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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 LOS ANGELES KINGS 0 (4-0 VGK)

The Golden Knights got off to a miserable start spending a majority of the 1st period struggling to break out of their own end. They did have one good chance that was actually blocked by Erik Haula in front of the Kings net. However, neither team scored in the 1st so Vegas survived. The Golden Knights came out a bit better to begin the 2nd and ended up scoring the first goal of the game on a great transition that led to a cross-ice wide open shot for Brayden McNabb. Vegas scratched and clawed it’s way to the finish and swept the first playoff series in franchise history. The Golden Knights are moving on to the Second Round!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center.

  • The story continues.
  • The impact of teams sweeping in the first round on the rest of their playoff runs
  • How did the Golden Knights locker room react to winning in the 1st round?

Three Stars
*** Brayden McNabb
** Jonathan Quick
* Marc-Andre Fleury

 

Inside A Dejected LA Kings Locker Room In A 3-0 Hole

The Kings finally took a lead in the series, but they couldn’t hold on, and when they lost it, they LOST it. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The home locker room at Staples Center following Game 3 seemed dark and depressed. Most losing locker rooms are, but this was different. Inside the Kings room after Sunday’s 3-2 loss, I got the feeling they knew their chance to get back into the series was blown.

I think we created a lot of chances and maybe should’ve gotten a couple more goals in net. That’s how it is and it’s just tough right now -Adrian Kempe, LAK Forward

The talented 21-year-old forward was open to chat about the positives from Game 3. In a losing effort, it didn’t matter much to Kempe.

We had some good chances that we maybe should’ve scored on in the second and third periods. We’re going to go home and look at ourselves and come back tomorrow. -Kempe

For the third straight game, LA’s Captain Anze Kopitar sat in front of his locker stall looking tired, frustrated and searching for answers.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 LOS ANGELES KINGS 2 (3-0 VGK)

The game started out with the Kings really trying to bring the physicality, it ended up leading to a penalty on Kyle Clifford, but the Golden Knights squandered the power play having a very rough time entering. That seemed to energize the Kings and for the first period of the nine in the series Vegas looked a bit unsure of themselves. LA scored first on a goal from Alex Iaffalo. The Golden Knights turned the heat up a bit in the 2nd, but couldn’t ever create much than one shot at a time. The game’s flow kind of got away from the Golden Knights through two with a couple penalties and a terrible offensive power play that breathed some life into the Kings. The Golden Knights killed an early penalty, then started getting their offense going and it led to an incredible shift from the 3rd line that tied the game with a Cody Eakin goal. Then, like Vegas often does, they pounced and pounced in a big way. An individual effort goal from James Neal, then another from William Karlsson and Vegas had a 3-1 lead. Anze Kopitar made it interesting, but the Golden Knights hung on. They’re up 3-0 with a chance to sweep on Tuesday night.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings in Game 3 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center.

  • Golden Knights power play starting to struggle. (Maybe)
  • Are the Kings dead? Jason’s heading to the Kings locker room.

Three Stars
*** Alex Iafallo
** James Neal
* Marc-Andre Fleury

 

3 Goals In 155 Minutes; Are The Golden Knights Creating Enough Offense To Keep Winning?

This Quick guy is pretty good, but no goalie is unbeatable. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights lead the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but they’re averaging just one goal every 51:48 minutes of the series. Over the course of the regular season, the Golden Knights averaged a goal every 18:05.

The shot totals have been there. The scoring chance numbers are there. The possession numbers are there as well, but the puck simply hasn’t found its way past Jonathan Quick often.

He’s been amazing that’s for sure but I think we are making his life a little easier than we want. Shot decisions from the outside are not too bad but our secondary chances need to be better, that’s how we are going to get more goals on him. -Jonathan Marchessault

Quick made 54 saves in Game 2, one of the best games he’s put together in his career, but there’s always a way to beat a great/hot goalie and that’s to create chances no goalie can stop. Deflections, tips in front of the goal, rebounds, and cross-ice passes often lead everyone watching a game to say, “well, the goalie had no chance on that one.” Vegas’ goal in Game 1 was a deflection, the first goal in Game 2 was a rebound, and the game-winner was actually somewhat of a mistake by Quick (he whiffed on a poke check).

Two unsavable shots over the course of nearly eight periods, is that really enough offense to win a playoff series?

Enough to win two games. At the end of the night, if you get wins at this time of the year, that’s the most important thing. For our group we do want to put more goals up but we are playing the best defensive team in the league and they are doing a good job. -Marchessault

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 LOS ANGELES KINGS 1 – 2 OT (2-0 VGK)

With a one game lead in the series, the Golden Knights came into the game with a great chance to stake claim to the series. Despite clock errors in the building, the Golden Knights were able to strike first for the second straight game, this time with a goal from Alex Tuch. The game headed to the first intermission with Vegas touting a 14-5 shots on goal lead. It was much of the same in the 2nd but the Golden Knights couldn’t get one past Quick. Brayden McNabb took a penalty deep in the offensive zone which led to the Kings second power play of the game. Paul LaDue took a shot from the point, it took a deflection off Deryk Engelland and found its way into the Vegas net. The Kings came out with a bit more of an offensive purpose in the 3rd, but neither team was able to find the go-ahead goal. So we headed to overtime for the first time in VGK history. The first OT came and went with just a few great scoring chances, both goalies were tremendous. Late in the 2nd OT VGK finds the winner from a great goal from Erik Haula!

