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CAROLINA HURRICANES 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (31-17-6, 68 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hit the ice for the first time in five days to take on the Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena. Midway through the opening period Jonathan Marchessault added to his team-leading goal total. Marchessault gave Vegas a 1-0 lead with his 28th tally of the season.

Carolina quickly evened the score at 1-1 in the middle frame. Carolina scored the period’s lone goal 1:21 into the period.

Again, the visiting team wasted no time to score to start the 3rd period. Vegas failed to recover defensively and the Hurricanes took advantage of a quick break into the Golden Knights zone 0:19 into the frame. Carolina took a 3-1 advantage five minutes later, batting a puck down behind Adin Hill and into the net.

The Golden Knights record drops to 31-17-6 losing to the Hurricanes 3-1. Vegas will travel up to San Jose on Monday for a one-game road trip against the Sharks. Puck drop in San Jose is scheduled for 1 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a great start for the Golden Knights as they were generating dangerous chances at a great rate in the 1st. They could only sneak one through and ultimately that became a problem as the chances slowed down. Carolina’s depth started to wear on VGK’s and a shorthanded goal to start the 3rd was a killer. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena.

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CAROLINA HURRICANES 6 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (21-7-5, 47 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were attempting to win their fourth straight road game with a victory in Carolina. The Hurricanes broke the scoreless tie 10:27 into the contest but the Golden Knights came right back with tying goal a few minutes later. After the opening 20 minutes in Carolina, the game was locked 1-1.

By the midway point of the second frame, the home team Hurricanes scored twice to extend their lead to 3-1. Carolina earned another goal on the power play carrying a 4-1 advantage into the second intermission.

Carolina waited very little to take a commanding 5-1 lead. The Hurricanes capped off their offensive explosion with a goal 0:10 into the final frame. The Golden Knights would pot two goals but far too little far too late.

The Golden Knights record drops to 21-7-5 losing to the Hurricanes 6-3 in Raleigh. Vegas will continue their road trip on Thursday in Tampa Bay. Puck drop against the Lightning is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The game was fairly close for the first 15 minutes or so but as it wore on the Carolina forecheck pressure ramped up more and more and the Golden Knights started to crumble. Couple that with their worst penalty killing day in a long time and you get a rare lopsided defeat. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

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Vegas Versus The Mighty Eastern Conference

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

All season long the eyes of the hockey world have been on the Eastern Conference. Based on performance and deep lineups the odds suggest an Eastern Conference team will be named the 2023 Stanley Cup champion. Through 67 games, the Golden Knights are making analysts, computer models, insiders, and pundits rethink their position.

On Saturday, Vegas casually shut out the high-powered Carolina Hurricanes to record the team’s 20th victory against the Eastern Conference. Tomorrow night in Philadelphia they can add to that total.

VGK vs the Eastern Conference (30 Games)

  • .700 Points Percentage
  • 3.45 Goals Scored Per Game
  • 2.70 Goals Allowed Per Game
  • Shutout CAR, 1 Goal Allowed vs TOR
  • Jack Eichel vs East: 26 Points (13G, 13A)

Left on the schedule from the East are the Philadelphia Flyers and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Vegas will likely be a sizable favorite in both games. In 30 eastern matchups the Golden Knights would have a total of of 44 cross-conference credits. That’s 47% of Vegas’ 88 total points. Talk about flipping the script.

The message the Golden Knights sent to the East this season has been loud and it’s been heard.

They’re a good team. They hunker down in front and we knew that coming in. That got us behind the eight ball. In the 2nd period we weren’t very good, but we didn’t give up much. Just one bad bounce and it was a breakaway. Then we were down two. We had a good 3rd. We pushed, we just couldn’t get one by them. -Rod Brind’Amour, Hurricanes coach

Not only did the Golden Knights blank the Hurricanes, they also held the Toronto Maple Leafs to one goal back in October. On top off sweeping the Canes and Leafs, Vegas did the same to the Canadiens, Capitals, Lightning, and Senators in their two-game sets.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 CAROLINA HURRICANES 0 (40-20-6, 86 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to make it two in a row with a matchup in Carolina against the Hurricanes. Vegas jumped out ahead 4:03 into the game after Jonathan Marchessault recorded his 20th goal of the season. Goaltender Jonathon Quick was sharp in net, keeping Carolina off the scoreboard in the opening 20 minutes.

Late in the 2nd period Reilly Smith weaved through Carolina’s defense to give Vegas a 2-0 advantage. Smith scored his 22nd of the season to extend the Golden Knights lead. Quick continued to frustrate the Hurricanes and carried a shutout into the final intermission.

Vegas’ Paul Cotter stretched VGK’s lead to 3-0 midway into the 3rd period. Cotter scored off a beautiful two-pass feed from Chandler Stephenson and Alex Pietrangelo. Carolina pulled their goalie with three minutes left but Brett Howden added an empty netter in the final minutes. VGK’s defense held up and preserved Quick’s shutout.

