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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.

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 2 ST. LOUIS BLUES 1 (39-25-7, 85 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to separate themselves from the rest of the Wild Card hopefuls with a victory in St. Louis. Pavel Dorofeyev picked up his 11th goal of the season 5:59 into the opening period. Vegas’ goaltender Logan Thompson turned away 13 St. Louis shots in the period to hold a 1-0 advantage.

Both teams traded chances in the middle period but the puck wouldn’t find the back of the net. After 40 minutes the Golden Knights held on to their one goal advantage.

Thompson made some key stops in the final frame and continued to frustrate St. Louis. With five minutes remaining the home team tied the game 1-1 and forced overtime. Vegas’ goalie made a game saving stop on a St. Louis penalty shot and Jonathan Marchessault heroically ended sudden death with his 39th of the season.

The Golden Knights record improves to 39-25-7 defeating the Blues in overtime. Vegas will get back on the ice tomorrow evening in Nashville. Puck drop against the Predators is scheduled for 5PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: For the first 40 minutes the Golden Knights put on a defensive masterclass. Their exits were wonderful, the neutral zone support was terrific, and the forecheck constantly hounded the Blues into giveaways. Everything was going as perfectly as it could have been until the 3rd. It all unravelled but luckily Logan Thompson came up with a bundle of massive stops including a penalty shot save in OT. And, as always, Jonathan Marchessault comes through with the clutch winner. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.

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Huge Opportunity For Golden Knights To Bury The Blues Tonight

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The most dangerous team to the Golden Knights’ playoff hopes this season is the next team on the schedule, the St. Louis Blues. However, with a great 60 minutes, Vegas can essentially extinguish that threat tonight.

After firing their Stanley Cup winning head coach, Craig Berube, in December, the Blues have turned their season around. They started the year at 13-14-1 under “Chief” Berube and have improved dramatically with a record of 25-16-2 under Drew Bannister. Recently, the Blues have been even hotter too. St. Louis is 6-1-0 in their last seven games and have stormed back to within four points of the Golden Knights in the standings.

Here’s the lineup the Blues are expected to use against the Golden Knights tonight at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Neighbours-Thomas-Schenn
Saad-Buchnevich-Kyrou
Toropchenko-Hayes-Kapanen
Walker-Sundqvist-Blais

Leddy-Parayko
Krug-Kessel
Perunovich-Faulk

Binnington

One of the key players who hasn’t quite made his name for himself nationally yet is Jake Neighbours. The 2020 1st round pick (3 picks before Brendan Brisson), has been on a scoring tear in his first full season in the NHL. He has 25 goals in 71 games including five in the last six games. He also has 18 of his 35 points in the last 26 games.

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Both VGK and Cassidy Have Historical Got The Job Done In The Final 13 Games Of The Year

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

It might have gotten shaky towards the end of the game but last night’s 3-1 victory over the Kraken was vital for Vegas’ playoff push. Currently, the Golden Knights sit in the Western Conference’s final Wild Card spot with a four-point lead over the St. Louis Blues. With 13 games remaining, Vegas desperately needs to take advantage of lesser opponents like Seattle because competition will heavily pick up next week. After Saturday night’s non-conference contest with Columbus, VGK will only face teams from the West. Most believe they still have a chance. As a matter of fact, the Golden Knights will play 9 out of their final 13 games against playoff contenders.

If it was November, December, you have lots of time to work on it. But it’s March so we have less time and we have to get there quicker. But I’m positive about the direction of the team. -Bruce Cassidy

Fortunately, the Golden Knights and coach Bruce Cassidy have a track record of making a strong push to the finish line.

VGK’s Final 13 Games Year-By-Year

  • 2017-18: 6-5-2 (Stanley Cup Final)
  • 2018-19: 5-6-2 (1st Round)
  • 2019-20: 11-2-0* (Conference Finals)
  • 2020-21: 10-3-0 (Conference Finals)
  • 2021-22: 6-3-4 (Missed Playoffs)
  • 2022-23: 9-1-3 (Won Stanley Cup)
    *Season Interrupted

Unlike this season, last year after the All-Star break the Golden Knights were the best team in hockey. With Cassidy at the helm, odds suggest his players will begin to pick up the results they desire. Last night was a good example of Vegas winning games they are expected to. There’s another one of those tomorrow, but after that it gets tricky.

