Dadonov scores in OT to lift Vegas past Chicago 5-4

Mar 26, 2022, 3:11 AM | Updated: 3:57 pm
Chicago Blackhawks center Sam Lafferty (24) and Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) ...

Chicago Blackhawks center Sam Lafferty (24) and Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore (27) skate after the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 26, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

(AP Photo/David Becker)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Evgenii Dadonov scored in overtime and the Vegas Golden Knights overcame a three-goal deficit in the third period to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 Saturday.

The Golden Knights trailed 3-0 entering the third but got goals from Chandler Stephenson, William Karlsson, Jack Eichel and Alex Pietrangelo.

Dadonov then scored for the second time in two games since returning to Vegas’ roster after the NHL negated a trade that sent him to Anaheim because of his no-trade clause.

Dadonov took a pass from Nic Roy, skated to the high slot and beat goaltender Kevin Lankinen over his glove.

“I saw Roysy had the puck, he was holding, holding, holding,” said Dadonov, who extended his goal streak to four games and now has six goals and nine points in his last six games.

“I just tried to open up, and finally he passed it to me. I moved to the middle and looked for the shot lane, and then shot it.”

It was Vegas’ first ever victory in 58 games when trailing by at least three goals in the third period. The Golden Knights had been shut out in eight of their previous 11 periods heading into the third.

“I think we were running on some fumes tonight, all night, and the guys just dug deep in the third,” Vegas coach Peter DeBoer said. “They recognize the importance of the moment, and in the third, our best guys grabbed it and dragged us back into the game.”

Logan Thompson stopped 30 shots for Vegas, allowing goals by Dominik Kubalik, Jonathan Toews, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat. Lankinen made 29 saves.

Kubalik got credit for the first goal even though it was an inadvertent redirect off Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore’s stick that sent the puck into the net. Jake McCabe sent a pass to Kubalik, who blasted a shot from the blue line that deflected off Theodore’s blade and through Thompson’s legs.

Chicago extended the lead late in the second period when it capitalized on a turnover by defenseman Zach Whitecloud, who failed on a clearing attempt. DeBrincat found a perfect lane to the backdoor, where Toews was waiting for the tap in to make it 2-0.

With time draining in the second period, Caleb Jones fired a shot from between the top of the circles. When Thompson’s kick save delivered the puck to the left dot, Strome one-timed it perfectly to give Chicago a three-goal lead.

With playoff hopes on the line, Vegas came out of the locker room playing with a sense of urgency, scoring three goals within 2:52 early in the third period. Stephenson and Karlsson sent pucks into the net within a minute of each other, while Eichel added the equalizer shortly thereafter.

“(We need to) try to relax,” Strome said. “They scored that quick into the third, it’s just like, ‘take a deep breath.’ The building is going crazy. This has to be the loudest rink in the NHL, so they get one, they get two, and then it’s a tough thing to stop.”

After Thompson made two spectacular saves on DeBrincat following Eichel’s goal, the third time was a charm for Chicago’s assistant captain. DeBrincat skated to the bottom of the right circle and found a sliver of space above Thompson’s blocker to put Chicago back on top.

The lead lasted for 47 seconds, as Pietrangelo’s ripper from the blue line found its way through traffic and into the net, once again tying the game and sending the crowd into a frenzy.

The victory moves Vegas within one point of third-place Edmonton and within three of second-place Los Angeles in the Pacific Division. The Oilers play at first-place Calgary, while Los Angeles hosts Seattle late Saturday.

MARTINEZ RETURNS

The game marked the return of two-time Stanley Cup champion Alec Martinez for Vegas. He suffered a severe facial laceration on Nov. 11. The 34-year-old missed 53 games.

“It was probably one of the toughest things I’ve gone through in my career,” Martinez said. “Just really thankful for a lot of people in the organization and a lot of people out of the organization that took the time to care about me and my health.”

UP NEXT

Blackhawks: Host Buffalo on Monday night.

Golden Knights: Play at Seattle on Wednesday night.

___

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Dadonov scores in OT to lift Vegas past Chicago 5-4