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Goals Allowed In 3rd Period Stalling Golden Knights In Standings

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Maybe, we’re overly concerned because it’s fresh on everyone’s mind. On Tuesday in Nashville, the Golden Knights coughed up a three-goal lead in the final 20 minutes of their overtime loss to the predatory Predators. It was the 10th time this month that Vegas has allowed an opponent to tie the game or take the lead in the final frame. It seems out of character for a reigning Stanley Cup champion known for their impeccable defense. Unfortunately, VGK’s suit of armor hasn’t been as effective lately.

We had a great 40 minutes. It’s just playing that complete 60 is something we have to get better at, obviously. When you have a lead like that, teams start to cheat a lot and produce offense. I don’t think we handled that well. – Noah Hanifin

Since the beginning of March, the Golden Knights have allowed more 3rd period goals than every other NHL team with the exception of the wretched San Jose Sharks. In 12 games this month, Vegas gave up 26 3rd period goals and their opponents are averaging 2.2 in the final frame alone.

VGK’s Month Of 3rd Period Generosity

  • 03/26/24 @ NAS: 3 (Game-Tying)
  • 03/25/24 @ STL: 1 (Game-Tying)
  • 03/21/24 vs. SEA: 1 (Game-Tying)
  • 03/19/24 vs. TB: 3 (Go Ahead/Game Winning, ENG)
  • 03/17/24 vs. NJD: 1 (Go Ahead)
  • 03/14/24 @ CGY: 4 (Game-Tying, Game Winning, ENG)
  • 03/12/24 @ SEA: 3 (Game-Tying, Go Ahead)
  • 03/09/24 @ DET: 2 (Game-Tying)
  • 03/04/24 @ CBJ: 3 (Game Winning, ENG)
  • 03/02/24 @ BUF: 4 (PPG, ENG)

VGK’s monthly total is far and away the most of any Western Conference contender. The nearest team is the Winnipeg Jets, who have allowed 14 goals in March.

Same goes for Vegas’ divisional foes. Vancouver, Edmonton and LA have allowed 13 3rd period goals or fewer since March 1st. There’s no way around it, the differential should be concerning for Golden Knights fans.

3rd Period Goals Allowed in March By Western Conference Contenders

  • 32nd – VGK: 26
  • 18th – WPG: 14
  • 15th – EDM: 13
  • 9th – DAL: 10
  • 5th – LAK: 8
  • 3rd – NAS: 6
  • 2nd – COL: 5
  • 1st – VAN: 5

It’s a stark difference between Vegas and the seven other clubs in the West with high hopes in the postseason. It should be noted that the Golden Knights have been impacted by injuries and illnesses this month. However, a battered lineup isn’t a good enough excuse for allowing 20 more goals than Colorado or Vancouver. One of those teams could be hosting the Golden Knights next month in the opening round of the playoffs. One 3rd period score could decide a series.

Sadly, March isn’t an outlier for the reigning champions. Over 72 games, the Golden Knights have allowed the 8th most 3rd period goals. This season, Vegas has given up 86 goals in the final 20 minutes. The allowance rate has severely impacted Vegas’ placement in the Western Conference standings. Thankfully, their 3rd period holes won’t be enough to cause the Golden Knights to miss the postseason cut line.

It’s not the end of the world. You’re going to have those nights, but we’ve been building in the right direction. We’ve been a lot closer to our game, and I thought we did a lot of things well. – Bruce Cassidy

Now, there are elements throughout the month that should be positively highlighted. Along with the Kings and the Predators, the Golden Knights have allowed the least amount of (6) 2nd period goals this month. To have an even more half glass full type attitude, Vegas only gave up (9) 1st period goals in March. If VGK can hold opponents to 0.8 goals through 40 minutes in the playoffs, 3rd period results are likely to change for the better.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 (39-25-8, 86 PTS) – OT

Recap: It didn’t take long for the Golden Knights to take the first lead in Nashville. Vegas’ Ivan Barbashev recorded his 16th goal of the season 2:45 into the game. A couple of shifts later Brett Howden doubled Vegas’ advantage and Shea Theodore widened the lead to 3-0.

