With two minutes to go in last night’s 3-2 victory over the LA Kings, the Golden Knights were forced to fight off a lengthy 5-on-6. LA had their chances but the reigning champions battled in front of the net, forced ineffective shots, and swept pucks out of harm’s way.
The shot we gave up for the 5-on-6 goal we’re going to give up all day long. That’s the goalie’s shot. We wanted to protect the middle. They hit a few seams but again that’s outside the middle. Would we have rather give up nothing? Yes, but we wanted to give up stuff from the outside. I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t a mad scramble in front. If a puck did come in there and there were a lot of bodies we’d have more than them. -Bruce Cassidy
Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy was pleased after the divisional win and brushed off the late attack by the visitors. The Stanley Cup champions executed the model game plan by limiting LA’s opportunities and cashing in on their handful of chances.
Tonight's game breaks a string of 8 consecutive games in which VGK had allowed 3 or more goals.
Their details were so much better tonight in their own end, despite playing most of the game with only 5 defensemen.
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) December 29, 2023
Thursday’s victory elevated Vegas back into a 1st place tie but marked only their second divisional win in regulation since November 14th.
Vegas’ second goal against LA came early in the period off the stick of Michael Amadio. The forward drastically changed the direction of the game. The Kings were forced to switch into chase mode earlier than they would have preferred. According to calculations, Amadio’s sixth of the season basically secured the game for Vegas.
— HighlightHarbor (@HighlightHarbor) December 29, 2023
Amadio’s club is 5-0-1 this season when he finds the back of the net and 10-0-1 going back to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Just trying to build off last year. Come in with a good attitude. Keep playing and doing simple things. -Michael Amadio
Last night the reigning champions played like they had during their successful playoff run. The Golden Knights scored the opening goal, received contributions from multiple lines, forced poor shots from their opponents, and sealed off in front of the net. It was precisely how Vegas needed to play against LA last night and potentially in the postseason.
Buckle up for 2024.