Erik Haula redirects Golden Knights to 5-2 victory over Florida

Updated December 17, 2017 - 10:38 pm

For Jonathan Marchessault, it was never about revenge.

Same for Reilly Smith. And especially for Gerard Gallant and Mike Kelly.

The one-time Florida Panthers were fixated on getting two points Sunday at T-Mobile Arena. They all may have an ax to grind for one reason or another, but the players and coaches are looking at the big picture, which is getting the Golden Knights in position to secure a spot in the playoffs in their inaugural season.

The got the desired result when Erik Haula broke a 2-2 tie with 8:20 to play, and the Knights went on to defeat Florida 5-2 in front of 17,593 fans. With the win, the Knights (21-9-2) pulled into a first-place tie with idle Los Angeles in the Pacific Division. Both teams have 44 points and the Knights have two games in hand on the Kings.

“I wasn’t thinking much about it,” Gallant said about trying to stick it to his former team which fired him and Kelly, his assistant coach, back in November 2016. “I prepared for this game the same way I do for every game.

“It wasn’t much fun early when they went up 2-0. But I thought the second half of the game we played real well.”

Haula redirected Marchessault’s shot/pass from the top of the right faceoff circle past Florida goaltender James Reimer for his 12th goal of the season. Marchessault spun away from a defender and threw the puck toward the goal and Haula was in the right spot.

“It was a weird play,” Haula said. “(Marchessault) was just throwing it at the net and I was in the right place.”

For Marchessault, who was left unprotected by Florida in the expansion draft last June, it was a big night, and not just because it was against his former team. Marchessault scored as well, finding the empty net with 2:10 to play after the Panthers pulled Reimer. He had three points against his former team with two assists to go with his 11th goal. He now leads the Knights in scoring with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists).

James Neal also had an empty-net goal with 28 seconds remaining, his team-leading 16th.

“Once we got our forecheck going and we started skating, we were able to get control,” Marchessault said. “We started a little slow but we picked it up and it was a big win for all of us.”

The Panthers managed just two shots on goal in the third period and the 2-0 lead they had built against starting goaltender Malcolm Subban eventually evaporated as the Knights ratcheted up the pressure.

First it was defenseman Nate Schmidt from below the right circle as he one-timed Reilly Smith’s pass to cut it to 2-1 at 6:39. It was the fourth straight game a Knights defenseman has tallied a goal. Collin Miller then tied it with 2:40 to play in the first period as he blasted a slap shot past Reimer after taking a feed from Marchessault.

Miller, who scored his fifth of the season, leads all Knights defensemen in scoring with 18 points.

“I probably could have handled the two goals better,” said Subban, who had 16 saves. “But I was able to get my focus where it needed to be and the guys did a good job in front of me.”

Marchessault said he never really got emotional about facing his former team. And while it was clearly not just another game for him, he handled his business professionally and wound up getting a free meal for the weekend after he and former teammate Jonathan Huberdeau went out for dinner Saturday night and Huberdeau picked up the check.

“Like I said before, it’s in the past,” Marchessault said. “I cut the cord last summer and I’m happy to be with the Golden Knights.”

Three takeaways

1. Smart starting Subban. At first, it didn’t seem such a hot idea to start Malcolm Subban Sunday as he let in a couple of goals he probably shouldn’t have. But he got stronger as the game went on and he needed to get some work having sat since Dec. 8. More important, he wasn’t yanked after surrendering the two early goals in the first 5: 13 which shows the coaches have confidence in him.

2. D providing O. For the fourth straight game, a Golden Knights defenseman has scored. Sunday, it was Nate Schmidt and Colin Miller who got the Knights on the board; Schmidt with a one-timer from below the right circle, Miller with a rising slap shot from just inside the blue line. Gerard Gallant wants his defensemen involved in the attack and they’re doing just that.

3. Marchessault’s revenge. Never mind Gerard Gallant getting revenge on his former team. Jonathan Marchessault really got back at the Panthers, scoring a goal and getting two assists. He was left unprotected by Florida in the NHL Expansion Draft and he made the Panthers pay dearly Sunday.

