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'The word is clutch': Thompson's OT penalty-shot save proves huge for Golden Knights

Logan Thompson Logan Thompson - The Canadian Press

As the Vegas Golden Knights fight to hang on to the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, goaltender Logan Thompson played the role of hero in Monday's 2-1 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues.

Thompson stopped Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich on a penalty shot in overtime, with Jonathan Marchessault scoring the game-winner for Vegas just 19 seconds later. 

"I think the word is clutch that we're looking for," Vegas forward William Karlsson said of the brief roller-coaster. "They were clutch, and obviously a huge save there on that penalty shot in OT. That's what we need from the goalies at this time of year."

The Blues are attempting to chase down the Golden Knights, the defending Stanley Cup champions, for the final playoff spot, but sit five points back with one more game played after Monday's loss.

"Certainly he's a player you want [to have] that opportunity. The goalie made a good save," Blues head coach Drew Bannister said of Buchnevich's penalty shot. "That's part of the game."

Despite having captain Mark Stone and the newly added Tomas Hertl on long-term injured reserve, the Golden Knights have a 6-2-0 record since the trade deadline as they attempt to reach the playoffs for the sixth time in their seven-year existence. 

"Just where we are right now matters," head coach Bruce Cassidy said after Monday's win. "If it's earlier in the regular season, you don't worry so much about it. ... You want to make sure you walk out of here with the extra point. I thought it was a real well goaltended game, to be honest, at the end of the day.

"Both goalies gave their teams great chances to win, and we were one shot better."

Vegas remains three points back of the red-hot Nashville Predators for the top wild-card spot with a key meeting between the two teams set for Tuesday night at the Bridgestone Arena.