The Vegas Golden Knights’ opening win was the result of a team effort on both sides of the puck.
However, the Vegas Golden Knights had a true leader this time to help them on the road to victory, with newly-elected Captain Mark Stone there with his team for every step of their 5-2 win against the Anaheim Ducks.
The elite two-way forward finished the game with one goal, an assist, five hits, two total shots, and a final plus / minus rating of +2. Because of his performance, Mark Stone was also awarded the game’s First Star.
It’s a huge win for Stone’s first game as Captain. The Golden Knights have always been a team that values a combined team effort, having not had a true leader in their previous three seasons. Now, they have a true leader, and it showed immensely. The Golden Knights scored within the first two minutes of the game thanks to a snipe by Jonathan Marchessault. They then followed up 60 seconds later with a goal from Tomas Nosek.
After letting the Ducks come back later in the first period, Mark Stone rallied his squad to domination in the third. After a great pass to the crease by Chandler Stephenson, Stone found the hole and scored to put the Golden Knights up again. Mark Stone also created the opportunity for Max Pacioretty’s lazer, diving forward and shoving the puck into the Anaheim zone.
Mark Stone seemed to be the perfect choice for Vegas’ vacant Captain slot. According to NHL writer Danny Webster, since being acquired from the Ottawa Senators in 2019, Stone has led the Golden Knights in total points with 76 (27 goals, 49 assists). In the short time he has been with the franchise, Mark Stone has also climbed to the top of Vegas’ leaderboards. He currently leads the team in adjusted points with 484 and has climbed into the top ten in points and goals.
More importantly, he currently leads the team in adjusted goals created with 195.8, with the next player being Jonathan Marchessault with 185.5. This statistic says quite a bit about Stone’s play style and selflessness, proving once again he is truly Vegas’ captain.
Mark Stone and the Vegas Golden Knights face off against Anaheim again Saturday looking for a dominant 2-0 start to the 2021 season.