More Golden Knights: Follow all of our Golden Knights coverage online at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Steve Carp at scarp@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Coach Gerard Gallant Speaks After Morning Skate
Before playing the St. Louis Blues tonight Gerard Gallant speaks with the media after the Golden Knights morning skate at City National Arena | November 16, 2018.
Coach Gallant Speaks with the Media After Practice
City National Arena | November 15, 2018.
Golden Edge: Fleury Shuts Out Anaheim
Vegas Golden Knights beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-0. Marc-Andre Fleury gets his third shutout on the season in his shiny new pads. Adam Hill, Dave Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant on the Golden Knights win over the Ducks
Gerard Gallant discusses how key the home victory over the Anaheim Ducks was for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Golden Knights after their 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks
Vegas Golden Knights players talk about the 5-0 win on their home ice over the Anaheim Ducks.
Gerard Gallant On Haula And Stastny Status
Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallants speaks after practice about the status of Erik Haula and Paul Stastny.
Golden Edge: Alex Tuch Interview
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz interview Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch.
Golden Edge Mailbag With Alex Tuch
Golden Knights' Alex Tuch is LIVE in-studio for our VGK Mailbag with reporters Ben Gotz and Adam Hill!
Golden Edge: November 12 Practice
Ben Gotz and David Schoen discuss Nate Schmidt's return to practice, Gallant's absence, and Erik Haula's injury.
Nate Schmidt On Suspension
Golden Knights Defenseman Nate Schmidt talks about his suspension.
Golden Edge: Knights Coming Home After Loss To Boston
Golden Knights beat writer David Schoen goes over the Knights loss to the Boston Bruins.
Golden Edge: Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal
Max Pacioretty makes his return to Montreal, but it is former Golden Knight Tomas Tatar who scores the game winner for the Canadiens defeating the Knights 5-4. David Schoen reports from Montreal.
Golden Edge: Knights Beat Senators On The Road
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Golden Knights win against the Senators.
Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension
Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt discusses his suspension after practice in Ottawa (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gallant on Toronto loss
Gallant on Pacioretty
Gallant on how season has gone
Pacioretty on possible return
Golden Edge: Knights Shutout the Hurricanes
The Golden Knights defeat Carolina 3-0, with Marc-Andre Fleury marking his 50th career shutout. Adam Hill and Ed Graney report from T-Mobile Arena.
Marc-Andre Fleury and William Carrier on the Knights Win Over Carolina
November 3, 2018 at T-Mobile Arena.
Coach Gallant Presser
Gerard Gallant speaks after the Knights defeat Carolina 3-0 at T-Mobile Arena November 3, 2018.
Golden Edge: Knights Feeling Blue After Loss In St. Louis
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues.
Gallant and Marchessault on Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant and Golden Knights Jonathan Marchessault comment on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron
Coach Gerard Gallant on former Knights player David Perron (Dave Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marchessault on Perron
Gallant on consistency after a loss to the Nashville Predators
Coach Gerard Gallant says the Golden Knights are playing well in stretches, but consistency has been a problem. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fleury on commercial
Marc-Andre Fleury talks about a commercial that features him in disguise as Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Fleury on wig
Marc-Andre Fleury puts on a blond wig at the end of practice to get some laughs.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Predators
Golden Knights beat reporter David Schoen goes over the Knights 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators.
Golden Edge Mailbag - October 30, 2018
Adam Hill and Ben Gotz answer your burning questions about the Golden Knights.
Golden Edge: Marchessault Hits Penalty Shot in OT
The Golden Knights defeat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime. Ben Gotz, Adam Hill, and David Schoen report from T-Mobile Arena.
Gallant says team's tenacity led to OT win over the Senators
Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard Gallant discusses the Golden Knights win over the Ottawa Senators in overtime and how Ryan Reaves and Alex Tuch's contributions helped.
Golden Knights talk OT win, ready for road games
The Vegas Golden Knights talk about winning in overtime against the Ottawa Senators and how they will carry over that momentum on their upcoming road games.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall To Tampa, Pacioretty Exits Game
Adam Hill, Ben Gotz and David Schoen go over the Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Golden Knights locker room post following loss to Lightning
The Vegas Golden Knights agreed following their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that they need to play more aggressive and be more consistent throughout the game to come out victorious.
Gallant says Golden Knights need to play hungrier
Following the Vegas Golden Knights loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Gerard Gallant says the team needs to play hungrier and be more consistent to get wins.
Golden Edge: Knights Fall Short to Canucks in Shootout
The Golden Knights lose 3-2 in a shootout to the Vancouver Canucks, but announce after the game that they have signed Nate Schmidt to a 6 year contract extension. Adam Hill, David Schoen, and Ben Gotz report from T-Mobile Arena.
VGS themed games from AGS at G2E Global Gaming Expo
A Golden Knights-themed slot machine was on display Tuesday at the G2E Global Gaming Expo as AGS showed two products that came out of a 3-year contract with the Knights. A video roulette game featuring a Knights helmet and an enormous slot machine were on the floor along with Knights cheerleaders, the Drumbots and Chance, the Knights' mascot. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights talk after practice
Marc-Andre Fleury, Max Pacioretty and Cody Eakin in the locker room on Wed. October 3, 2018.
Vegas Golden Knights show support at blood drive
Members of the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team showed up for a community blood drive on the first anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting, Oct. 1, 2018. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects
Lucas Elvenes is ranked as one of the Golden Knights' top prospects after a breakout season in Sweden. He slid to the fifth round in the 2017 draft after being projected to be selected much higher. “I wasn’t happy about being a fifth-rounder. But it was good for me, too, because I didn’t have so much pressure when I came here," Elvenes said. Elvenes posted five goals and 16 points in 28 games while playing in the top league in Sweden. The Knights signed Elvenes to a three-year, entry-level contract in June.
Golden Knights rookie camp - Day 2
The Golden Knights held their second day of rookie camp at City Arena in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like