VGK’s Key Remaining Games

  • March 25th @ St. Louis
  • March 26th @ Nashville
  • March 28th @ Winnipeg
  • March 30th @ Minnesota
  • April 2nd vs. Vancouver
  • April 8th @ Vancouver
  • April 10th @ Edmonton
  • April 12th vs Minnesota
  • April 14th vs Colorado

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Golden Knights Remain In Decent Position Compared To Former Reigning And Eventual Champions

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights have completed exactly half of their title-defending season. They started as hot as hot can be setting the new record for most wins in a row to begin a season for a reigning champion. Then, as injuries started to pile up, they hit the skids a little bit and have fallen to 10th in the league in points percentage.

It hasn’t been pretty for the last month or so, but Vegas still finds themselves in a solid position. At the midway post, the Golden Knights are still clearly in the playoff picture, sitting eight points north of the cut line.

After 41 games, the Golden Knights have a points percentage of .622. It’s the 4th best mark in their seven seasons, slightly below their franchise average of .659 at this point in the year. .622 equates to 102 points at the end of the season, which would be good enough to make the playoffs every single year since the current format has been adopted. And, .622 is the exact average points percentage at the halfway point of the season for the last six Stanley Cup runners-up.

Golden KnightsDefending ChampEventual ChampEventual Runner-Up
22-23 (COL/VGK/FLA).683.549.683.488
21-22 (TBL/COL/TBL).610.720.768.720
20-21 (TBL/TBL/MTL).707.707.707.573
19-20 (STL/TBL/DAL).561.707.643.610
18-19 (WSH/STL/BOS).585.659.463.610
17-18 (PIT/WSH/VGK).732.524.646.732
AVERAGE.659.644.652.622

VGK’s current points percentage has them behind all but one of the last six eventual champions at this point in the season. They are also now well behind where they sat a year ago. In 2022-23 the Golden Knights amassed 57 points through 41 games, six points better than they are right now.

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VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 6 ST. LOUIS BLUES 3 (17-5-5, 39 PTS)

Recap:  The Golden Knights were looking for some payback in St. Louis after losing on Monday to the Blues in overtime. Vegas jumped out ahead 8:03 into the game with Zach Whitecloud’s first goal of 2023-24. A minute later, St. Louis woke up and scored the next three goals of the period. After 20 minutes the home team held a 3-1 advantage.

Midway through the middle frame VGK center Jack Eichel scored his 12th of the season to make it a one-goal game. From there the reigning champions tilted the ice for the rest of the period. Jonathan Marchessault evened the score, Keegan Kolesar gave Vegas the lead and Michael Amadio extended it. The Golden Knights carried a 5-3 edge into the second intermission.

Vegas was awarded four power plays in the final four and registered an astounding 18 man-advantage shots on net. Additionally, William Karlsson scored an empty net towards the end of the game. The Stanley Cup champions fought off a few late chances by St. Louis but finished off the home team by three goals.

The Golden Knights record improves to 17-5-5 defeating the Blues 6-3 in St. Louis. Vegas will travel to Dallas for a Saturday afternoon matchup against the Stars. Puck drop is scheduled for 1 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: It was a very slow start with the Golden Knights struggling all over the ice in the 1st, but boy did they turn it on in the 2nd. Their second four goal period of the season turned the game around and seemed to break the Blues who quit playing hockey and started taking penalties in the 3rd. (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

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ST. LOUIS BLUES 2 VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS 1 (16-5-5, 37 PTS) – OT

Recap: The Golden Knights were looking to extend their winning streak to three games with a victory over the St. Louis Blues. Vegas had several 1st period scoring chances but couldn’t convert one into a goal. The Blues broke snapped the scoreless tie with under a minute remaining in the opening period.

In the middle frame Vegas’ frustration continued in St. Louis’ end of the ice. Neither team committed any penalties and the score stood 1-0 Blues.

On the Golden Knights’ 31st shot of the game, Jack Eichel evened the score 1-1 with a pinpoint wrist shot over goaltender Jordan Binnington. St. Louis didn’t take long to end the game 2-1 in overtime.

The Golden Knights record drops to 16-5-5 falling 2-1 to the Blues in overtime. Vegas will hit the road for a two-game trip beginning with a rematch on Wednesday in St. Louis. Puck drop against the Blues is scheduled for 6 PM. (Recap by Jason)

Analysis: The Golden Knights peppered the Blues with dangerous chances but they just couldn’t get one to go. Finally, on a power play in the 3rd, that Eichel drew, Eichel fired a laser that beat Binnington. VGK never touched the puck in OT.  (Analysis by Ken)

Upcoming stories from the Vegas Golden Knights vs. St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.

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