There were so many firsts in Wednesday night’s tilt where the Vegas Golden Knights hosted the (struggling) Colorado Avalanche. The Avs came into the game having won just one of their past five games, and three of their last eleven, so Vegas felt good about their odds of pulling out a win. If they were Evander Kane, they might’ve even placed a parlay bet, and with the amount of things that happened, their winnings would’ve been virtually incalculable.
In their first matchup of the season, Jack Hughes scored his first goal of 2022, and it was the first time the Knights scored more than five against the Avs. This was the first time the Knights beat the Avs by more than one goal, and the first time they had forty-four shots, and the first time they outshot Colorado by more than eight (shots were forty-four to thirty-five, beating Vegas’ previous best of thirty-six to twenty-eight on April 18th, 2021). This was the first game of his career where Jack Hughes had more than five shots (seven), first time he had three assists, first time he was more than plus-two (plus-three), and first time he had a four-point game. This was also the first time that Hughes and D Bowen Byram scored in the same game, and the first time that each/both of them had a goal and assist in the same game. This was also the first time in his career that Vegas D Rasmus Ristolainen was a +5, and he had himself quite the game. In addition to his impressive plus-minus total for the night, “Risto” finished with a goal, two points, three shots, and six hits. Wow.
But enough of the “firsts” you say; were there any other notable achievements in this game? Well, of course! This was the second game in a row that Vegas stayed out of the penalty box, and the second time this year they had double-digit shot totals in every period.
Impressive, yes. However, that’s not all. The Knights’ top line absolutely dominated the game, with a combined two goals, seven points, plus-nine, thirteen shots, one hit (hard to hit the opponent when you’re controlling the puck so much), in about twenty minutes of ice time each. With an average of just over eight minutes of ice time for each of Sean Kuraly, Colton Sceviour, and Tyler Ennis, they managed to thoroughly influence the outcome of the game as well. Those three combined for two goals, five points, plus-six, four shots, and seven hits.
Because these two teams don’t face off again until March, Vegas can’t wait for the chance to redeem themselves against the rival Los Angeles Kings in two of their next three games.