Both teams swapped power players in the middle frame but neither could take advantage. Nashville eventually got on the scoreboard with a goal late in the period. Fortunately, William Karlsson regained Vegas’ three goal lead and took a 4-1 lead into the second intermission.

The train went off the tracks in the 3rd period though as Nashville stormed back to tie the game. Ryan O’Reilly scored about six minutes in and then Filip Forsberg brought it one closer. It appeared the third goal would come back due to an offside challenge but they ruled it a good goal. On the ensuing power play, Nashville tied it.

In OT, Roman Jose drove the goal and slipped one around Jiri Patera.

The Golden Knights record falls to 39-25-8 falling the Predators 5-4 in Nashville. Vegas will continue their four-game road trip up north in Winnipeg for a matchup on Thursday. Puck drop against the Jets is scheduled for 5 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights were excellent to start this game in Nashville as the forecheck at the Predators alive in the 1st. Things started to go a bit haywire in the 2nd as the Red pushed back but VGK somehow escaped it with a three goal lead. It went downhill quickly in the 3rd as they squandered a massive lead. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

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VGK Crumbled Under Nashville’s Physical Brand Of Hockey

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When the Predators visited T-Mobile Arena back in January they laid 48 hits on the Golden Knights, the most any team has delivered Vegas this season. Despite not getting the outcome they preferred in that game, Nashville came back with the same game plan last night and this time it worked.

The 40 hits absorbed by the Golden Knights are the third most of the season and it really impacted Vegas in all three zones.

That’s their game. If you’re not on your toes moving the puck and supporting it well then you are going to take some hits and they’re going to recover some pucks. That’s what happened early on. It took us a while to get going against it. Credit to them, they stuck with it, that’s how they play. -Bruce Cassidy

Vegas struggled in two areas against the heavy Nashville game. First, the Golden Knights turned the puck over along the walls on numerous occasions. The Predators’ active defensemen took away VGK’s preferred exit route and it led to extended time in the defensive zone. Second, Nashville players were camped out in front of Adin Hill’s net most of the night.

They took advantage of our slow start and I think it had a lot to do with them gaining momentum throughout the game. -Cassidy

High hit totals against have been troublesome at times for VGK this year. Of the 13 times a team has delivered at least 30 hits to Vegas, the Golden Knights are 6-5-2 including multi-goal losses to Nashville, Seattle, Buffalo, and Florida twice. Even if the Golden Knights know it’s coming, sometimes it has caught them off guard.

This time of the year every game is going to be physical. That’s a team that lost big last week so you knew they were going to come out. They’re fighting for a playoff spot, and so are we, so we needed a little bit more. I know it’s a back-to-back but we needed more. -Alex Pietrangelo

Four of the next seven games are against teams in the Top 10 in hits this season. The Golden Knights are capable of running teams that play a physical brand of hockey out of the building, they just have to be playing at the top of their game to do so. Right now, they aren’t, but there’s no better time than now to pick it back up.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 (32-18-6, 70 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to sweep their back-to-back situation with a victory over the visiting Nashville Predators. The Predators got on the scoreboard first 5:35 into the opening period. Minutes later the Golden Knights drew a hooking penalty and had several chances on the early power play. Vegas wouldn’t score but later set up veteran defenseman Alex Pietrangelo’s third goal of the season. With under a minute left in the opening 20 minutes Nashville jumped ahead 2-1. 

Nashville took a two-goal edge deep into the middle frame and later added to their lead. After 40 minutes of action visitors held a 4-1 advantage. 

After missing some time in the 2nd period William Karlsson came back to score his 18th goal on the power play. With under three minutes remaining Michael Amadio got Vegas within one. Moments later Nashville scored an empty net to spoil the home team’s night. 

