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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 3 SEATTLE KRAKEN 1 (37-25-7, 81 PTS)

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to bounce back from their loss on Tuesday with a victory over the Seattle Kraken. Vegas took the opening lead 8:14 into the game after Jack Eichel poked in a loose puck in front of Seattle’s net. The Golden Knights outshot the Kraken 12-6 and carried a 1-0 lead going into the first intermission.

Vegas continued to pepper Seattle with shots in the middle frame but couldn’t extend their lead. Both teams were awarded a 2nd period power play, but neither could find the back of the net. After 40 minutes the home team held a 1-0 edge.

The Golden Knights were forced to kill off multiple penalties in the final frame, and the Kraken took advantage and evened the score with 6:31 left in the game. With under two minutes remaining, Keegan Kolesar came up with the game-winning goal after a razor-sharp offside review that went VGK’s way. Chandler Stephenson added an empty net goal to seal the game.

The Golden Knights record improves to 37-25-7 defeating the Kraken 3-1. Vegas will next host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night from T-Mobile Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: Vegas controlled the shot counter in that game but they really did not dominate it the way you would prefer against a team spiraling down. Neutral zone remained fairly open for much of the game and the offense could not generate much in tight aside from the two goals, both of which were a bit goofy. Nonetheless, that’s a win they really really needed and it’s important they got it. (Analysis by Ken)

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 5 SEATTLE KRAKEN 4 (35-23-7, 77 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights traveled north to Seattle for a Pacific Division matchup with the Kraken. Vegas committed two penalties in the opening frame but was able to kill off both. After 20 minutes the game was locked in a scoreless tie. 

The home team took the opening lead 4:14 into the middle period. Two minutes later the Golden Knights evened the score on their second power play opportunity. Leading goal scorer Jonathan Marchessault tied the game with his 36th goal of 2023-24. Vegas took their first lead late in the period off Pavel Dorofeyev’s 9th of the season.

Leading 2-1, the Golden Knights were hoping to extend their lead on a man-advantage situation. Unfortunately, Seattle killed off their penalty and immediately tied the game. The Kraken would go on to score three unanswered goals, capturing a 4-2 advantage. William Karlsson kept the Golden Knights alive with his 23rd goal of the season. With time winding down, Marchessault forced overtime with his second goal of the contest. Deep into overtime, Karlsson flipped the puck to a driving Jack Eichel for the game-winning score.

The Golden Knights record improves to 35-23-7 defeating the Kraken 5-4 in overtime. Vegas will next hit the ice on Thursday night in Calgary. Puck drop against the Flames is scheduled for 6 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: In a matchup the Golden Knights have historically dominated, it wasn’t looking so great there late in the 3rd. The Kraken forecheck gave the Golden Knights trouble all night which helped them amass a two-goal lead with less than eight minutes to go. But, the Golden Knights dug in and rescued a point and then the game with a couple big goals by Misfits and then the game-winner from Eichel. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena.

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WINTER CLASSIC 2024: SEATTLE KRAKEN 3 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 0

Recap: The Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken dropped the puck outside in the Great Northwest for each franchise’s first NHL Winter Classic. Seattle took the honor of opening the scoring 4:50 into the contest. The Kraken deflected one past Logan Thompson to take a 1-0 advantage into the first intermission.

Seattle added to their lead quickly into the middle frame. The Golden Knights were awarded a late period power play but couldn’t cut the lead in half before the break.

Trailing 2-0 the Golden Knights tried to make a 3rd period comeback. However, Seattle made it difficult with another early frame goal. The Kraken jumped on a loose puck in the Golden Knights zone and slipped it past Logan Thompson 2:10 into the period. Vegas created chances in the final ten minutes but couldn’t find the back of the net.

The Golden Knights record drops to 22-11-5 falling to the Kraken in the 2024 NHL Winter Classic. Vegas will head back home for a weeknight matchup against the Florida Panthers. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: In the marquee regular season game of the year the Golden Knights were a no show. Forecheck really never got going aside from a few individual efforts here and there. That meant limited zone time and not much by way of pressure on the Seattle D. The Kraken played a simple game that limited VGK’s transition and allowed them to spend more time in the offensive zone than they usually do against Vegas. Really poor showing from a team that typically steps up in these types of events. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Seattle Kraken outdoors at T-Moble Park.

