LAS VEGAS (AP) By losing all of their coaches, Max Pacioretty and the Vegas Golden Knights managed to win a point.
Strange night, but they will surely accept it.
David Perron and Brayden Schenn scored in a shootout Tuesday to give the St. Louis Blues a 5-4 victory over Las Vegas. Pacioretty scored his seventh career hat trick for the Golden Knights, who were left without their entire coaching staff due to concerns about COVID-19.
General manager Kelly McCrimmon assumed the duties of head coach and was assisted by staff from the team’s minor league affiliate in the AHL, the Henderson Silver Knights.
The Las Vegas players said they didn’t even know about the situation until they got to the arena.
“It was a first for us when we arrived,” said Alex Pietrangelo, who spent his first 12 seasons with the Blues and faced them for the first time since signing with Las Vegas during the offseason. “Crimmer’s trained before, we had Henderson (coaches), they also know what they’re doing. So we didn’t know what the plan was originally, but it worked well. ”
Even after Robin Lehner allowed three goals in the first seven shots he faced when the Golden Knights fell on a 3-1 hole.
Perron scored twice in regulation time, and Jaden Schwartz and Jordan Kyrou also scored goals for St. Louis (4-2-1).
Jordan Binnington was brilliant on the net for the Blues. He finished with 42 saves, including five in overtime.
Alex Tuch added a goal for Vegas. Shea Theodore scored during the shootout and Lehner made 21 saves.
It was the fifth time in 11 games since Vegas entered the NHL in 2017 that teams played in overtime.
The Golden Knights (5-1-1) not only lost for the second time in three games, but were interrupted by the coronavirus for the first time this season. About two hours before the puck fell, the team announced that it would be without its coaching staff.
“It’s not a case where all the staff tested positive,” said McCrimmon, who confirmed that a Golden Knights coach tested positive. Most did not, frankly. … We are lucky that there was no positive test for the players. ”
The club said all staff, including head coach Peter DeBoer, would be quarantined “as a precaution.” The Vegas staff is comprised of DeBoer, assistants Steve Spott, Ryan Craig and Ryan McGill, and goalkeeping coach Mike Rosati.
McCrimmon moved behind the bench and was assisted by head coach Manny Viveiros and assistants Jamie Heward and Joel Ward of the Silver Knights.
After Tuch put the Golden Knights on the board 3:17 in the game, the Blues took over. Perron tied him up with a nifty shot to the wrist that slipped between Lehner and the post less than a minute later, then got his second of the game and third of the season just six seconds from St. Louis’ first power play. , sending a slap. beyond Lehner’s blocker.
Schwartz scored two minutes later when he sent a shot from the crossbar and inside, pushing the lead to 3-1.
Pacioretty’s snapper from the slot early in the second cut the lead to one, but Kyrou would later respond when he released Pietrangelo’s puck, skidded past his former teammate while keeping him away in the offensive zone, picked up the puck and covered a wrist. The shot Lehner never saw to give St. Louis a 4-2 lead.
Pacioretty scored twice in the third period, his fifth and sixth goals of the season, leading the team, to come back to Las Vegas and force overtime.
“I think we will have some confidence,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. ” I felt like we got clues in this building, and then we tried to hang on for a bit. We have to defend ourselves better. I think we have to close these games here. We have the leadership, we just can’t shut it down. ”
McCrimmon said the Golden Knights practice facility will close Wednesday.
While the Blues came into the game tied for the sixth worst penalty, having allowed 10 goals in 30 power play opportunities by their opponents, Vegas couldn’t capitalize much, again. The Golden Knights were 1 of 6 with a men’s advantage and are 3 of 26 (11.5%) this season.
Lehner, affectionately known as “Panda,” made his 23rd outing for the Golden Knights. He allowed four goals just once in the first 21, but has given up four goals in each of his last two.
Vegas and St. Louis wrap up their two-game series at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday. It is unclear if DeBoer and his assistants will be allowed to return by then.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.