(Photo by Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports)
Las Vegas–Tonight the Vegas Golden Knights took on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the best of the West vs Best of the East matchup for the second and final time of the season.
The last time these two faceoff was back in Vegas in December where it was Shea Theodore the hero of the night when his 2.3 seconds left buzzer beater goal gave the Golden Knights the 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.
For the Western Conference leaders it did not take long for them to light the lamp and it was James Neal that started things off for Vegas 57 seconds into the game. The initial shot was created by defenseman Deryk Engelland was redirected by Neal for his 19th of the season on Andrei Vasilevskiy,
Neal Strikes Early
JAMES NEAL! VEGAS LEADS EARLY! pic.twitter.com/BSGyUtbAiN
— NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) January 19, 2018
With 3:57 left in the 1st period, the Golden Knights would put some distance between them and Tampa Bay and it was Nate Schmidt as the next man up. Schmidt fired a long range shot from the point that made it’s way past Vasilevskiy for his 3rd of the campaign.
Schmidt’s Third Goal Of The Season
— NHL (@NHL) January 19, 2018
Tampa had to wait until the middle frame before they were able to cash in on the scoresheet. Lightning’s Ondrej Palat finally ended a 21 game goal scoring drought as he connected with a Steven Stamkos feed on the man advantage at the 10:18 mark.
Palat was on the doorstep and Marc-André Fleury had no chance at stopping that shot and made it to a 2-1 game.
With less than 2 minutes remaining in the second period, Vegas restored their 2 goal cushion on Tampa by David Perron. Perron tag dragged the puck on a Lighthning defender and ended up wrist shooting it on Vasilevskiy and beat him stick side for a 3-1 game for his 10th of the year.
— NHL (@NHL) January 19, 2018
In the opening shift of the third period the Golden Knights continued where they off at in the scoring department. Just 18 seconds in, it was William Karlsson that extended Vegas’s lead once again on Tampa.
The scoring play started when Jonathan Marchessault won the draw in the Lightning end of the ice and Karlsson picked it up dish out and fired a wrist on Vasilevskiy that beat him stick side for his 24th of the season. Karlsson’s goal, gave the Golden Knights the 4-1 lead.
Wild Bill’s 24th Goal Of The Season
SAVAGE. Marchessault wins the faceoff cleanly and Wild Bill sends it home. Vegas up 4-1! pic.twitter.com/IB7Jevig8l
— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) January 19, 2018
Vegas’s 4-1 lead would be the contest final score as the Golden Knights would earn the two game season series sweep over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After their win against Tampa, they would improve to 30-11-3 on the season with 63 points which puts them just one away from tying the Lightning in the overall league standings.
Their 30th win of the season, put them on list along with the Flyers, Kings, Panthers, and Ducks as the fifth franchise to hit this mark in their inaugural season in the NHL.
Vegas Keep Putting Their Name In The History Books
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 19, 2018