Before Monday night’s game between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche from Denver, the VGK did not have a regulation loss since Jan. 27 against the New York Rangers.
Tonight, Colorado shutout Vegas, 3-0, from Ball Arena to snap the nine-game point streak the visitors were riding coming in.
“They checked us really well,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I thought the difference in the game for us was in the offensive zone. We got pushed off pucks pretty much all night.”
Vegas still remains the top team in the Pacific Division with 76 points after this loss and currently sit at 35-19-6 on the year which leads Los Angeles by two points and Edmonton by four points in the division standings. This was the first game since returning from the all-star break that Vegas lost in regulation and not received at least one point in.
The VGK have now wrapped up a brief one-game road trip in Denver and will now head home for the first of three straight games inside T-Mobile Arena. First, the Carolina Hurricanes roll into town on Wednesday, March 1 for a date with the Knights.
Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted nationwide on TNT.
This will be the first of two meetings between Carolina and Vegas with the second of those meetings taking place Mar. 11 inside the confines of PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC.
Monday marked the second time this season that the Golden Knights have been shutout in a game this season. The other time it occurred was Jan.16 against the Dallas Stars in what was a 4-0 loss inside T-Mobile Arena.
“We just didn’t have our ‘A’ game tonight,” defenseman Alec Martinez said.
Winning goaltender Alexander Georgiev stopped all 31 shots he faced for a perfect save percentage of 1.000 in the shutout win.
On the other side of the ice, Adin Hill made his return to the net for Vegas after returning from injury. It was Hill’s first game action in nearly ten days.
Hill finished his night with 31 saves on 33 shots faced for a final save percentage of .939.
It didn’t take long for the Colorado crowd to get excited about their team’s performance as the lamp was lit just 14 seconds into the game when right-winger Mikko Rantanen put in his 39th goal of the season to give the home squad an early 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the period went scoreless as each team had 11 shots in the opening frame along with seven hits for each side.
The second period saw another Rantanen goal put up on the board, giving him 40 goals on the season and Colorado a 2-0 lead with 3:40 to play in the second. Vegas remained scoreless through two periods of play as the game moved to the third period with the Avs holding a two-goal lead.
Vegas was hit with three penalties in the period but successfully killed off all of them. Colorado served two penalties in the second and likewise, killed off both of them, leaving both teams scoreless on the power play through two periods.
Colorado won the shots on goal battle for the second period 17-12 and they led Vegas 28-23 in shots on goal for the game after two periods.
Avalanche center Nathan Mackinnon put the third and final goal of the game in the back of the net for the home team to secure the 3-0 win in the third period. This goal came via an empty net with 3:27 to go in regulation and was Mackinnon’s 22nd goal of the season.