LAS VEGAS–The Golden Knights defeated the Oilers 3-1 on Tuesday night, ending the Oilers win streak at 16 games and spoiling their attempt to tie the all-time record.
The Oilers entered Tuesday’s game with a chance to tie the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins all-time consecutive wins mark. They brought along with them one of the most impressive contingents of visiting fans that we’ve seen in the Golden Knights’ brief history at The Fortress. Whether it was due to the chance at history, the proximity to this weekend’s Super Bowl, or both, it fostered a playoff atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena that was nothing short of electric.
The Golden Knights fans are often impressive, with The Fortress consistently ranking among the league’s most raucous atmospheres. The Oilers fans in the building on Tuesday night matched the hometown passion and their decibel level, creating a powder keg that is rare for any regular season sporting event in the States.
It was apparent we were in for a fantastic atmosphere as the in-arena singer belted “O Canada” to the visiting Edmontonians and their Las Vegan hosts, with the Canadian fans singing along and cheering during the anthem.
Connor McDavid opened the scoring for the Oilers, finding the net after playing tic-tac-toe with his fellow MVP linemate Leon Draisatl. The goal came as a result of a 2-on-0 shorthanded chance on the Vegas power play thanks to a heads-up deflection from defenseman Vincent Desharnais.
The Golden Knights faithful were teased with just under three minutes remaining in the opening period, when a William Karlsson shot went wide left but got stuck in the outer netting. It was not a goal, but the goal horn sounded regardless and resulted in a brief moment of jubilation for the home fans at The Fortress. Until the refs quickly skated over and waved it off.
Luckily, it didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to find a real answer. A mere 30 seconds of game time later, Nic Roy found the net amidst a scrum in front of the goalie to tie the game at 1-1 with around 2:30 to go in the first stanza.
The second period was quieter, both in action and noise level. The environment was still charged up, but the raucousness of the opening period began to turn into a tense sense of pressure as the game carried on in a stalemate. The Oilers fans in the building could seemingly feel their chance at history coming into jeopardy, and the Knights fans in the building badly wanted their guys to be the ones who stopped the record streak in its tracks.
The Golden Knights fired back in the first period, when Jonathan Marchessault found Chandler Stephenson who buried the one-timer to put Vegas ahead 2-1 one minute and change into the third. The goal came just moments after Adin Hill denied Evander Kane on the doorstep to stop what looked like a sure chance for the Oilers to have given themselves the lead.
Deep into the final period, Knights goalie Adin Hill made the play of the game with a fantastic save that stopped the Oilers on the doorstep and preserved the Knights 2-1 lead. William Karlsson added the dagger with an empty netter in the game’s waning moments to set the final score at 3-1.
The Golden Knights next game is Thursday night against the Coyotes in Arizona. Puck drops at 6 p.m. PST.