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Despite Historical Dominance, Kraken No Easy Opponent In Winter Classic

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

During the short histories of the NHL’s newest teams, the 31st franchise has dominated the 32nd. The Golden Knights have beaten the Seattle Kraken eight of the nine times the teams have matched up with Vegas winning by multiple goals in all but one of the victories.

In the nine games, the Golden Knights have more than doubled Seattle’s output, scoring 34 while allowing just 16.

So, with Monday’s Winter Classic on the horizon, it wouldn’t be out of bounds to expect the Golden Knights to cruise to a fairly easy victory.

However, that may not be the case considering the Kraken’s form leading up to the marquee game. After their OT win last night, Seattle has now won four straight and have recorded points in eight in a row.

Goalie Joey Daccord has been on a tear since taking over the job in Phillipp Grubauer’s absence. In the last seven games, Daccord leads the NHL in save percentage (.944) and goals against average (1.70).

Last 10 GamesVGKSEA
Goals3728
Goals Against3919
Shots/Game31.526.4
Save Percentage.896.953
Power Play23.5%20.0%
Penalty Kill66.7%90.0%

Seattle is also succeeding in a place that has hurt the Golden Knights recently. The Kraken lead the NHL in goals through traffic according to hockey analytics. Vegas has been allowing a lot more shots recently and even when they are at their best shots from the outside are plentiful. Seattle’s ability to find the net through traffic could pose problems for a VGK team that has been struggling to keep the puck out of their net for the last month or so.

That being said, Seattle’s weaknesses still matchup well with what the Golden Knights do best. If Vegas can continue to break out of the zone the way they did against Los Angeles, there will be plenty of scoring chances off the rush.

The Golden Knights will enter as just small favorites on the road in unfamiliar surroundings for both teams. Team form says this game will be close, history favors the reigning champs.

Cup Champs Finally Face A Challenging Opponent

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke, SinBin.vegas)

Normally, after a team wins a championship the opposition tends to be heavily motivated the following season. Through three games, the Stanley Cups champions have been underwhelmed with their early season competition. That changed last night against the Dallas Stars.

That was an intense game, it was a fun game. It felt just like a playoff game again. You’re fighting for every inch. That’s why we play until the very last second. We know what to expect. We have a target on our back. -Keegan Kolesar

Opponents have struggled to get off quality shots and create scoring chances. Which has led to an abundance of offensive zone time for Jack Eichel and others. With the exception of Dallas, Vegas has been living in the opposition’s defensive zone.

The lineup is defending, scoring, and stopping like it’s the Stanley Cup Finals. So, of course they’re spending most of their time in the lead. Last night was the only outlier, but Vegas still managed to earn more points in the waning minutes.

2023-24 VGK vs Opponents

  • VGK: 3.75 Goals Per Game
  • Opponents: 1.50 GPG
  • VGK: 33 Shots Per Game
  • Opponents: 26.1 SPG
  • VGK: 21.79 Hits Per Game
  • Opponents: 16.71 Hits Per Game
  • VGK: 15.67 Shots Blocked Per Game
  • Opponents: 19.71 SB Per Game
  • VGK: 13.3% Power Play Percentage
  • Opponents: 0% PP Percentage vs. VGK

Expectedly, the physicality so far has had a sniff of playoff intensity. There have been several fights, including two last night, a two-game suspension, and dozens of post-whistle scrums. Unsurprisingly, the Golden Knights are in the top ten in hits per game, penalties drawn per game, and have been sent to the box for fighting 4 times in 4 games. Even the youngsters in Anaheim took shots Vegas’ veterans.

After their shootout victory against Dallas, the Golden Knights will be facing another team with past emotions and motivation. Dallas pushed Vegas until the bitter end, Winnipeg on Thursday, and LA later this month should bring the same intensity. All three have reasons for revenge. Realistically, those are the toughest two matchups left in October. It won’t be until November that Vegas will get a chance to flash their championship jewelry to Calgary, Vancouver, and the embittered Edmonton Oilers.