The Golden Knights record drops to 32-18-6 losing to the Predators 5-3. Vegas will next face the Toronto Maple Leads on Thursday night. Puck drop against the Leafs is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Was not Adin Hill’s night which put the Golden Knights in a pretty deep hole. Nashville came in with a plan on playing a physical brand of hockey and Vegas did not respond very well. It was a valiant effort trying to get back into it in the 3rd but they came up short. Plus, Mark Stone leaving in the 2nd period leaves plenty of room for concern. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators at T-Mobile Arena.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 NEW YORK RANGERS 1 (26-14-5, 57 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to make two straight home wins with an out-of-conference win over the New York Rangers. At the 11:35 mark of the opening period, Jonathan Marchessault notched his 19th goal of the season, giving his team a 1-0 advantage. A few minutes later Ivan Barbashev was awarded a good goal after a lengthy review to determine if he kicked the puck in the net. Through 20 minutes the home team led 2-0.

Barbashev extended the lead late in the middle frame on the power play. The winger tapped in his second of the night courtesy of Mark Stone’s feed in front of the Rangers net. Moments later Keegan Kolesar tipped in VGK’s fourth goal of the evening.

The Rangers scored a power play goal to open up the 3rd period but Vegas went on to score an empty-net goal and pick up their second win in a row.

The Golden Knights record improves to 26-14-5 defeating the Rangers 5-1. Vegas will wrap up their homestand on Saturday night against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. Puck drop against the Penguins is scheduled for 7 PM.  (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Rangers controlled the first 10 minutes or so of the game but they couldn’t break through as the Golden Knights held most of the shots to the outside. Then a few transition chances sparked VGK and they scored a pair. From there, they frustrated the Rangers in the 2nd and took a commanding lead. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Rangers at T-Mobile Arena.

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Stone Hopes To Jumpstart VGK After Monday’s Offensive Explosion

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The last time Golden Knights fans saw Mark Stone explode offensively was the series-clinching Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. The captain tied a bow on Vegas’ first-ever championship with three goals and two assists in a 9-3 blowout. Monday’s game was not nearly as important but Stone broke out again, solving Vegas’ scoring woes for one night.

I was just fortunate enough to be in shooting spots tonight. I’d be a fool to pass up the ones that I got. Those just come some days and other days they don’t, but we just need to keep finding ways to play those 60-minute games as a good team. -Mark Stone

Stone completed the three goal challenge for the 3rd time in a Golden Knights uniform, two coming in the postseason.

Mark Stone Hat Trick Highlights

  • 04/14/19 – 1st Round Game 3 vs SJ: 3 Goals, 2 Assists, 4 Shots on Goal, 18:24 Time On Ice, VGK wins 6-3
  • 06/13/23 – SCF Game 5 vs FLA: 3 Goals, 1 Shorthanded Goal, 3 Shots on Goal, 16:54 Time On Ice, VGK wins 9-3
  • 01/15/24 – Game 44 vs NAS: 3 Goals, 5 Shots On Net, 18:48 Time On Ice, VGK wins 4-1

Going into Monday’s matinee, the reigning Stanley Cup champions were averaging an insufficient 2.5 goals per game in the last 14 games. Without the laundry list of injured Golden Knights, healthy players must step up and score enough to win. It was no surprise that VGK’s leader was the one to break out for three of Vegas’ four goals. Hopefully, his performance solved the Golden Knights’ lack of offense going forward.

We have to be a better version of ourselves for longer if we expect to get points. We’ve even talked about that. We might even be doing that and still not get points because teams will just be playing better. We’ve witnessed some of that lately. -Bruce Cassidy

Several times this season after a slow night offensively, Stone aided his team to success by scoring in the next game. In early November, Vegas began the month with a paltry three goals in nine periods. In Vegas’ next match, the captain scored a game-winner late in the final frame. He also added two power play assists, giving the Golden Knights offense a much-needed shot in the arm.

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Golden Knights vs. Nashville Predators Photo Gallery – January 15th, 2024

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