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Colorado’s Georgiev blanks Vegas

Goaltender Alexander Georgiev saved all 25 shots the Vegas Golden Knights fired at him en route to a 3-0 win for the Colorado Avalanche inside Ball Arena Wednesday, Jan. 10. This is now the second time since the turn of the calendar year that the Golden Knights have been held scoreless in a game.

“Not good enough to beat a very good hockey club,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I think we were on our toes. We had some pockets of good hockey but not good enough. Special teams were a problem again, we got outplayed on those.”

Two of the three goals that Colorado scored were on the power play including the first goal of the game which came with 13 seconds remaining in the opening period. Both power play goals came off the stick of right-winger Valeri Nichushkin which were his 21st and 22nd goals of the year respectively.

Next up for the Golden Knights, they have a quick turnaround to play the Boston Bruins Thursday, Jan. 11 from inside the T-Mobile Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

After Wednesday’s game, Vegas is now 23-13-5 on the year with 51 points in the Pacific Division. The team sits six points behind the Vancouver Canucks who currently have a record of 27-11-3, good for 57 points.

One of the big storylines leading up to puck drop was the goalie situation for the Golden Knights. On Tuesday, it was expected that last year’s hero Adin Hill would get the start after missing a number of games due to injury and fellow goaltender Logan Thompson dealing with an illness. Approximately an hour before puck drop, second-year pro Jiri Patera was named the starting goalie with Hill not being cleared to play.

“Jiri’s been awesome for us,” center Chandler Stephenson said. “He’s the hardest worker in practice everyday and wants to stick around. To see him have the game that he did, and for us to give him that performance, was upsetting. He played great, gave us a chance, and we didn’t do much for him.”

Patera finished the game with 32 saves on 35 shots faced for a final save percentage of .914, his highest save percentage of his four starts this season. Patera is now 1-3-0 on the season.

As Cassidy alluded to in his postgame comments, Vegas’ special teams was a problem in this one. The penalty kill unit gave up two goals on four power play opportunities for Colorado while the Vegas power play unit failed to score on each of the four power play chances.

“It’s hard to win when you don’t score,” defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. “They had the two power play goals and we didn’t score on the power play. Special teams let us down. It was a special teams type of game and we were on the wrong side of it.”

There was some other injury news updated before the game Wednesday night for the Golden Knights. Left-winger William Carrier had successful surgery for an upper-body injury and is considered week-to-week. Right-winger Michael Amadio missed Wednesday’s game with an illness and center William Karlsson missed his third straight game due to injury.

There are some big questions to be answered as the Knights head into Thursday’s game against the Bruins. One of them being if Hill will be cleared to play. Another being how long Thompson and Amadio’s illness will last and also what kind of roster moves does Vegas look at making as far as calling guys up from the Henderson Silver Knights to fill in for lineup regulars that are dealing with injury at the moment.


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