The morning of Jan. 4, 2020, the Vegas Golden Knights were among a small handful of teams who had not found a way to win after trailing by three-or-more goals in a game during the 2019-20 campaign.
Though Vegas would've preferred to have a better start that afternoon against the St. Louis Blues, the 3-0 hole that was dug in the first period was the reason the Golden Knights could join the conversation for dramatic comebacks.
Video: Condensed Game: Blues @ Golden Knights
Analysis from VGK Broadcast Host Daren Millard
No great comeback is complete without a significant deficit. The Golden Knights first period against the Blues was as unlucky as it was unproductive, combine extremes of both and St. Louis enjoyed 3-0 lead after the first. We have the base for a rally.
The game may have been decided in overtime, but the result, (stay with me here) was saved in the second period. A won draw by Tomas Nosek setup Ryan Reaves' rebound goal. The goal was an instant shot of adrenaline to T-Mobile Arena and changed the vibe on the Vegas bench.
We were aware of Chandler Stephenson's foot speed; I did not know he could turn laps like a short track speed skater. Stephenson's role with the team continue to increase, getting a tap for an overtime shift. The centerman won a face-off midway through the session that instantly created a rush up the ice. While Vegas didn't score, Stephenson's combination of work ethic and speed disrupted the Blues counterattack, applying back pressure that forced the Blues' Brayden Schenn to make an off-target pass. It was that loose puck which Stephenson scooped up while at top speed, skating uncatchable down the ice and sliding a backhand through the legs of a stunned Jake Allen.
Stephenson displayed hockey smarts, gumption, and skill for a hat trick of skills on the game winning goal. What wasn't talked about until after the fact, was that Stephenson has just completed a lap and half at full speed while both in control and chasing the puck. Stephenson admitted the next day that he didn't realize how tired he was until after he walked into the dressing room and sat down. It was then that he was extra thankful he had scored, not knowing if he had the energy to get back into the action if play had continued.
January 4th was Chandler Stephenson's welcome to Vegas moment. An historic comeback at T-Mobile Arena.