(Photo by John Locher/Associated Press)

Las Vegas–The Vegas Golden Knights returned home tonight as they faced the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first time this season.

In the opening period of play it was the former Columbus Blue Jackets forward William Karlsson that opened the scoring for the Golden Knights.

Karlsson cashed in the loose puck from the initial shot attempt that was caused by defenseman Deryk Engelland and put the rubber past Sergei Bobrovsky at the 8:22 mark of the 1st period. This was Karlsson’s 26th of the season with Vegas.

Karlsson’s 26th Goal Of The Season

Later in the 1st period, off of an odd man rush by Columbus it was Nick Foligno who led the scoring play into Vegas’s end of the ice. Foligno made a drop pass to Markus Nutivaara and the 23-year-old Finnish forward fired a wrist shot that beat Marc-André Fleury to tie the game up at 1-1.

The second period of the contest was where the scoring picked up. Less than 7 minutes into the middle frame the Blue Jackets took the lead after Josh Anderson led a 3 on 1 against Nate Schmidt. Andreson ended up connecting off of a Seth Jones attempt and went upstairs on Fleury for a 2-1 Columbus score.

For the Blue Jackets, their 2-1 lead did not last long and it was Colin Miller who tied the game back up for the Golden Knights at 2-2. Both teams were a 4 on 4 segment and Miller took a pass from fellow blueliner Schmidt and sent a laser beam shot that made it’s way past Bobrovsky at 7:59 into the 2nd period. This would be Miller’s 6th of the year for Vegas.

Miller’s Blast From The Point

The scoring parade continue after the Golden Knights and the next man up for Vegas was defenseman Brad Hunt.

Hunt took the pass from Shea Theodore and sniped it upstairs on Bobrovsky and made it a 3-2 game. For Hunt this was a long time coming for him as this was his first goal in a Golden Knights uniform this season.

Hunt’s 1st In A Vegas Golden Knights Uniform

Vegas would extend their lead on the Blue Jackets and it was James Neal who joined the scoring onslaught by the Golden Knights. Neal connected off of a pass from Erik Haula and tipped it past Bobrovsky, 12:15 into the middle frame for a 4-2 score.

Neal Gives Vegas A 2 Goal Lead

At the 9:21 point in the 3rd period the Golden Knights would add some more distance between them and Columbus. Theodore sent a lob pass up the ice to Karlsson who entered the Blue Jackets end on a breakaway and with some nifty stickhandling went forehand and backand on Bobrovsky for a 5-2 game. This marker gave Karlsson his 27th goal of the year with the Golden Knights

Karlsson Goes Backhander On Bobrovsky

Later in the 3rd period, the Blue Jackets would close the gap on the Golden Knights as Foligno dished the puck over to Matt Calvert. Calvert took the pass and one timed it past Fleury and made it a 5-3 contest.

In the late stages of the 3rd period, the Golden Knights were on their third power play opportunity of the night and Columbus had pulled their goalie for some 5 on 5 action. Haula had the puck on his stick and sent the shot towards the empty Blue Jackets net and converted for the 6th Vegas goal of the night.

The Golden Knights would come away from their first ever contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets with a 6-3 final. Vegas would improve to 32-11-4 with 68 points, 1 point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning in the overall standings. Vegas would also improve to 19-2-2 on home ice at T-Mobile Arena.

Fleury’s regular season record against the Blue Jackets also improved to 9-4-2 with his 12 win on the season with the Golden Knights.

Vegas would complete the contest against the Blue Jackets with another solid showing on the power play as they went 2-3. This made 4 power play goals in the last two games.

At the end of the night, the Golden Knights would close in on some important historic milestones from an expansion team in their inaugural season. With their 19th win at home, Vegas moved within 3 wins away that was set by the 1979-80 Hartford Whalers.

They moved within 1 win from the record of 33 wins set by both the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and the Florida Panthers back in the 1993-94 season. The Golden Knights will have an opportunity to tie that mark this Thursday when they take on the New York Islanders for the second and final meeting of the season.

3 Stars Of The Game

Vegas Golden Knights: William Karlsson (2 goals)

Vegas Golden Knights: James Neal (1 goal and 1 assist)

Vegas Golden Knights: Shea Theodore (2 assists)

Honorable Mention: Vegas Golden Knights Erik Haula (1 goal and 1 assist)

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