Updated January 4, 2020 - 6:20 pm
The contents of the Golden Knights’ locker room discussion during the first intermission Saturday will remain private.
Suffice to say, whatever was said had the desired effect.
Chandler Stephenson scored on a breakaway with 1:59 remaining in overtime Saturday, and the Golden Knights rallied for a monumental 5-4 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.
“I can’t say anything,” Knights forward William Carrier said. “But we’ve got a good group of leaders in the room. We talked after the first period, and everyone showed up for the second.”
The Knights trailed 3-0 after the first period and registered 10 shots on goal in the first 31-plus minutes, but tallied four unanswered goals to stun St. Louis.
It was the first time in franchise history the Knights have come back from a three-goal deficit to win.
Ryan Reaves and Paul Stastny scored against their former team 2:22 apart in the second period to spark the Knights, who won their fourth straight on this seven-game homestand.
Nicolas Roy swatted in a loose puck at 3:02 of the third period to tie the score at 3 before Reilly Smith notched his 16th goal at 9:50 of the third period to put the Knights ahead.
In overtime, Stephenson stripped the puck from Robert Thomas in the Knights’ zone and beat Blues goaltender Jake Allen with a backhand. It was Stephenson’s fifth goal since being traded to the Knights on Dec. 2.
Alex Pietrangelo, Jaden Schwartz and Oskar Sundqvist had first-period goals for St. Louis, which scored on three of its first nine shots.
David Perron blew a slap shot past Marc-Andre Fleury with 7:10 remaining to even the score at 4. It was the first goal for Perron against his former team, and he finished with three points.
“Winning that way just gives us more confidence going forward,” Stephenson said. “We just have to keep building with how well we have played the last few games here. Obviously, you never want to get down (3-0), but when it happens, it now proves we can come back.”
Here’s what stood out from the win:
1. Depth scoring
Jonathan Marchessault missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury, granting Alex Tuch another shot on the first line with William Karlsson and Smith.
But Tuch struggled again, and coach Gerard Gallant scrambled his top three lines at the start of the second period down 3-0. The only line he left intact was the fourth line with Reaves, Roy and Tomas Nosek, and that group set the tone for the comeback.
Moments after Nick Holden cleared a puck off the goal line, Reaves scored for the first time against the club he played for the first seven seasons of his career. Roy added his second goal and has a point in four of his past five appearances with the Knights.
“When our line especially chips in, it’s nice to help out and ease the pressure off those top guys,” Reaves said. “They’re trying to shut down top lines, too, while they’re trying to score. It’s nice when that bottom six can chip in.”
2. Carrier the Creator
Carrier moved up to the third line and continued to show off his improved offense.
Carrier set up Roy for a point-blank chance in the first period and made a brilliant play on Stastny’s goal in the second period. He stickhandled through two Blues and avoided defenseman Jay Bouwmeester before slipping a pass across the crease.
Carrier has eight assists, two more than his career total entering the season.
“He’s going to the net, he’s carrying the puck, and he’s making plays,” Gallant said. “He’s just coming into his own. Every line I put him with, they seem to be the best line on our team.”
3. Glass goes down
The only downer for the Knights was an apparent right leg injury to rookie center Cody Glass with 13:11 to play.
Glass got tangled up with Bouwmeester while driving to the net and was down for more than two minutes before being helped off the ice. Glass injured his left knee last season while playing major-juniors.
Gallant did not have an update on Glass’ status after the game.