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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 (28-14-6, 62 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights suited up for a back-to-back on the road. Vegas took the opening lead for the second straight night 11:52 into the 1st period. Ivan Barbashev picked up his 12th goal and Alex Pietrangelo recorded his 18th assist of the season. The reigning Stanley Cup champions took a 1-0 lead into the 1st intermission.

The scoring picked up in the middle frame with each team lighting the lamp. First New York evened the score 3:35 into the period but Vegas quickly responded. Sheldon Rempal regained the Golden Knights lead with his first career NHL goal and a couple of shifts later Nic Roy extended it to 3-1.

The Islanders tightened the score with a shorthanded goal midway through the final frame. Vegas held off a late 6-on-5 to secure a 3-2 victory.

The Golden Knights record improves to 28-14-6 defeating the Islanders 3-2 in New York. Vegas will continue their road trip on Friday against the New York Rangers. Puck drop from Madison Square Garden is scheduled for 4 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: After a defensive game that upset Bruce Cassidy, the Golden Knights responded with a much better defensive effort in this one. They allowed a bundle of shots but they were excellent at boxing out in front and keeping the Isles out of the dangerous areas. Offensively they capitalized on a few blunders from New York and made it hold up. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Islanders at UBS Arena.

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Golden Knights Are Smoking Eastern Conference Teams At Home, But Struggling On The Road

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Exactly half of the NHL’s 32 teams only get to travel to the greatest city in the world one time a year to play a hockey game. Typically in front of a throng of their own fans, you’d think they want to make the most of it by playing a great game against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Well, that hasn’t been the case so far here in 2023-24.

With last night’s drubbing of the current Metro Division-leading New York Rangers, the Golden Knights have now improved to 7-2-0 against the Eastern Conference at home this year. The win is VGK’s third straight against the East and the second consecutive against division leaders.

The Golden Knights have outscored their out-of-conference foes by a score of 31-21 and they have posted 3+ goal victories in five of the nine games at T-Mobile Arena.

On the flip side, the East has not been kind to the Golden Knights away from home. Vegas has traveled to the other side of the country twice this year to play a total of seven games. The Golden Knights are just 1-5-1 and are currently on a five-game losing streak.

Where VGK have a +10 goal differential against the East at home they are -13 on the road. The Golden Knights offense has been muted away from home as they score a full goal per game less (3.4 at home, 2.4 on road).

There’s good news and bad news with this trend on the upcoming schedule. The good news, the next game is at home against an Eastern Conference rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens shut the Golden Knights out in Pittsburgh earlier this year and the game wasn’t particularly competitive. However, Washington did the same thing, and when they came to Vegas, the Golden Knights thrashed them 4-1.

The bad news is that the last four games before the All Star break are all on the road against Eastern Conference teams. To make matters worse, they are scheduled as a pair of back-to-backs. The Golden Knights are 1-2-1 on the second leg of back-to-backs including that shutout to the Penguins.

VGK are playing much better over the past few games, being led by strong goaltending and an offensive resurgence from the captain. They are in a solid position as it currently stands in the playoff chase, but with the teams charging behind them, these next five games will go a long way toward setting the tone for the long break that follows them.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 (23-12-5, 51 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights welcomed the New York Islanders looking to snap their two-game losing streak. Star center Jack Eichel opened the scoring 6:25 into the 1st period with his 17th goal of 2023-24. New York evened the score five minutes later after the officials reviewed and awarded the Islanders their first goal. Vegas fought off a late penalty to hold the 1-1 tie.

Pavel Dorofeyev snapped the 1-1 tie with his fifth goal of the season late in the middle frame. 90 seconds later Nic Roy extended the lead to 3-1 before the 2nd intermission.

The Golden Knights took advantage of a power play opportunity that carried over from the 2nd period and stretched their lead to 4-1. Eichel scored his second of the evening for his team-leading 18th goal. The Islanders got within two, but Roy notched his second goal of the night regaining the Golden Knights three goal lead.

The Golden Knights record improves to 23-12-5 dropping the Islanders 5-2. Vegas will travel for a one-game road trip on Wednesday for a matchup with the Colorado Avalanche. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas started out the game well getting a number of early chances and converting on one. The middle 30 minutes were a bit of a slog but then VGK burst out with a flurry of offense. The defense was much better in front of Thompson tonight, and Thompson himself was strong as well. (Analysis by Ken)

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

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 2 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (29-18-4, 62 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights were hoping to get back on track before the bye week with a visit to Long Island, NY. Logan Thompson was strong in net holding the Islanders scoreless in the 1st period. After the opening 20 minutes the game was locked in a 0-0 tie.

