There's really no denying it: The Vegas Golden Knights took the National Hockey League by storm this season, becoming the first expansion team in 38 years to qualify for the playoffs.
The Vegas Golden Knights hope to ride the wave of momentum and get off to a quick 1-0 series lead.
After an incredible first season, the Vegas Golden Knights will host their first playoff game against arguably their biggest rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. Either way, I'm backing the home team to draw first blood. Jonathan Quick made a whopping 37 saves.
On the season, the Kings are averaging 2.9 goals and 20.4 power play percentage per game. David Perron (undisclosed) is unlikely to play after staying out late after practice with potential scratches Ryan Reaves, Oscar Lindberg and Brad Hunt. "I thought we played great. They helped me out a lot, blocking shots and grabbing guys in front of the net, so it makes my job a little easier".
Buzzing the Kings with their speed and forecheck on the opening shifts of the game, the Golden Knights went ahead 1-0 at 3:23.
The game was marked by hits and the final totals showed the Kings came out on top with 68 to Vegas' 59. Kings vs Golden Knights live stream is on NBC Sports Live. William Carrier's heavy check on Los Angeles defenceman Christian Folin led to a turnover, and a few seconds later Vegas' Tomas Nosek spotted Shea Theodore at the point and the defencemen beat Quick with a screened 60 footer. Los Angeles has, as a result, ramped up its shooting percentage and offense to the league average. And Drew Doughty is sometimes thrown off his game when a pest such as Matthew Tkachuk is sent in his direction. Here, too, we see a trend that matches Fleury playing beyond his posts more than other goalies.
"(Perron) and Sbisa are both day to day", Gallant said.
Although the spot was bought before VGK clinched its playoff spot, team officials started with the idea there was a strong possibility the clinch would be secured, says Ivan Flores Merino, chief brand officer, Kre8 Media Outdoor. The Pens scored three goals on their first 10 shots of the game, with the best of those three coming off the stick of Evgeni Malkin, who beat Brian Elliott with a backhander from inside the right faceoff circle. Beyond that Los Angeles has something else the Golden Knights simply can't have, and that's recent playoff experience. "That we wouldn't have a team here, but we are showing what it's about". We're a fast team and we can counter that. In the team's regular-season finale, Fleury allowed six goals on 18 shots in a 7-1 loss to the Flames. "I mean, it's one game", Crosby said.
Attack off the rush: Of the goals tracked for this project the past two seasons, 38.5 percent were scored off the rush and 61.5 percent on play within the offensive zone. It's worth noting LA won the season series against the Knights.
As the hockey world gets ready to take in what is sure to be a playoff crazed atmosphere in Las Vegas tonight, it is also the beginning of a new rivalry.
The Golden Knights limped into the playoffs, having lost two of their final three games and giving up 15 goals over that span but Vegas' defense held their own Wednesday against three Kings power plays.
As well, the Golden Knights are missing hard nosed players like Dustin Brown and Alex Iafallo who can muck it up in the corners, get the puck to the highly skilled players, while putting themselves in positions to contribute offensively.
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