5-on-5 dominance is the #1 reason why the Golden Knights have a Stanley Cup banner hanging from the rafters at T-Mobile Arena. In the 22-game playoff run, Vegas literally doubled their opponents’ output at 5-on-5 scoring 66 goals while conceding just 33. It was one of the most remarkable runs in league history as the Golden Knights outscored their expected goals tally by 16.53 and allowed 12.16 fewer than expected.
Vegas outscored their opponents in 17 of the 22 playoff games at 5-on-5 and only failed to score in one game, the Game 3 loss in the Stanley Cup Final.
Well, the tables have turned.
In the last 13 periods, so just over four games, the Golden Knights have not scored a single goal at 5-on-5. It’s been 211 minutes and 14 seconds of 5-on-5 action since Jonathan Marchessault scored against Philadelphia on November 18th.
During that stretch, the Golden Knights have racked up a sizeable 7.96 expected goals in their exactly 100 shots. They’ve had 87 scoring chances, 33 from high-danger, and have gotten 21 high-danger shots on goal according to NaturalStatTrick.com, yet not a single shot has found the back of the net.
This is the longest streak of 5-on-5 futility in franchise history rivaled by only one other instance in which they have gone longer than eight periods. In 2019 the Golden Knights were held scoreless at 5-on-5 for 11 consecutive periods from October 15th to the 25th. It was over a span of five games, and oddly Vegas rattled off a 3-2-0 record in those games.
Prior to the current four-game stretch in which the Golden Knights have failed to score a 5-on-5 goal, there were two other instances this season in which they did it. A win at home against Montreal in shootout and a shutout loss at Washington. This season, the Golden Knights are now 2-3-1 when they don’t score at 5-on-5.
That record is a remarkably strong record considering what happened the last two seasons when they went scoreless at 5-on-5. In each of the last two seasons the Golden Knights went 0-8-0 when they failed to score a 5-on-5 goal. With the three times it happened in the playoffs and one more in 2019, prior to the shootout win against Montreal, Vegas had lost 20 consecutive games in which they were shutout at 5-on-5.
Vegas’ overall record when scoring 0 goals at 5-on-5 is 12-39-2 in the regular season and 0-7 in the playoffs.
Add it all up, and it’s really simple, the Golden Knights need to break this drought, and fast.