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Blues finish road trip hungry for points against Golden Knights

Dec 21, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Mark Stone (61) celebrates with Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) after scoring a goal against the Arizona Coyotes during the third period at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

After earning their first regulation home win in almost a month Wednesday, the Vegas Golden Knights will try to make it two in a row on Friday night against the St. Louis Blues in Las Vegas.

The 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes was only the second in eight home games for the Western Conference-leading Golden Knights, who improved to just 9-9-0 at T-Mobile Arena this season. Mark Stone led the way with both a power-play goal and a short-handed goal during a four-goal third period.

It marked the first time in Vegas history that a player scored both a power-play and a short-handed goal in the same game. It also marked the first time since their last regulation home victory, 4-1 over Ottawa on Nov. 23, that the Golden Knights scored more than two goals in a home game.

“Glad to get two points,” Stone said. “Obviously sitting in here 1-1 after the second (period), we felt like we controlled most of the play, and you can kind of doubt yourself. The energy was up, we were ready to go, and we capitalized on some key chances.”

Stone’s power-play goal at 8:56 of the third period broke a 1-1 tie. His short-handed goal, his 14th tally of the season, made it 4-2 with 7:26 remaining. Michael Amadio sealed the win with his first goal in 17 games with 2:41 to go.

“We were feeling it,” said center Chandler Stephenson, who had two assists. “We kept pushing, kept pushing. Then one goes in, then two, three. We were just feeling good after the second and the third one.”

The Golden Knights will try to carry that momentum into their final game before the Christmas break against a St. Louis team playing its fifth game in nine days on the road.

The Blues started the trip by sweeping a back-to-back against Edmonton (4-3 in a shootout) and Calgary (5-2), and followed that up with a 5-1 victory at Vancouver on Monday. They then had a four-game win streak snapped with a 5-2 loss at Seattle on Tuesday.

“We didn’t manage the puck very well,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “They checked well, we didn’t have time or space and we didn’t do the right things with the puck. That’s probably what the bottom line was.”

A win over the Golden Knights would give the Blues a 4-1-0 road trip.

“We’ve got to regroup, get prepared for Vegas,” Berube said. “And we need the points more than them.”

St. Louis entered Thursday’s action five points behind Edmonton for the final wild-card spot in the West.

“We’ve had a pretty tough road schedule here, but that’s obviously no excuse,” defenseman Colton Parayko, who scored his second goal of the season in the Seattle loss, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We want to make sure that we just drop all the negatives, take the positives. We need points. We know where we are in the standings. I think that’s gonna fuel us a little bit. Why not finish up the road trip with a win and go on to Christmas with a win?”

–Field Level Media