They were locking up on defense pretty good in their own end. It was a great tip from Karlsson. Just a big play at big time. We know as a group we’re never out of a game. -Adin Hill

Unlike their other three opponents, the Stars came out hard, physical, and left T-Mobile Arena with a point. At this early stage in the NHL, only a handful of teams will travel to Las Vegas and perform that way. The way the Stanley Cup champions are built, there won’t be many times they’re out of a game.

The formula to the playoffs is already a pace ahead for the Golden Knights. They’ve collected their first eight points and it wasn’t all that hard. Vegas took care of their preliminary soft schedule and battled it out with Dallas in OT/SO. They’ll look to do it again to another playoff casualty on Thursday.

VGK’s Championship Identity Unmatched In Pacific

(Photo Credit: @_jkarsh on Instagram)

Let’s take a look around the Pacific Division. Self-proclaimed contender loses 8-1. California’s brightest was outpowered by Colorado and the Western Conference’s surprise team is 0-2-0 with one goal in 60 minutes. Like years past, the Golden Knights will greatly benefit from their light divisional schedule. Five out of the eight Pacific teams are considered out or borderline playoff rosters.

NHL Power Rankings – Pacific Division Teams

  • Edmonton Oilers (2nd)
  • Vegas Golden Knights (5th)
  • Los Angeles Kings (11th)
  • Seattle Kraken (16th)
  • Vancouver Canucks (18th)
  • Calgary Flames (21st)
  • Anaheim Ducks (27th)
  • San Jose Sharks (32nd)

After their 4-1 opening night victory against the Seattle Kraken, the reigning champions walked into their locker room where they undressed, gave their postgame interviews, and moved on. It was business as usual for the Golden Knights, even after an emotional, jubilant celebration. At the end of the day, Bruce Cassidy complimented his guys for playing a full 60 minutes and the focus turned to San Jose. In an unsurprising fashion, Vegas handled their duties and left Northern California with two more points.

It won’t be that easy for other clubs in the division. The Golden Knights play with an identity, a championship identity, while the other seven are trying to find theirs. Take the Kraken for example. On Tuesday, Seattle left the ice and patted themselves on the back for their effort in a losing cause. Coach Dave Hakstol fluffed off the result and bizarrely tossed it aside because it was opening night.

Transition, execution in and around the net, getting to a couple of more rebounds. It’s early, it’s game one. There will be a number of things I’m sure we’ll want to look at and improve. That’s typical at this time of year. -Dave Hakstol, SEA coach

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 4 SEATTLE KRAKEN 1 (1-0-0, 2 PTS)

Recap:  The Stanley Cup champions began their quest to defend their title on Tuesday night against the Seattle Kraken. After raising the City of Las Vegas’ first Stanley Cup banner the Golden Knights started up right where they left off. After a few early rushes from Seattle, Vegas’ offense took control. Chandler Stephenson scored the first goal of 2023-24 in acrobatic fashion.

Vegas controlled the puck earlier on in the middle frame which lead to a successful breakaway for Ivan Barbashev. Brayden McNabb found Barbashev up the middle with a successful seam for VGK’s third goal of the game. The Golden Knights successfully killed off two penalties to hold on to their 3-1 edge.

Seattle put on the pressure early in the final period but Adin Hill stood tall in net. The Golden Knights fought off a crucial five minute penalty preserving their two-goal lead. With 1:15 remaining in the game Jack Eichel iced the game with an empty-net goal.

The Golden Knights win their first game of the season 4-1 over the Kraken. Vegas will try and remain undefeated on Thursday night in San Jose. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: After an absolutely wonderful banner-raising ceremony, the Golden Knights unsurprisingly started a bit slow. It didn’t take much to turn it around though as they scored on their first two great chances and then picked up the pace in the 2nd. They then made a 3rd period 5-minute penalty kill look insanely easy. Nice win as the champs start off on the right foot. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. Seattle Kraken at T-Mobile Arena.

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