The Vegas Golden Knight were missing Max Pacioretty for Sunday’s game against the LA Kings, and it showed on the scoresheet. Without the team’s leading scorer, the Kings beat the Golden Knights 3-1 to earn a split in the weekend series.
Los Angeles scored twice in the second period just 51 seconds apart. Sean Walker’s first of the season was challenged by the VGK for goaltender interference but the goal stood and Dustin Brown scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season on the subsequent power play.
Vegas did draw within a goal late in the third period on Tomas Nosek’s marker but the Kings tacked on another insurance goal just under a minute later.
Marc-Andre Fleury took the loss with 28 saves. Cal Petersen made 41 saves for the win for the Kings.
- I’ll admit, I’ve grown complacent with this team. Even down 2-0 after two with no Pacioretty, I thought they would just flip the switch and make something happen in the third. But this time it didn’t happen. Perhaps this is a good wakeup call for the Golden Knights that they really do have to play 60 minutes of hockey on a consistent basis, which despite the team’s place in the standings they have yet to do.
- Marc-Andre Fleury still played well but Petersen was a notch above today. The Kings goaltender made several big stops on VGK scoring chances and is a big reason why the Kings are skating out with two points.
- Dustin Brown is having himself a resurgent year, and if the Kings decide to be sellers would make an interesting addition to any playoff team that needs some scoring and grit. Not to mention his fantastic leadership. Brown has been playing less PK time this season and credits that for keeping him more fresh and able to generate more offensively. The only 35+ year old player with as many goals in the NHL this year? Alex Ovechkin.
- If Vegas stays healthy they’re a force to be reckoned with. But as missing Max Pacioretty showed tonight, you need your depth to step up if you want to win a Stanley Cup. I would not be surprised if Vegas attempted to add more scoring to the middle of the lineup or a true number one center if the numbers work out. Of course, top centers are as expensive as they come on the trade market, so don’t count on that happening.