The Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning seemed destined for overtime on Tuesday night. That is, until Shea Theodore provided the heroics.
Already having assists on each the Golden Knights’ first three goals, the defenseman's power play blast from the point with 2.3 seconds left beat Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy to give Vegas the 4-3 win at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knight had battled back from a 2-0 fist-period deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the third period with Theodore providing helpers on goals by James Neal, Jonathan Marchessault and Erik Haula. Tampa Bay pulled even with just under four minutes remaining thanks the defenseman Victor Hedman, but a last-minute penalty to Braydon Coburn set the stage for Theodore’s winner.
The tally was his second of the season, but the drama of beating the NHL’s top team made it a special one for the Golden Knights’ young defenseman.
“It’s up there with my first NHL goal,” Theodore said. “It was kind of a lucky bounce and a good pass.”
With the win, Vegas improves to 22-9-2 on the season and earned at least a point for the eighth straight game, while dealing the league-leading Lightning (24-7-2) their first loss in nine games. The Golden Knights are now 14-2-1 at home with the most home wins of any Western Conference team this season.
“It says that we’re for real, we can play against anybody that comes in here,” Theodore said. "It was an unbelievable atmosphere. We could tell they had some Tampa fans, but our fans were much louder and much more into it.”