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings in Game 2 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Photo gallery of Game 2 from Brandon Andreasen
  • Vegas making it incredibly difficult to enter the zone, especially on dump-ins
  • Seemingly inflated hit totals not indicative of the actual game on the ice.
  • Should Tatar be the one who draws out if/when Perron returns?

Three Stars
*** Jonathan Quick
** Nate Schmidt
* Erik Haula

Before OT:

Forechecking, Backchecking, And Actual Checking, That’s How The Golden Knights Won Game 1

The Kings must have felt like there were Golden Knights everywhere, and if they weren’t hitting the heck out of them, they were taking the puck and going the other way. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Like the atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights came out rocking. Just 3:23 into the game Shea Theodore scored the first goal, what went on to be the game-winner. That’s because, after that goal, the Golden Knights abandoned some of their normal principles and opted to play a possession-based defense style game, and a gem of one.

Less than a minute after the goal, Brayden McNabb was tagged with a hooking penalty that took away a lot of the Golden Knights momentum. They killed the penalty, but went on to look like a different, but equally good, team. Rather than their standard transition style of offense the Golden Knights relied much more on their forecheck, they were hellacious in their backcheck, and for the first time ever, they recorded over 50 hits and won a hockey game.

I think we were good both ways. It was good to see a lot of speed and physicality, it was a fun game to be in. We just didn’t give them much time and options the entire game. -Jonathan Marchessault

It wasn’t a normal game for Vegas. In total, there were just 35 scoring chances at even strength between the two teams. Golden Knights games averaged 45.2 per game in the regular season. The Golden Knights maintained possession and had a specific purpose with the puck; do not make mistakes that lead to easy breakouts and offense the other way. That’s the big reason for the low scoring chance totals and why even down a goal in a playoff game, the Kings were only able to muster up three scoring chances the entire 3rd period.

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Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings: Game 1 – Photo Gallery – April 11th, 2018

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 LOS ANGELES KINGS 0 (1-0 VGK)

The Golden Knights came out firing after an incredible opening ceremony to kick off the playoffs. A Shea Theodore goal about four minutes into the game kept the crowd going and gave the Golden Knights the start they wanted. A penalty ridden rest of the first ended 1-0 Vegas. The 2nd and 3rd, for the most part, were a game of Vegas trying to control play and stay fairly conservative in their own end. They dominated possession and barely allowed much by the way of shots let alone chances for about a 35 minute stretch. In the final four minutes, the Kings poured it on a bit more, but Vegas withstood it without any problem. Massive win for the Golden Knights to take the lead in the series.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs at T-Mobile Arena.

  • Photo gallery of Game 1 from Brandon Andreasen
  • A deeper look into how the Kings are choosing to matchup with the Golden Knights
  • Should Drew Doughty be suspended for the headshot to Carrier?
  • Probably more

Three Stars
*** Jonathan Quick
** James Neal
* Marc-Andre Fleury

Who Will The Golden Knights Play In The First Round?

Whose flag will he have to avoid in the first round? (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Tomorrow marks the final day in the NHL schedule for the Western Conference. The Golden Knights will play a meaningless game in Calgary to wrap up their 82nd game before they look towards the rest of the results to see who will be coming to T-Mobile Arena on April 11th.

There are three games that impact the Golden Knights potential first round opponent.

San Jose vs. Minnesota
Anaheim at Arizona
Los Angeles vs. Dallas

The team in the box is who the Golden Knights would face pending each of the 18 possible outcomes.

Of the 18 outcomes, 11 have the Golden Knights facing the Kings, six have them taking on the Ducks, and one would see the Sharks head to Vegas.

VGK vs. Los Angeles: 2-1-1
VGK vs. Anaheim: 3-1-0
VGK vs. San Jose: 3-0-1

LOS ANGELES KINGS 4 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (41-17-5 87 PTS)

Vegas once again scored first on the Kings in the second night of a home and home back to back, but it all went downhill from there. A pair of turnovers in their own end followed by a rush in which Kopitar outskated on Sbisa, Engelland, and Lagace to give the Kings a 3-1 lead heading into the final period of the pair of games. Ryan Reaves took a pair of penalties in the 3rd which led to a bench minor and eventually the fourth goal for the Kings.

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena.

  • The future outlook of the Tatar trade.
  • It’s been just two games, two, but… the Golden Knights were a different team in those two games.

Three Stars
*** William Karlsson
** Anze Kopitar
* Jack Campbell

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