The Golden Knights record improves to 40-20-6 defeating the Hurricanes 4-0. Vegas will hit the ice tomorrow in St. Louis for a battle with the Blues. Puck drop is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights scored early on a sneaky Marchessault shot through a screen, and then they went into a bit of a defensive shell and allowed Jonathan Quick to clean up the trash. They did well keeping the Canes to the outside and worked hard to block a lot of shots, but they spent a lot of time in their own end which is rarely the ideal way to play. As the lead increased (thanks Brent Burns)VGK got more and more conservative and the Canes could not beat Quick. I’m not sure that’s the style VGK really want to play to win every night, but it worked like a charm on this one. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 CAROLINA HURRICANES 2 (36-19-6, 78 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights hosted the Carolina Hurricanes in hopes to get back on the winning side. Both teams had early chances but neither could find the back of the net. The Golden Knights were awarded a power play, but the Hurricanes fought it off. The game was locked in a scoreless tie after the opening 20 minutes.

Vegas center Jack Eichel opened the scoring with a nasty wrist shot, giving his team a 1-0 lead. Carolina would tie the game minutes later, but Eichel drove to the net and regained the lead for the Golden Knights. The home team carried a 2-1 advantage into the second intermission.

Midway through the final period Carolina tied the game off a deflection in front of Adin Hill. Late in the game Michael Amadio made a beautiful one-time pass to Reilly Smith for the tap-in. Smith’s 20th goal of the season gave the Golden Knights a 3-2 edge. Vegas fought off one last push from Carolina to secure a one-goal victory.

The Golden Knights’ record improves to 36-19-6 defeating the Hurricanes 3-2. Next, Vegas will welcome the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The story of the night is VGK’s excellent display at the defensive blue line. They had excellent gaps all night against a speedy Hurricanes team and it forced them to dump pucks in. When they did, the Golden Knights were great going back to get them. This forced the Canes to press a bit more in the O-Zone and it helped lead to a pair of rush-chance goals. Fast games really suit Jack Eichel, and we saw that again tonight. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Carolina Hurricanes at T-Mobile Arena.

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Allan Walsh: Carolina Intentionally Exposed Vegas’ Cap Mismanagement

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Max Pacioretty and Dylan Coghlan for… nothing.

Well, technically it was for “future considerations,” but if you’ve ever seen what comes of those, “nothing” is basically synonymous.

The Golden Knights spun it as a cap maneuver that helped them re-sign Reilly Smith and will eventually allow them to bring back Nic Roy, Nic Hague, and Keegan Kolesar, but the hockey world viewed it much differently.

For the third (fourth? fifth? I’m honestly losing track) time in the past two years the Golden Knights were being laughed at for an embarrassing move that seemed unfathomable for a Cup contender. From Marc-Andre Fleury to either Evgenii Dadonov trade to the Robin Lehner injury saga to this, hockey nation has not been short on ammo to use to rip Vegas.

Now we find out, the Carolina Hurricanes did it on purpose. Or so says agent Allan Walsh.

There were several other GMs around the league that mentioned to me that they thought the way the trade was structured was intentional on Carolina’s part. That there was a little bit of a message being delivered here. Could it have been a 7th round pick or a 6th round pick? I think Carolina intentionally said “nuh uh we’ll do this but we’re going to make it future considerations” because it kind of embarrassed Vegas to have to do that. And in many ways it exposed their cap mismanagement. –Allan Walsh on Agent Provocateur Podcast

Walsh continued.

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Pacioretty: Excited To Join An Organization “Trying To Win Now”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When forward Max Pacioretty was acquired in 2018 the Golden Knights added a sharpshooting veteran to an already strong offensive team. Pacioretty was coming over from an icy situation in Montreal freeing himself from the heavy scrutiny he dealt with as Canadiens captain. It was a fresh start and a chance to help a Western Conference finalist.

With Pacioretty’s scoring ability the Golden Knights made two deep playoff runs, which probably should have been three. In 224 games the top-line winger posted 194 points and was three goals shy from scoring 100 with Vegas. All in all, Pacioretty did what he was paid to do.

When you’re around the league a little bit longer people will start reaching out when they hear stuff. I thought that it could be a possibility I was going somewhere. I didn’t know specifically where. When I found out that it was Carolina, the GM of Vegas called me and we spoke briefly. I got confirmation from Don [Waddell], Rod [Brind’Amour] and even Tom [Dundon]. Once I spoke to everybody about how they wanted me and how I fit in, it was really exciting to join an organization like this and a team that is trying to win right now. – Max Pacioretty during Hurricanes media availability

The 14-year veteran sounded genuinely excited to begin his next NHL chapter when he spoke with Hurricane’s media last week. His departure from Vegas didn’t sound contentious, in fact, he received a call from VGK’s front office, a courtesy that pal Marc-Andre Fleury didn’t get.

It was just a weird year where it seemed like everything went wrong. My injuries were really one offs and bad luck. It was a broken foot and another bone injury in my hand, and then it was a little bit of a core situation there but it didn’t keep me out too long. I hope that’s in my past. I’m doing everything that I can to move on from that. But in reality, as a group we had a lot of tough luck on the injury front and a lot of goofy or fluky injuries. Mine were no different from the rest of the guys in that sense. -Pacioretty

Just like Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez, Robin Lehner, and the front office, Pacioretty would like to put last season behind him. When he was on the ice there’s no doubt the sniper’s shot was the most lethal on the team. Which will be difficult to replace.

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