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Golden Knights 4, Blackhawks 2: 3 Takeaways

Vegas stuns Chicago, improves to 7-1-0

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

There was a bit of a wince when Chicago's John Hayden scored a shorthanded goal 3:33 into the first period.

Oh no, was the thought you could feel in T-Mobile Arena.

Sure, the Golden Knights' hot start has been fun. But now, this was it.

Chicago Blackhawks in town, third string goalie in goal, down 1-0 less than four minutes into the game.

Surely, this would be when the Golden Knights began to fall apart.

Except it wasn't.

The Golden Knights rode four unanswered goals and survived a late comeback attempt to stun the Blackhawks, 4-2, to improve to 7-1-0.

Say that again.

Seven. One. And. 0.

That's the Golden Knights right now.

Here are three immediate takeaways from tonight's game.

1. Defy Logic

Nobody gave the Golden Knights a chance to win tonight. NOBODY!

After all, Vegas was already 6-1-0 entering the night. How much more could this team, picked by many experts to finish in last place, continue to push its luck?

Especially after Malcolm Subban went down to injury on Saturday and joined Marc-Andre Fleury on IR, forcing the Golden Knights to give minor leaguer Oscar Dansk his first NHL start.

 

Video: CHI@VGK: Karlsson redirects Miller's shot for a PPG

 

Against the high-flying Chicago Blackhawks, nonetheless.

Surely, this would be when the Golden Knights' carriage turned into a pumpkin, right?

Wrong!

Despite every category on paper seeming to favor the Blackhawks, the Golden Knights stood firm.

Not only did Vegas win 4-2, it also finished with a 33-31 shot advantage. So this wasn't like Saturday, when the Golden Knights were overwhelmed by the St. Louis Blues and squeaked out a win anyway.

This was a Vegas team missing its top two goalies going against a team with three Stanley Cups in the last seven years.

And this was the Golden Knights winning anyway.

At 7-1-0, Vegas continues to smash the record book for best start ever by an expansion team.

 

2. Dansk did what he had to do


Yes, a minor leaguer goalie emerging to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks in his first NHL start, while surrendering only two goals, is outstanding.

But it isn't as if Chicago peppered Dansk all night.

He finished with 29 saves, and survived a late Blackhawks flurry.

 

Video: CHI@VGK: Dansk flashes the leather for great save

 

But really, Dansk was good, but not great. Although on a night the Golden Knights outplayed the Blackhawks was all Vegas needed from him.

Dansk now has a .929 save percentage and is 2-0-0 in his NHL career, with his wins coming against conference powers St. Louis and Chicago.

 

Video: CHI@VGK: Dansk denies Sharp on breakaway

 

3. Unsung heroes

They often say that your best players have to be your best players if you want to have success.

For Vegas, however, it was the team's role players that carried the load.

Sure, Jonathan Marchessault, who returned from IR, scored the goal that upped the Golden Knights lead to 4-1.

And William Karlsson, who scored the overtime winner on Saturday against St. Louis, also had a goal.

But the most dominant line for the Golden Knights was the team's "fourth line" of William Carrier, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Tomas Nosek.

 

Video: CHI@VGK: Bellemare beats Crawford with one-timer

 

This trio combined for two of the four goals.

Nosek had a goal and an assist, and Bellemare scored the game-winning goal. Carrier's assist was his first point with the team.

 

Video: CHI@VGK: Nosek pounces on loose puck for goal

 

In fact, Carrier's assist gives the Golden Knights 21 players with at least one point this season, which is more than any team in the league.

On a night the Golden Knights beat a star-laden Blackhawks team, its best players were its role players. And that sure says something about the depth the Vegas has, which almost makes this shocking 7-1-0 start less unexpected than it should be.

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