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Barzal’s OT winner sends VGK to 4th straight loss

Just as the game was looking like it could go to a shootout, center Mathew Barzal had other ideas and won the game for the New York Islanders, 2-1, in what is the fourth loss on this road trip for the Vegas Golden Knights.

Additionally, it goes down as their second overtime loss this trip.

With the overtime loss, the Vegas Golden Knights now sit at 29-18-4 with 62 points in the Pacific Division. Seattle currently holds a one-point lead over Vegas for the top spot in the division. Vegas is ahead of LA via tiebreaker, meaning if the playoffs started today, Seattle, Vegas, LA would be the top three out of the Pacific in that order.

Vegas has grabbed just four out of a possible 16 points in their last eight games with a record of 1-5-2 in that eight-game span.

The Golden Knights will have 10 days off for the NHL All-Star break before they play their next game. Next time Vegas is back in action will be Feb. 7 at Bridgestone Arena as they take on the Nashville Predators in what will be game five of a six game road trip.

“If we come out of the break playing like we did tonight, I think we’re going to be on the winning end more times than not,” defenseman Shea Theodore said

Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. and can be seen on AT&T Sportsnet in Las Vegas and ESPN+ nationwide.

The last the Golden Knights and Predators squared off was on Dec. 31 at T-Mobile Arena in what was a 5-4 OT win for Vegas.

After goalie Adin Hill got the start the night before against the Rangers in what was a 4-1 loss, fellow goalie Logan Thompson got the nod in net for Saturday’s game. Saturday’s game marked Thompson’s fourth start in the past week, three on the road (vs. Washington, at Arizona, at New Jersey, at New York Islanders).

Thompson finished his evening with 35 saves on 37 shots faced for a final save percentage of .946 in the loss. He is now 19-13-3 on the season and is in the top 10 in the NHL for wins by a goalie this season.

Opposing goaltender Semyon Varlamov finished with 44 saves on 45 shots faced for a final save percentage of .978 in the win for the Islanders. Varlamov was also awarded the third star of the game.

It was a calm first period of play with neither team lighting the lamp as the game shifted to the second period with a 0-0 tie.

For the 13th time in 15 games, the Golden Knights allowed the game’s first goal when left-winger Anders Lee found the back of the net to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead less than four minutes into the middle frame.

With less than four minutes to play in the second, Vegas left-winger William Carrier responded to the Lee goal with one of his own to tie the game at 1-1 heading into the final period of play.

Carrier’s goal was assisted by center Chandler Stepehnson and right-winger Phil Kessel for their 33rd and 12th points of the year respectively. Kessel now has three points in the last four games (two goals, one assist).


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