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Return To Scoring First/Playing With Lead Imperative For Golden Knights

The Golden Knights scored first in both home games in the series, they need to do it again. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Golden Knights score first they’ve been almost impossible to beat in the postseason. Their record is an astounding 11-2 when netting the game’s first goal. In the Stanley Cup Final, they’ve scored the opening goal just twice, which is one of the reasons why Vegas is facing elimination tonight.

It’s very important. I feel like we’ve been trailing this entire series. We had a lot of chances last game to be able to get that goal ahead and I think we just have to bear down and get that first goal. That means a lot to our structure of play. -Reilly Smith

Smith’s linemate laid it out even simpler.

I think we need to play with a lead. We’re a good team when we play in the lead. -Jonathan Marchessault

The Golden Knights were 34-5-2 in the regular season when they took the games first lead.

Yeah it’s been important all postseason, for all teams. It’s going to be a fight to get that lead. We’re a really good, dangerous team when we get the first goal. Get the crowd into it and go from there. -Erik Haula

Taking a lead, protecting it, and winning playoff games was a winning formula for the Golden Knights, until this series. Leading up to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, in 16 postseason games the Golden Knights lead for 162:43. Since then, they’ve lead for just 9:29 minutes, and have trailed for 123:18 minutes.

They’re doing a good job. They’re scoring at opportune times as well. Their power play’s sparks the team. It’s important for us to score that first goal and play with that lead. That’s what our mindset is for the next game. -Smith

Having a good first ten minutes is really important. Washington is a team that when they have a lead, they play to shut down and play really good defense. We’ll try and get the lead early on. -Alex Tuch

The Golden Knights seemed confident Game 5 will be a different outcome than the last three games. It begins with the Vegas top line and top players.

They’re a tough team to play against. They wait in the middle and let you make mistakes. We have to put pucks behind them, and let them make the mistakes. -Marchessault

Going by the numbers, scoring first will greatly help the Golden Knights chances to extend the Cup Final. The series isn’t over if Washington jumps on the scoreboard first, but it puts immediate pressure on Vegas to answer. It doesn’t matter which Golden Knight scores, just as long as it’s the opening goal.

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3 Comments

  1. DJ

    Great article, but they have scored the opening goal twice, not just once. Games 1 and 2.

  2. Alan

    Win your face offs
    Finish your forechecks
    Put the puck on goal
    Leave out the stretch passes
    Someone stand in front of Holtby
    Don’t take stupid penalties
    Keep it simple
    Block shots
    Play desperate hockey but also keep in mind that this team has already achieved more than was expected of it so play to enjoy.
    Win or lose the fan base will still appreciate the effort contributed by each Golden Knight on and off the ice in this season. Bravo GKs. Now bring down the house.

  3. Vgk4life

    Knights ran into a whole team of guys playing every shift like it was their last. Caps out hustled, out hit, and flat out out played us. Great season boys, thanks for putting us in the books!

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