, it was next man up and this time and Luke Glendening joined in on the scoring onslaught and slammed a wrister shot past Fleury and gave the Red Wings a commanding 6-3 lead at the 14:56 mark of the final period.
At the end of the night, the Golden Knights perfect season came to end by a much deeper Red Wings squad that came away from this one with a decisive 6-3 victory.
After the game, I caught up with Golden Knights forwards Perron and Neal to get their take on the teams first loss of the regular season.
With Perron, he talked about the turnovers in the game that played a factor in tonights 6-3 loss against the Red Wings.
“Its the turnovers in the neutral zone that we can’t have.” Said Perron.
For the Golden Knights, they were not as sharp as they were in the first three games of the season and Perron made mentioned to that after the game.
“Well the first 40 minutes you would say it was one of our good games except for the first five minutes maybe and we turn some pucks over and made it tie game, I turn one myself on the fourth goal and it kind of snowballed from there and I think the same thing on the sixth goal.” Perron Says.
For Neal, he talked about the costly breakdown in the 3rd period that the team experienced for the first time this season after winning the three straight prior games
“I think we knew what to do going in the third period we didn’t do that, just some plays that we like to have back and came back to bite us and found ourselves down by 2 so well look at that.” Neal on the breakdown of the costly final period.
Neal acknowledged that the Golden Knights were not as sharp tonight with their passing game.
“No we just turned the puck over and they came back down to score, for us we just had to be a little bit better in those areas and found like every time we turned it over they came back and they scored.” Says Neal.
Check out our post-game videos with Perron and Neal below.
Vegas Golden Knights David Perron
Vegas Golden Knights James Neal
During his postgame presser, Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant took solace in the positive takeaways from tonight’s tough loss.
“There’s a lot of positive like I said. For two periods, we’ll go over the clips and we’ll go over the tapes. There’s a lot of good positives and a lot of good hockey going on. A lot of guys played a real good hockey game. The sad thing is we have to watch that third period and say ‘you know what, they had probably 10 or 12 scoring chances against us and they were grade a chances. So we’ve got to clean that up.” Gallant replied.
3 Stars Of The Game
Detroit Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg (1 goal and 3 assists)
Detroit Red Wings: Gustav Nyquist (2 goals and 1 assist)
Vegas Golden Knights: James Neal (6th goal of the season)