Friday, Oct. 27, 2023 | 5:47 p.m.
The final undefeated team in the NHL has fallen.
The Vegas Golden Knights dropped their first game of the 2023-2024 season Friday afternoon at T-Mobile Arena, 4-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime. Philipp Kurashev wristed in the game-winner from the slot on a power play at 2:50 of the extra period.
William Karlsson gave Chicago the man advantage when he tripped uber-prospect/this year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Connor Bedard. Vegas had a shorthanded opportunity after the penalty but couldn’t get a clean shot off before the puck went the other way.
Kurashev intercepted an attempted clearing pass by defenseman Brayden McNabb to end the game.
Vegas falls to 7-0-1 in a game that it must feel like it somewhat gave away.
The Golden Knights had to mount a comeback for the fifth straight game to reach overtime with Shea Theodore scoring a game-tying goal from the faceoff circle to make the score 3-3 with less than 10 minutes to play. Star forward Jack Eichel drew attention behind the net but fired a precise pass for Theodore to flush over Chicago goalie Petr Mrázek’s left shoulder.
Mrázek faced a relatively light workload with Vegas’ offense anemic for most of the day but had 15 straight saves before Theodore’s goal. The veteran settled down after early struggles during the Golden Knights’ annual Friday matinee game in observance of Nevada Day.
Early on, it looked like this year’s edition was going the way of past successful Nevada Day outings for Vegas like last year’s 4-0 victory over Anaheim or 2019’s 7-0 pasting of Colorado.
For the second time in franchise history, Vegas converted on each of its first two shots on goal. Forward Pavel Dorofeyev, who had been inactive for all but two games previously this season, scored his first goal of the season from in front of the net off a pass from Michael Amadio 1:35 into the game. Dorofeyev’s third line was again on the ice about two minutes later when Karlsson deflected in another rocket by Theodore to put his team up 2-0.
Vegas slowed from there, and Bedard began creating strong chances for Chicago. Bedard wasn’t on the ice for the Blackhawks’ first goal, a short-range put-back from off the boards by Ryan Donato, but then tied the game with about five minutes remaining in the first period.
Bedard went mano-a-mano with previously red-hot Vegas goalie Adin Hill and came out on top with a wrister that the netminder couldn’t stop. Two of Bedard’s three goals on the season have now come against the Golden Knights after he scored immediately in an eventual 5-3 loss to the team Saturday in Chicago.
The deadlock lasted the entire second period before Taylor Raddysh scored early in the third period off a Vegas turnover.
Hill wasn’t as sharp as he’s been dating back to last year’s Stanley Cup Playoff run, allowing four goals on 24 shots. Mrazek had 18 saves on 21 shots by the Golden Knights.
Vegas will have a chance to get back in the winning column immediately, as they travel to Los Angeles to play the Kings tomorrow night. Logan Thompson is expected to start in net.
This is a developing story. Check back later for an updated version.