Las Vegas–Tonight the highly anticipated matchup between the Vegas Golden Knights vs the Pittsburgh Penguins finally happened as goaltender Marc-André Fleury played against the team that drafted him.

Before Fleury was snagged by Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee in the Vegas Draft, he spent 13 seasons with the Penguins organization where he had incredible success and collected 3-Stanley Cups in his tenure there.

Fleury recorded 375 wins and 216 losses with .912 save percentage and a 2.58 GAA with his former club.

During the pre-game warmups, both Murray and Fleury gave each the good luck speech.

The Golden Knights put themselves in the drivers seat within the games first 2 minutes. It was former Penguins forward James Neal that started things off for Vegas.

After a Colin Miller shot that was coughed up by Matt Murray, Neal went upstairs on the Penguins netminder to give Vegas the early 1-0 lead.

Neal’s 15th Of The Season With Vegas

With 13:42 remaining in the opening period, Fleury made the most aggressive save of the night against the Penguins forward Conor Shaery. Fleury come clear up the slot position in his end and poke check Cheary. The save on Sheary made the crowd at T-Mobile Arena go into a frenzy.

13:42 Remaining In The 1st Period, Fleury’s Aggressive Save On Conor Sheary

Later in the 1st, the Penguins found the equalizer when Carl Hagelin send a cross ice feed pass to Ian Cole who playing behind the icing line. Cole collected the puck and his wrister shot made it’s way over a prone Fleury that tied it at 1-1 with 7:56 remaining in the opening period.

For hockey fans they know full well that in game 7 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Finals series against the Detroit Red Wings, then Penguins goaltender Fleury made the clinching save on Niklas Lidstrom that enabled Pittsburgh to capture their 3rd Stanley Cup Championship at the old Joe Louis Arena.

In the 2nd period with 6:20 remaining, Fleury recreated his 2009 save when he stopped Brian Dumoulin, fans at T-Mobile Arena were all cheers when “Flower” made his signature flying save.

Vintage Fluery At 6:20 In The 2nd Period.

8:17 into the 3rd period it was Jon Merrill who broke the 1-1 deadlock between Vegas and Pittsburgh. The scoring sequence started when Erik Haula entered the offensive zone ahead of Merrill.

Merrill connected on back pass feed from Haula who blasted his one timer past a falling Murray for a 2-1 Golden Knights lead.

Merril Breaks The Deadlock For Vegas

The Merrill goal would be the game winner as the Golden Knights defeated the back-2-back Stanley Cup Champions by a 2-1 final. Vegas would improve to 20-9-2 for 42 points to move within a point behind the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.

For Vegas, their 2-1 victory would be something for the history books as the Golden Knights become the fastest team to 20 wins in their inaugural season thru 31 games.

Vegas, The Fastest To 20 Wins

At the end of the night, 18,029 screaming hockey fans bared witness to Fleury securing the victory against the team that drafted him back in 2003.

Fleury finished the game with a 24 save performance night allowing just one goal on 25 total shots he faced tonight with a .960 save percentage.

Post Game Thoughts From Marc-André Fleury

3 Stars Of The Game

Vegas Golden Knights: Marc-André Fleury (24 saves and a .960 save percentage)

Vegas Golden Knights: Jon Merrill (Game Winning Goal)

Vegas Golden Knights: (15th goal of the season)

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