Improbable start for Vegas Golden Knights to 5-1
October 18, 2017 10:03 AM
by Mark Mayer
David Perron’s second goal of the game with 1:08 left in overtime turned what could have been a devastating loss into the most exciting win of the season as Vegas defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 5-4 Tuesday night.
The victory improved this improbable of starts for the expansion Golden Knights to 5-1, although it came a lot harder than the full house of nearly 18,000 at T-Mobile Arena would have expected. No expansion team in NHL history has ever been 5-1 after six games.
Vegas held what seemed to be a commanding 4-1 lead with 10 minutes left, but multiple penalties got Buffalo back in the game. Three of the four Sabres’ goals came on the power play.
Evander Kane scored the game-tying goal for Buffalo with just nine seconds remaining, batting a puck out of mid-air into the Golden Knights' net past Vegas goalie Malcolm Subban. Perron ended the game in overtime with a perfect wrist shot, beating Sabres goaltender Chad Johnson.
Ryan O’Reilly put Buffalo ahead 1-0 in the first period, but Vegas fought back on goals from Oscar Lindberg, Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch to take a 3-1 lead going to the third. For Tuch, it was his second goal in as many games since being called up from Chicago of the AHL.
Perron made it 4-1 early in the third period to seemingly put the game away, but Vegas kept giving Buffalo power play chances and the Sabres took full advantage. A second goal from O’Reilly plus tallies by Sam Reinhart and Kane forced overtime. Kane’s goal came with Buffalo goalie Johnson on the bench for the extra attacker.
The Golden Knights’ 5-1 mark is the best record in the Western Conference. Tampa Bay is the overall point leader in the NHL with 11. Vegas, Toronto, Columbus and New Jersey each have 10.
Vegas continues its long home stand Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues.