Behold, the Las Vegas Golden Knights’ season continues its march towards improbable perfection.
After battling adversity this week, in the form of its beloved mascot being hospitalized with skin cancer, the Golden Knights rallied to beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Friday.
The win broke a seven-game win streak for the Stars, who had owned the best record in the NHL since November 4.
The Knights got off to a slow start on Friday against the Stars, trailing 1-0 after the first period, but rallied behind the play of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury to give themselves a chance to win.
The crowd in Las Vegas showed their team’s resilience with a loud booing at the beginning of the third period, but Fleury responded by making two incredible saves to keep the score tied.
“Marc-Andre Fleury stole the game again,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “He played a great game.”
Fleury only gave up one goal after the second period and finished with 30 saves on 36 shots.
Vegas rallied in the third period, scoring four goals on seven shots. The Knights came out firing against Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop, and when Reilly Smith found the net with the game tied at three, the entire Vegas bench erupted.
Second-period goals by Michael Grabner and Brayden McNabb pulled Vegas ahead 3-2, but the Golden Knights had a tough time keeping the Stars out of the back of the net.
“It’s hard in this league, you just can’t give up four goals and expect to win a game,” Vegas winger Erik Haula said. “We kept pushing and found a way.”
Shortly after, Alex Tuch scored his first of the season to even the score at four and seal Fleury’s amazing play.
The Stars finally broke through at the end of the game, with John Klingberg scoring the game-winning goal to even the score again.
But unlike in their previous six games, the Knights’ lead didn’t last. With 1:03 remaining in the game, Jonathan Marchessault scored his second goal of the game with Bishop on the bench in favor of an extra attacker.
The Knights (12-4-0) have won a franchise-record seven straight games.
Friday’s victory made Vegas 3-0-0 against Western Conference teams, and has already helped the Knights set a franchise record for wins in a season. The franchise record for most points in a season is 14, set by the 1996-97 Tampa Bay Lightning.
As for the Dallas Stars, who lost for the first time in seven games, they have more than enough losses in their rearview mirror this season to point to in the offseason. With just one game remaining against the Vancouver Canucks, the Stars are currently sitting in second place in the Pacific Division, tied with the Edmonton Oilers.
The Vegas Golden Knights will look to reach 12 wins on Saturday when they play the Los Angeles Kings. The Stars will try to overcome their previous two losses as they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.