Las Vegas – The Los Angeles Kings defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night. It was a pretty one-sided affair tilted towards the Kings for most of the game.
The game within the game: The Vegas Golden Knights were without Nicolas Hague, Zach Whitecloud, Nicolas Roy, and Chander Stephenson which forced different than usual line combinations.
First period: The first period was largely filled with low-event hockey. The teams combined for nine total hits. The Golden Knights were able to have pockets of sustained pressure and seemed to get stronger as the period progressed.
Second period: Adrian Kempe got the game’s first goal. Jordan Spece fired a shot from the point that hit Alex Pietrangelo and deflected directly to Kempe. Trevor Moore got the game’s second goal by deflecting a shot from Moore.
The Golden Knights outshot the Kings 30-23 through the first two periods, but it did not feel like the Golden Knights had many high-danger chances.
Turning point: The game changed after the Kings’ two goals in the second period. The first goal was bad puck luck for the Golden Knights. The second goal sucked the life out of the arena.
Third period: Pierre-Luc Dubois scored just under three minutes into the third period off of a rebound attempt to give the Golden Knights their first three-goal deficit of the season. William Karlsson cut the deficit to two goals with just over five minutes to play off a nice pass from Mark Stone.
Anze Kopitar scored his 400th NHL goal with the Golden Knights’ net empty to secure a 4-1 victory, their fourth game won in a row, and seventh straight road victory.
Key storyline: Coach Bruce Cassidy will not use missing players as an excuse. But the reality is Chandler Stephenson was heavily missed on the second line. Michael Amadio and William Carrier had decent games. But that second line does not click well without Stephenson. Stephenson is Mark Stone’s center.
The Kings got goals off of two rebounds and a screen in front of Hill. That is where the Golden Knights miss Nic Hague and Zach Whitecloud.
Quotable: “Sometimes the hockey gods are testing you.” Alex Pietrangelo after Wednesday’s loss. “These last couple of games have been a good test.”
Next up: The Golden Knights take on the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena on Friday night.