Updated: May 22, 2021
The Vegas Golden Knights erupted for four unanswered goals in the second and third periods to take down the Los Angeles Kings, 4-2 Monday, April 12 from the Staples Center in California.
Vegas captain Mark Stone let out an expressive, “Let’s [expletive] go,” after scoring a shorthanded goal which saw him shake Kings’ goalie Cal Petersen out of his skates.
The win pushes Vegas to 28-11-2 on the year following a two-game sweep of the Arizona Coyotes. The three straight wins, however, are not enough for first place as the season continues to dwindle to a close.
Vegas is currently four points behind the Colorado Avalanche who stand alone at the top of the West Division standings.
Despite remaining in second, the win over LA gives Vegas a seven-point cushion over Minnesota, who is in third.
Up next, Vegas will look to use its speed once more against the Kings as they will remain in Los Angeles for game two of the mini-series.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13.
“We’ve been more patient working on the power play,” left winger Max Pacioretty said on scoring goal No. 300 in his career.
The Knights initially trailed LA 2-0 for a majority of the game up until center Nicolas Roy and defensemen Shea Theodore found themselves on a two-on-one fast break which saw Roy fake a pass to Theodore before firing the shot past Petersen to put the Knights on the board.
A few minutes later, the Kings entered a power play that they wish they hadn’t. Stone jumped the passing lane and out-raced everyone else on the ice before shaking Petersen bad and scooting the puck in the net to tie the game at two apiece.
The young Alex Tuch showed his tenacious speed on the ice in the third period.
He put the jets on a fast break and ended up firing a shot past the close side of Petersen to put Vegas up 3-2.
It was Tuch’s 14th goal of the season.
Pacioretty did LA in for good with a rocket from near center ice over the far shoulder of Petersen. Stone screened most of the goalkeeper’s vision as Pacioretty identified the window of opportunity.
Goalie Robin Lehner received the start for Vegas and played a solid game stopping 26-of-28 shots from LA. It was his ninth win of the season.
Vegas’ speed displayed on the ice was a dimension the team hasn’t quite explored this year. With the playoffs looming and Vegas bound for a top-two finish in its division, more speed might not be such a bad thing.
Tuch, Stone and center Chandler Stephenson exploited the LA defense on multiple occasions.