The scoring picked up in the middle frame with both teams matching goals. Early on in the period the Islanders took the first lead of the game, but William Carrier evened the score for Vegas with 3:52 remaining in the second period. After 40 minutes, the game was locked 1-1.

Both goaltenders were excellent in the final period, keeping the game tied for the entire period to force overtime. Late in OT, New York ripped one by Thompson to win 2-1 on home ice.

The Golden Knights’ record drops to 29-18-4 losing 2-1 to the Islanders. Vegas will have nine days off to rest and prepare for the remainder of the regular season. Their next game will be on February 7th against the Predators in Nashville.(Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was very much what you’d expect between two teams who cannot buy a goal right now. The chances were there all night from both teams and VGK worked through a typically tight Isles neutral zone most of the game but either couldn’t hit the net or beat Varlamov. Logan Thompson was good again, but couldn’t make the one final save in OT to keep the hope alive for that coveted second point. Now a while off, but then two more tough road games on the way out. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Islanders at UBS Arena.

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NEW YORK ISLANDERS 5 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 (22-10-1, 45 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights received good news before their game with the New York Islanders, as Alex Pietrangelo declared he was ready to return to the lineup. New York struck first in the opening period taking a 1-0 advantage into the 1st intermission.

Reilly Smith evened the score 1:11 into the middle frame with his 15th goal of 2022-23. The Islanders’ offense warmed up and netted the next two goals of the period. After 40 minutes of action the Golden Knights trailed 3-1. 

The Golden Knights got closer when Smith ripped in his second power play goal of the evening. The Islanders added two empty netters late to seal their victory.

The Golden Knights’ record drops to 22-10-1 losing 5-2 to the Islanders. Vegas will try to get back on track Monday night against the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop against the Sabres is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights took a little while to get going in this game as both teams had a bit of a sleepy start. It picked up and VGK’s special teams were crucial in keeping them in the game. The push in the 3rd period definitely felt like it was going to be enough but the freak injury to Stone seemed to slow things down. The home woes have definitely started to creep into everyone’s heads. (Recap by Ken)

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

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Islanders’ Barry Trotz On VGK: “They’re Legit”

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It was the perfect road trip for the Golden Knights last week along the Eastern Seaboard. Winning in Boston, New Jersey, and two in New York sent a loud message across the league. Vegas’ four-game sweep had some hiccups but collecting eight points was all that mattered. Three of their opponents were openly impressed by how the Golden Knights found ways to win.

They’re a legit, deep, big, fast, well-coached hockey team. A good sign for us. We measured up against a pretty good hockey team. -Barry Trotz, NYI coach

The Cup-winning coach knows Vegas well, and has had some success against them. We’re all aware of Trotz and the Capitals eliminating the Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Finals but the results have been different in the regular season.

Outside of the postseason the current New York Islanders coach is 2-5-1 against Vegas. However, most games were tight and Trotz’ players were always prepared.

We played composed, we played with some urgency when we were down a goal to come back like this against a team like Vegas that keeps pressing. I thought we did a really good job tonight to come back and get the lead. It’s unfortunate to give up a goal at the end like this and lose that point. -Jean-Gabriel Pageau, NYI forward

The Islanders forced the Golden Knights into a hard-fought 60 minutes. Vegas’ skill and speed stood out to the Islanders, and specifically some of their quicker players.

You watch [Stephenson] play now, there’s no governor and he realizes it. He’s got himself to the next level. And he’s a good player. -Trotz

Vegas was sharp for several periods in New York and were hampered in others, but it never cost them in the end. Against the Rangers, the Golden Knights were completely in control of the game after the opening 20 minutes, but the remaining 40 were challenging.

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VGK Flying Home Happy, But Still Not Satisfied

It’s December and once again the Golden Knights are red hot. They’re coming home from a four-game road trip with eight points in hand, wins in eight of the last nine, and the top spot in the Pacific Divison.

Here’s the crazy part… they still aren’t playing close to as well as they can, and they know it.

It was a big road trip. We got some lucky bounces. We didn’t necessarily play our best games the past few games, but tonight I thought we played pretty well. It was probably tonight and that game in Boston that were our best two games of the trip. -Jonathan Marchessault

The Golden Knights used 3rd period comebacks to rescue both games against the teams from New York and then won each game in shootout. They struggled in the 2nd period in each of the games, fighting turnover problems which led to much less puck possession than they prefer.

However, the resilience of this group continues to shine through.

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