3 takeaways from Knights’ win: Pietrangelo completes crazy comeback
The Golden Knights extended their point streak to eight games with a third-period comeback against the Calgary Flames on Thursday.
Updated February 24, 2023 - 7:30 am
Most of the announced crowd of 17,609 at T-Mobile Arena reacted like the game was over when right wing Jonathan Marchessault’s shot flew toward the net.
Fans leapt to their feet. They started celebrating.
Alex Pietrangelo knew better. So he made sure to give them something to really cheer about.
Pietrangelo slammed home a rebound after Marchessault’s shot hit the crossbar to give the Golden Knights a 4-3 overtime win against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. The goal gave the Knights, who were behind 3-1 going into the second intermission, their sixth win when trailing after two periods.
The victory extended the team’s point streak to eight games (6-0-2). It also kept the Flames, who remain outside the Western Conference playoff picture, winless in eight games at T-Mobile Arena.
“We chipped away there as the game went on,” Pietrangelo said. “We were just more aggressive.”
The game started with the Knights on their heels.
Calgary, coming off a 6-3 win in Arizona on Wednesday, was flying from puck drop. The Flames drew three first-period power plays. Left wing Jakob Pelletier scored on the second with 6:35 left until the first intermission.
Calgary extended its lead on a goal off the rush by right wing Jonathan Huberdeau 1:24 into the second period.
Center Jack Eichel got the Knights back within 2-1 with a power-play goal, but the Flames fought back fast. Center Mikael Backlund scored off a deflection 2:07 later to put the Flames up 3-1 with 3:26 left in the period.
A third-period deficit didn’t scare the Knights.
They kept working, using their speed and physicality to wear their tiring opponent down. The Knights, after allowing 18 shots on goal in the first period, one off their season high, gave up only one in the third. That tied a team record.
The Knights cut Calgary’s lead to 3-2 with a goal from defenseman Zach Whitecloud 5:08 into the third. Left wing William Carrier tied the game with 7:25 left in the period.
It seemed obvious what would happen from there.
The Knights have done this too many times before.
Pietrangelo completed the comeback 42 seconds into overtime to improve the team’s record against the Pacific Division to 8-7-2. It was only the third time this season the Knights have rallied from two down to win.
“Even there in the second, guys knew we had a chance to win,” Carrier said. “I think the energy was high. We knew it was going to take a big third, and it took until the last second here. That was big for our team.”
Here are three takeaways from the win:
1. Brossoit back in win column
Goaltender Laurent Brossoit made 25 saves in the win, his first in the NHL since March 4.
The 29-year-old veteran was sharp in his second appearance for the Knights this season. He turned away a flurry of shots in the first period and skated far out of his crease to prevent a potential breakaway in the second.
Brossoit has stopped 62 of the 67 shots he’s faced in his two starts. He’s spent most of this season in the American Hockey League after recovering from offseason hip surgery, but he looks like he belongs with the big club.
“I’ve been waiting for this all year,” Brossoit said. “Getting to do it in overtime is even better.”
2. Power-play drought ends
The Knights’ power-play goal was their first in 10 games.
Eichel’s tally on the man advantage snapped an 0-for-25 slump, the longest in franchise history. The Knights are still only 2-for-33 since captain Mark Stone suffered a back injury that required surgery Jan. 12.
“When Jack scored, it was a weight off all the guys on the power play,” said coach Bruce Cassidy, who called Thursday one of Eichel’s best games of the season. “It had been a long time.”
3. Injury info
The Knights played without center Nicolas Roy, who is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.
Center Byron Froese was called up to take Roy’s spot on the fourth line. Goaltender Michael Hutchinson also served as Brossoit’s backup for the second consecutive game with goaltender Adin Hill nursing a “bump” he suffered Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Cassidy said Hill practiced Wednesday.
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