Golden Knights extend point streak with OT win against Wild

Matt Krohn-USA Today
The Golden Knights earned a 2-1 OT victory on Saturday, beating a desperate Wild team fighting for their playoff lives.

The Golden Knights kept a good thing going Saturday afternoon, beating the Wild 2-1 in a come from behind overtime victory. The Golden Knights extended their point streak to six games with the win, and it couldn’t have come at a better time in their fight for playoff positioning.

The game had quite the unconventional finish in overtime. The Wild made the brash decision to pull their goalie with the intention of gaining a man advantage on offense to aide their quest for the two points. According to NHL rules, if a team pulls their goalie in overtime they would then forfeit the single point given for an overtime loss.

As you can imagine, it did not work. William Karlsson collected the puck after a Logan Thompson save and fired a pass to Marchessault, who sent the puck flying across the ice from well behind his own blue line and into the net. 

It was a move of desperation for a Wild team that is fighting for their life in the Western Conference wild card race. It also showed that moves of desperation rarely succeed.

“Minnesota was obviously desperate,” Golden Knights head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “You kind of had some anticipatory feelings that Hynes might be looking to pull the goalie like he did.

“I think we felt it would probably happen. We talked about it during the time out, and you don’t have a lot of time. It’s not something we did before the game or anything like that. It’s situational, and we just know that they like that lefty to lefty play up top.

“Karlsson did a good job of sneaking out being in the lane. That leaves the net front guy open a little bit, there’s certainly options for them, but I thought we defended that part well. Get the save from the elbow shot and then see what happens. And lo and behold, it lands on Jonathan ‘Money’ Marchessault’s stick, and he makes no mistake. (Karlsson) made a heck of a play too, tape to tape pass to allow him to do that. It was a good play by the guys in the ice all around.”

It was a turbulent effort for the Knights, who lost star center Jack Eichel in the second period as he was given a five minute major and game penalty for a deliberate spear to Karill Kaprizov. By the book, it was the correct call but I don’t think there would have been much of a protest had Eichel been allowed to continue. 

As it went, he wasn’t, and Kaprizov subsequently made them pay by opening the scoring on the ensuing power-play with his 37th goal of the season to give the Wild a 1-0 lead. 

“I think we’re all surprised at the call,” Cassidy said. “Then you’ve got to get to work against a really good power play. So to give up only one, you’re still in the game.”

He continued, “You’re going into the third. , and you’re at the end of a road trip. So you’re going to have to dig down a little.

“We did. We were the winning team for a reason.”

The Knights were able to tie the game with under seven minutes remaining, thanks to an incredibly timely goal from Michael Amadio. The goal was good for Amadio’s 13th of the season, and while he isn’t making as drastic a contribution as he was in late January and early February, he’s still quite a valuable piece for this team to have in tow for a prospective playoff run. 

Marchessault’s winner into an empty net in the overtime period gave him the first 40 goal season of his NHL career, and also made him just the second Golden Knight ever to ever score 40 goals in a season wearing the jersey. He joins Karlsson, who scored 43 during the Knights inaugural 2017-18 campaign. 

“I definitely did not expect it to get (40) on a PK, four and three in overtime,” Marchessault said. “I was out there just trying to get open for Carly there. Great save by Logan again.He’s been tremendous for us those past few weeks. Happy for him to get the win again.”

The Knights are off on until Tuesday, when they will return home to The Fortress for a big time match up with the first-place Canucks. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. local time.