(Photo by Larry MacDougal/ The Canadian Press via AP)
Las Vegas–After a remarkable regular season of the unthinkable, the Vegas Golden Knights played their final game of their inaugural campaign against the Calgary Flames.
After coming off of a 4-3 loss to the Oilers earlier in the week the Golden Knights looked to bounce back with a win, however, that would not be case at the iconic Saddledome.
In the opening period of the contest, Vegas would be under siege early and often as the Flames came ready and started the contest on time and poured out a very aggressive offensive attack at the Golden Knights.
Just over 4 minutes into the first, Johnny Gaudreau would put the Flames on the board first.
After a costly giveaway in the Vegas end of the ice by defenseman Jon Merrill, Micheal Ferland took the puck and skated on the right side and with an open Gaudreau put his shot backdoor on Marc-André Fleury who left a wide open net exposed.
Gaudreau earned his 24th goal of the season for Calgary.
10 seconds later, the Flames kept coming at the Golden Knights and the next man up for the Flames was Mark Jankowski.
Gaudreau and Jankowski were on a 2 on 1 against Vegas defenseman Colin Miller and much like the first Flames goal that broke the ice in the game, Fleury would once again get beat stick side when he left his net wide open for the second time in the period.
This surprised the Golden Knights, but Jankowski recorded his 14th of the season.
The Flames scoring machine would not let up on the Golden Knights and the third goal scorer of the first period would Jankowski again netting his second goal of night on Fleury.
Setting him up on the scoring play was Nick Shore. Shore fed the puck over to Jankowski off the boards as he managed to bank the puck off Fleury’s right pad for a 3-0 commanding lead on the Golden Knights at the 7:31 mark of the period.
In the middle period of the contest, Cody Eakin would finally get Vegas on the board after the Golden Knights surrender the first three of the night to Calgary.
Eakin with great individual effort split the Flames defense and went in alone on Jon Gillies and beat him five hole that ended his shutout bid of the night. The former Dallas Stars forward recorded his 11th of the campaign.
The Eakin goal did not phase the Flames at all as they took over the game once again as the scoring machine came back with authority.
At the 10:27 mark of the middle frame, Garnet Hathaway connected off of a pass down low from Matt Stajan. Hathaway on the doorstep took the puck backdoor on Fleury for a 4-1 Calgary lead.
Hathaway netted his 4th of the season.
Shortly after Hathaway scored the fourth Flames goal, the next man up for Calgary was Spencer Foo.
Mikael Backlund and Foo went into the Golden Knights end on a 2 on 1 against blueliner Shea Theodore and with a costly mistake by Fleury leaving the net exposed again the 23-year-old pumped it home for a 5-1 lead on Vegas at the 12:02.
Foo earned his 2nd goal of the campaign.
With less than 2 minutes to go in the second period of the game, it was Jankowski netting his hat trick goal of the contest.
Jankowski took the initial shot and eventually caught his own rebound after Fleury coughed up the puck as he would put it five hole that put the game out of reach, 6-1.
In the 3rd and final period of the contest, Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant made a goaltending change as he swapped out Fleury for Malcolm Subban at the start of the frame.
1:32 into the 3rd while Calgary was on the power play, Subban surrendered his first goal of the game in relief and it was none other than Jankowski getting fourth of the night.
Jankowski knotted his 17th goal of the contest as this was his first ever 4 goal performance.
The Golden Knights would not score in the 3rd period as the Flames earned a decisive 7-1 victory. Vegas completed their inaugural season with an impressive 51-24-7 record.
With news coming out of California, the Golden Knights will be facing the Los Angeles Kings in the opening round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs as they lost 4-2 to Dallas and Anaheim shutout the Coyotes 3-0.
3 Stars Of The Game
Calgary Flames: Mark Jankowski (4 goal night)
Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau (1 goal and 1 assist)
Calgary Flames: Jon Gillies (19 saves)
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