Las Vegas–Tonight after the Christmas Break, the Vegas Golden Knights season continued with a their last stop of the regular campaign to Honda Center as they opened their 2-game SoCal roadie vs. Anaheim.
The Ducks team that Vegas faced tonight was a much different squad as the Anaheim welcomed back center Ryan Kesler into the lineup for the first time season. Kesler had hip surgery during the offseason back on June 8 that kept him out for nearly 2 quarters of the regular season.
During that time he was rehabbing Kesler had to use crutches for a 14 week period.
The Christmas Break for the Vegas Golden Knights crept into play in the early going and it was the hosts of the night that opened the scoring.
At the 1:40 mark of the 1st period it was Rickard Rakell that started things off the Ducks. After some breakdown’s in Vegas’s end of the ice, Jakob Silfverberg played the puck behind the icing line and he found an opened Rakell who fired the rubber past Malcolm Subban for the early 1-0 lead over the Golden Knights.
Later in the period it was the modified “International Line” of Lindberg-Bellemare-Nosek that tied things up for the Golden Knights. It was some hard board battle work by Oscar Lindberg and Tomas Nosek who connected with a wide open Shea Theodore.
The former Duck blueliner had plenty time and space on John Gibson as he walked in and went upstairs on the Anaheim netminder and tied the game up at 1-1 with 2:10 remaining in the opening period.
This was Theodore’s third goal of the season with the Golden Knights.
Theodore Ties It For Vegas
That's two bars for the price of one. 🎯 pic.twitter.com/uka6chyFiX
— NHL (@NHL) December 28, 2017
After killing off the Cody Eakin high sticking minor the Golden Knights saw their first lead of the contest. Moments after he left the box Eakin collected a feed pass by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare he went in on a breakaway on Gibson and this time the scoring chance worked for Vegas.
Eakin went five hole Gibson to give the Golden Knights a 2-1 lead in the second period at the 15:12 mark. This was the first time where Eakin found the back of the net in 10 games.
Eakin’s Breakaway Goal In The 2nd Period
Thanks to Cody Eakin, we ahead, fam pic.twitter.com/6nVZiLbYnc
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 28, 2017
28 seconds into the 3rd period, the Anaheim Ducks turned the puck over in their end of the ice and Jonathan Marchessault took advantage of the situation and found William Karlsson in the low slot. Karlsson took the Marchessault pass and went backhander on Gibson to extend Vegas lead over Anaheim 3-1.
For Karlsson he moved into a two-way in goals with James Neal at 17 this season.
Karlsson’s 17th Of The Season For The Golden Knights
— Chris Maathuis (@sports8) December 28, 2017
In the late stages of the final period, the Ducks pulled Gibson for the sixth attacker and it was David Perron from Erik Haula that iced it for the Golden Knights and the 4-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
At the end of the night Subban had a strong performance in net for Vegas as he made 27 saves on 28 total shots he faced and recorded a .960 save percentage. He also improved to 9-2-0 on the season.
The Vegas Golden Knights improved to 24-9-2 and moved into sole possession of 1st place in the Western Conference with 50 points over the Nashville Predators.
Season Series: 3-0 lead over Anaheim
With the month of the December coming to the close the Golden Knights improved to 9-0-1 for the month and eclipsed 1993-94 Florida Panthers in a 10 game span which is another achievement that the Golden Knights can cross off of the list
The Western Conference-leading @GoldenKnights extended their point streak to 10 games (9-0-1) and established an NHL record for longest such run by a team in its inaugural season, eclipsing the mark of nine contests set by the Panthers in 1993-94 (5-0-4). #NHLStats #VGKvsANA pic.twitter.com/wEyhAKL8zK
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 28, 2017
Tomorrow the Golden Knights take on the Los Angeles Kings to wrap up their quick 2-game California road swing.
3 Stars Of The Game
Vegas Golden Knights: William Karlsson (17th goal of the season)
Vegas Golden Knights: Brayden McNabb (TOI 23:46)
Vegas Golden Knights: Malcolm Subban (27 saves and .960 save percentage)
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