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Golden Knights 4, Ducks 3 (SO): 3 Takeaways

Alex Tuch scored the game-deciding goal in Vegas' first-ever shootout victory.

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights / VegasGoldenKnights.com

With five minutes left in the third period, it didn't look good for the Golden Knights.

After three straight Ducks goals in the second period erased a 2-0 Vegas lead, the Golden Knights were five minutes from losing.

Vegas' passes seemed off, it wasn't getting enough chances and it just seemed that Ducks goalie John Gibson wouldn't be beaten again.

But then things changed.

First, Erik Haula tied the game with 4:22 remaining. And then after a frantic penalty kill in overtime, Alex Tuch scored in the final round of the shootout to lift the Golden Knights to the victory.

It was the first Golden Knights shootout win in team history. Vegas is now 17-9-1.

Here are three immediate takeaways from tonight's game.

 

1. Tuch Redeems Himself

Alex Tuch was almost the goat of this game.

3:20 into the overtime period, he was whistled for tripping Ducks forward Rickard Rakell. This gave Anaheim a rare overtime power play, and at 4-on-3 (as opposed to 5-on-4 in regulation for normal power plays), the Ducks had ample opportunities to win the game.

 

Video: ANA@VGK: Tuch roofs a backhand for shootout winner

 

But Vegas fought Anaheim off.

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, in particular, was crucial in holding the Ducks back, although Malcolm Subban was the man in the middle of it all.

With the penalty killed, the teams moved into the shootout. And after both teams' first two shooters were stopped, Alex Tuch scored to put Vegas ahead, and Malcolm Subban stopped Ondrej Kase to secure the victory.

But especially for Tuch, he went from goat to hero in a matter of a few minutes.

 

2. Late Rally

 

Video: ANA@VGK: Haula beats Gibson short-side to tie game

 

Although Tuch and Subban's performance in the shootout will steal most of the headlines, hats off to Erik Haula for tying the game late.

After the Ducks' three-goal second period, the Golden Knights seemed doom. And on the eve of starting the most difficult stretch of its schedule, Vegas was starving for a win tonight and appeared it would be denied.

Although the Golden Knights missed the net far too often tonight, although many of their passes didn't connect. Although the team was disjointed at times, Haula's late goal guaranteed at least one point in the standings.

It won't get as many headlines, but Haula was a focal point again tonight. 

Haula now has nine goals this year and is on pace for 27 goals. His career high is 15.

 

Video: ANA@VGK: Neal chips home a rebound to open scoring

 

3. Subban Didn't Give Up

 

Video: ANA@VGK: Subban makes a flurry of big stops

 

When a goalie gives up three goals in a period and puts his team behind, there can be an inclination to lose one's confidence.

This didn't happen for Malcolm Subban tonight.

Subban faced 14 more shots in the third period and overtime following his difficult second period and stopped them all. He denied all three attempts against him in the shootout, too.

 

Video: ANA@VGK: Subban makes a big pad save on Perry

 

In the record books, a goalie giving up three goals in a game is a relatively pedestrian performance. So in that sense, no, Subban didn't have his best game tonight.

But what he did was bear down when times got difficult. Even though he wasn't at his best, he scratched and clawed and eeked out a victory.

 

Video: ANA@VGK: Subban shuts pads to secure Vegas' SO win

 

He is now 6-2-0 this season.

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