The Vegas Golden Knights picked an opportune time to grab a win against a division rival Thursday, April 6 as they cruised to a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings inside T-Mobile Arena. Vegas and LA are first and third in the division standings with every point crucial as there are less than five games to play in the regular season.
Coming into the game, Vegas had not fared well against division foes this year, going 11-9-3 against the Pacific. Only Anaheim and San Jose had worse records against the division.
“I thought we were on our toes and ready to play,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We talked a little more in depth about LA’s system.”
This win moves Vegas to 49-22-8 on the season with 106 points in the Pacific Division. Vegas leads Edmonton by three points and they have now extended their lead over the Kings to six points.
“It’s obviously a big win,” defenseman Nicolas Hague said. “It’s a big divisional win. We came out ready to play and that’s just part of it sometimes.”
Next up for the Golden Knights, they’ll hit the road for a matchup with the Dallas Stars inside the American Airlines Center. Puck drop is set for 12:30 p.m. and can be seen on ABC in all markets.
After getting the night off against the Predators, goaltender Laurent Brossoit found himself back between the pipes for Thursday night’s game. Brossoit finished the game with 30 saves on 32 shots faced for a final save percentage of .938 in the win.
“I think every goalie we have plays a good part on our team,” center Nicolas Roy said. “It’s nice to have a good win here tonight.”
The Golden Knights are 0-2 against the Stars this season having lost 4-0 and 3-2 on Jan. 16 and Feb. 25 respectively. Both those games were at T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas lit the lamp on four separate occasions within the first 12 minutes of Thursday’s game to race out to an early 4-0 lead heading into the second period.
Right-winger Phil Kessel got the scoring going 2:54 into the game when he scored his 14th goal of the season.
Assisting on Kessel’s goal was center Chandler Stephenson who extended his point streak to five games. He finished the game with a goal scored to go along with two assists. All three of those points came in the first period for Stephenson.
“It’s always good playing with Phil and [center Ivan] Barbashev plays hard and gets a lot of pucks for us,” Stephenson said.
The second of the Vegas goals came from Barbashev who scored his 16th goal of the season. He also finished with a multi-point game as he assisted on Kessel’s opening goal.
Barbashev now has four multi-point games in the 20 games he has played with the Knights since being traded from St. Louis.
While talking about assists, defenseman Alex Pietrangelo picked up his 53rd point of the season when he assisted on Roy’s goal to close out the first period. 53 points is the most scored by a defenseman in a single season in Golden Knights history.
Right-winger Jonathan Marchessault closed out the scoring for the Golden Knights when he scored his 27th goal of the season just over a minute into the second period to give Vegas a 5-0 lead. With his 27th goal of the season, Marchessault is now tied with Jack Eichel for the team lead in goals scored this season. It is also the fifth most a VGK player has scored in a season.
If there was any sort of concern for the Golden Knights in this game, it would be the VGK special teams.
In Thursday’s game, the Knights gave up a power play goal for the second straight game and also gave up a shorthanded goal in the same period. Special teams is something Cassidy has pointed to in previous games this year as an area to improve on.