The one consistent in the short team history of the Vegas Golden Knights remains true, the team has the Anaheim Ducks’ number.
VGK beat Anaheim, 4-0, Friday, Oct. 28 from the T-Mobile Arena in a Nevada Day matinee. That makes it three straight wins for Vegas.
The win improves the team’s record to 7-2-0 with 14 points on the year, still good for first place in the Pacific Division. In addition, the team added to the early season woes for the NHL’s worst team as Anaheim fell to 1-6-1 with 3 points on the season.
Overall, the Knights are 21-4-0 with 42 points against the Ducks since becoming a franchise in 2017.
Moreover, the team improved to 3-1-0 at home this season. Vegas will conclude its two-game homestand Sunday, Oct. 30 against Winnipeg. Earlier this month, the Knights beat the Jets in Canada, 5-2.
Puck drop is set for 5 p.m. in that one.
The power play has continued to be a storyline for Vegas despite all the winning. It only took four minutes and 35 seconds in this one before the Knights would get their first power play chance. Entering the game, the team ranked 20th in the league in power play percentage.
Anaheim’s Troy Terry was whistled for holding but his Ducks would kill the penalty chance for Vegas. Coming into play, Anaheim was the third-worst team on the penalty kill at just under 66 percent.
With the man advantage or not, VGK kept the pressure on Ducks’ goalie John Gibson. At one point, center William Karlsson had a deadeye look right in front of the net to which Gibson made the save to keep from lighting the lamp.
Late in the first period, Gibson made a stick save that saw some pushing and shoving from skaters follow. Anaheim’s Ryan Strome was given a two-minute roughing penalty after throwing a short jab in the direction of Vegas captain Mark Stone.
The Knights capitalized on this power play opportunity, needing just 33 seconds before center Chandler Stephenson scored the game’s first goal. Stephenson has now scored in four of the last five games for Vegas. The team has a 3-1-0 record in those four scoring games for Stephenson.
While Gibson was fighting for his life on one end, VGK goalie Logan Thompson had little to worry about early, tallying just five saves in the first 20 minutes on his way to a shutout win.
It’s the second shutout through the first nine games of the year for Vegas after posting three all of last year.
However, the second period saw Anaheim try to turn up the pressure on Thompson. Early in the frame, he made a kick save that would’ve seen the Ducks score for the first time. Thompson followed it up with a catch save moments later.
Thompson would finish with 29 saves and a 100% save rate for his second shutout of the season. He had one in split duty last season.
With frustration setting in, after another second-period save Thompson was contacted by an Anaheim skater.
Center Jake Leschyshyn immediately yanked the closest person to Thompson down to the ground in his first game action of the year. From there, several scrums started including a kerfuffle that saw Vegas’ Zach Whitecloud and Anaheim’s Max Jones drop the gloves.
Both Whitecloud and Jones were assessed five-minute penalties for fighting while Leschyshyn netted himself two minutes for roughing.
With the advantage shifting toward the Ducks, the Knights ended that with a short-handed goal from right-wing Reilly Smith. That marked his second goal of the season while it went down as the first short-handed goal of the year for the team.
It also marked the 100th goal for Smith as a Golden Knight. That short-handed goal opened the floodgates for a three-goal period for Vegas.
Karlsson scored later in the period on a deflection coming off an eventual assist for center Jonathan Marchessault, for his third assist of the year. It went down as the fourth goal of the year for Karlsson who had a two-point night after assisting on Smith’s shorthanded goal, who also had two points on the day.
Fellow center Nicolas Roy scored the third and final goal of the second period for his second of the season. The Knights scored three goals on eight shots on goal that period.