The Vegas Golden Knights wasted little time getting back on the winning side of things with Saturday’s 4-3 (SO) defeat of the Los Angeles Kings.
The game within the game: The Golden Knights and Kings both played games on Friday. The Golden Knights dropped their first game against the Chicago Blackhawks after starting the season on a seven-game winning streak. The Los Angeles Kings won 5-4 against the Arizona Coyotes after trailing 4-1. Both teams seemed fresh and fatigue was not a factor despite both teams being on the back end of back-to-backs.
First period: The Golden Knights had a great start. The Kings had a hard time matching the pace of the Golden Knights. Jack Eichel had an early breakaway that he failed to convert on. Pierre Luc Dubois drove to the net hard and made contact with Logan Thompson. Alex Laferriere shot the rebound passed Thompson. Coach Bruce Cassidy challenged for interference and Toronto confirmed that a good goal was scored. The Golden Knights killed the penalty but lost the momentum they had for the game’s first 10 minutes. William Carrier nearly had one of his signature goals where he drove the net hard but Cam Talbot was able to cover the loose puck.
Second period: Nic Hague and Brayden Pachal failed to clear traffic from the top of the crease and Trevor Lewis was able to get a rebound behind Thompson. Michael Amadio scored on a rebound of his own off a nice play by Pavel Dorofeyev to get the puck into a high-danger area. Hague and Andreas Englund dropped the gloves after a hit by Hague. Englund received an extra penalty for slashing Hague prior to the fight. The fourth line did a great job of getting the puck up the ice quickly. William Carrier beat Talbot from just inside the left circle to tie the game. “I don’t get excited anymore.” Carrier on his lack of goal celebration.
Thompson had to sell out with his left pad to deny a tight attempt from Anze Kopitar.
Third period: Mark Stone gave the Golden Knights the lead 6:26 into the period with a top-shelf snipe that beat Talbot on the power play. Amadio and Pavel Dorofeyev had good looks with the Kings’ net empty and failed to ice the game. Drew Doughty got a clean one-timer off to beat Thompson with just over one minute on the clock.
Overtime: The Golden Knights were the beneficiary of an overtime power play. Eichel hit the post and Stone failed to beat Talbot with a good portion of the near side of the net open.
Shootout: Eichel scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Golden Knights the extra point. The Golden Knights have earned 17 of a possible 18 points on the new season.
Key storyline: Logan Thompson saved 40 or 43 shots from the Kings plus all three shootout attempts. “The foundation of our team is blocking shots.” Thompson on the defense. “The guys lay their bodies on the line every game.”
The Golden Knights have two solid goalies and that is a good problem to have. Cassidy stated the goalies would not have an equal split and Hill has started more games in the new season. Thompson is making a strong case to get the majority of the starts moving forward.
Quotable: “We find a way to win games, that’s all that matters.” Eichel on the victory. “It was a good hockey game, almost felt a bit like the playoffs.” Cassidy on the intensity level.
Next up: The Golden Knights take on the Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena Monday night.