The photographs got here from close to and much, from one wing after which one other, however they didn’t appear to faze Geese goaltender John Gibson on Saturday at T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas. There was one shorthanded breakaway after which one other, and Gibson dealt with these too.
On the different finish of the ice, Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury matched Gibson shot for shot, scoring likelihood for scoring likelihood, and emerged victorious 2-1 when William Karlsson scored the tying objective late within the third interval and Max Pacioretty struck seven seconds into additional time.
Fleury stored the Golden Knights inside placing distance within the third by denying Rickard Rakell on a point-blank backhand strive after which Ryan Getzlaf from the slot because the Geese tried in useless to pad a precarious one-goal lead. The Geese’ incapacity to make it 2-0 price them in dramatic vogue.
Gibson made 31 saves and Fleury made 21 in an old school goaltenders’ duel.
“We battled laborious,” Geese coach Dallas Eakins mentioned. “We had been outplayed for elements of the sport. We bought our ft beneath us and I believed we annoyed them within the third interval. However we wasted simply an incredible goaltending efficiency by ‘Gibby.’ Once more, a few fast errors and it’s in your web.”
Karlsson’s objective got here with Fleury on the bench in favor of a sixth attacker at 18:38 of the third, when he slipped inside what had been a good protection in entrance of Gibson. A botched faceoff to start out additional time led to a 2-on-1 and Pacioretty’s objective on the seven-second mark.
“I’d have to take a look at it,” Geese heart Sam Metal mentioned of the pivotal faceoff loss to Pacioretty. “It occurred fairly quick. I took a second swipe at it. I’d have to check out it, however we’ve bought to repair one thing there as a result of we are able to’t be giving up a 2-on-1 proper off the draw.”
The Geese fell to 2-9-3 all-time towards the Golden Knights, together with 1-5-2 in Las Vegas. One level may need happy them final season, or the season earlier than, however the Geese’ requirements have risen for this one and so they weren’t glad in regards to the outcome Saturday.
Dropping after Gibson sustained their one-goal lead for greater than half of the sport was unacceptable, and shedding the way in which they did was much more so. Eakins was upset at sport’s finish, however he was happy to listen to some offended voices within the dressing room.
“Numerous occasions final 12 months, we would depart the rink and perhaps you’ll have given up the lead or perhaps misplaced the sport and it appeared like we had been prepared for the following sport,” Eakins mentioned. “The nice factor tonight, for me, was there was some anger in that dressing room.
“We’d like that. We’d like a better accountability this 12 months.”
Max Comtois gave the Geese a 1-0 along with his third objective in two video games to start out the season, a tap-in off a go from defenseman Jacob Larsson that capped a 3-on-1 break at 7:45 of the second interval. Every of Comtois’ objectives have been from point-blank vary, an indication he’s decided to get to the online.
Fleury had no likelihood to forestall the objective. Neither did Vegas defenseman Zach Whitecloud. Larsson, skating alongside the best wing, faked each of them out by delivering a no-look go to Comtois on the other wing that might have made LeBron James proud.
Comtois turned the primary Geese participant to attain every of his crew’s first three objectives to start out a season and solely the fifteenth in NHL historical past to take action. Connor McDavid was the final to do it when he scored the primary three objectives for the Edmonton Oilers to start the 2017-18 season.
It says a terrific deal about Comtois, but additionally in regards to the Geese’ lack of scoring depth and their over-reliance of Gibson. As in Thursday’s season-opening 5-2 loss to the Golden Knights, the Geese had loads of fantastic moments Saturday, however not sufficient of them to win.
“He was the rationale we had been within the sport, for positive,” Metal mentioned of Gibson. “We left him out to dry just a few too many occasions. He’s going to make massive saves, which he did, and so they ended up getting one late (to tie the rating), however not one of the blame is on him. He stored us in there for the entire sport.”