Peyton Krebs saw to it that there would be plenty to like in the Vegas Golden Knights’ 7-4 preseason win over the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena Tuesday night.
The young players, led by Krebs’ four-point night, performed well. The newcomers appeared comfortable. The third-string goaltender did fine. And winning on the road is never a bad thing, regardless of the time of year it happens.
But there were some things that coach Peter DeBoer and his team should be concerned with. One, the penalty kill was subpar, at least on this night. But perhaps you can chalk it up to seeing Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon on the ice as Rantanen had a pair of goals and the Avs scored three of their four with the man advantage.
The other concern was forward William Carrier, who was accidentally kicked in the face by the skate of Kurtis MacDermid in the second period and did not return. His status was not known for Thursday’s preseason game against Arizona at T-Mobile Arena.
But the Knights have a 3-2 preseason record with two games remaining and other than Carrier’s injury, they got exactly what they wanted from the quick trip to Denver.
Three takeaways from Tuesday’s win:
1. Peyton’s Place: Peyton Krebs knows he’s playing to win a job on the Golden Knights and Tuesday he showed why he belongs. a goal and three assists (he should’ve had four helpers), some creative play in the offensive zone and moving up to the top line Tuesday with William Karlsson and Reilly Smith was a great opportunity for the rookie forward.
To his credit, he took advantage of it. He took two penalties, which is never a good thing, but overall, he made a strong case for sticking with the Golden Knights.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a relief,” Krebs said of his four-point night. “I still look back at the game and know some things I want to improve on. I knew it was going to come obviously. I want to show the coaches that I can be here full time. Every night is important.”
As a side note, Jake Leschyshyn had an excellent night, registering an empty net goal and assisting on Krebs’ goal 1:27 into the third period. It’s probably not enough to keep him on the Golden Knights, but it will certainly boost his confidence going forward.
2. Patrick getting comfortable?: Nolan Patrick looks like he is finding his mojo with the Golden Knights. He was skating with Mattias Janmark and Keegan Kolesar and the line was effective and generated a goal by Kolesar to open the scoring with Patrick getting the assist.
There’s always going to be an adjustment when you go to a new team. But Patrick seems to be embracing his chance at a fresh start in Vegas and each day, he gets a little more comfortable with his environs.
3. Old Guys doing it on D: Alex Pietrangelo and Alec Martinez have a nice chemistry when they’re paired together. Martinez had a pair of goals Tuesday and they were each a plus-4 on the ice.
Pietrangelo has looked good since Day One of training camp and Martinez has been right there with him, making plays at both ends of the ice. They were on the first power play unit and while the Knights only went 1 for 5, they were moving the puck well and creating chances.