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Oilers come out ahead in Vegas, beat Knights

It was another tough loss in front of the home crowd for the Vegas Golden Knights as the team fell 4-3 to the Edmonton Oilers Saturday, Jan. 14.

“You can’t give up odd-man rushes all night,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “This is something we talked about in training camp in September that we’re going to play smarter hockey but we didn’t do that tonight.”

This loss gives Vegas a 28-14-2 record on the season with 58 points in the Pacific Division. Seattle and Los Angeles both sit behind Vegas by two points for the division lead.

The next time the Golden Knights will hit the ice is Monday, Jan. 16 for a matchup with the Dallas Stars. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m.

Vegas is now 0-5-1 in their last six games vs Pacific Division opponents after Saturday’s loss.

“We will emphasize it more clearly but if I have to emphasize that we’re playing a division team, then shame on the guys and the leadership group for not recognizing that.”

The Golden Knights never held a lead in this game while Edmonton led this game for 59:15 of the 60 minutes.

As you could probably imagine by the stat above, it was a quick start for the visitors as former Golden Knight Mattias Janmark scored the opening goal just 45 seconds into the game. Nearly a minute later, center Leon Draisaitl put home his 25th goal of the season.

Just like that, the Knights found themselves in a 2-0 hole less than two minutes into the game. Right-wing Keegan Kolesar was able to cut the deficit in half with 1:14 to play in the opening frame and make it a 2-1 game going into the first intermission.

Kolesar now has six points in the last six games (two goals, four assists).

“It was a tough start for us,” center Paul Cotter said. “We should do better than that at home. We should be the ones doing that to teams.

Cotter finished the night with a goal that cut the Vegas deficit down to one goal and made it a 3-2 game with 6:21 to go in the second period. Cotter’s goal was answered 18 seconds later by Klim Kostin to restore the two goal lead for Edmonton.

Cotter also has the second most goals by a rookie for the Golden Knights in a season with six goals so far this year. The only other Golden Knight to score more in their rookie season was current-Buffalo Sabre Alex Tuch who scored 15 goals in the 2017-18 inaugural season for Vegas.

Forward William Karlsson lit the lamp for the second straight game when he scored with 42 seconds left in the middle frame to make it a one score game going into the final 20 minutes of play.

“They had a hot start,” Karlsson said. “We did fight our way back, but sometimes it’s not enough.”

Jack Campbell outlasted Logan Thompson in terms of the goalie battle in this one. Campbell finished his night with 27 saves on 30 shots faced for a final save percentage of .900. On the other end of the ice, Thompson finished his evening with 33 saves on 37 shots faced for a final save percentage of .892.

Thompson, who was recently named to the NHL All-Star roster, now has a save percentage of less than .900 in three of his last four starts. He ranks top 10 in record (18-11-1) and also top 10 in shutouts with two shutouts this season. Thompson’s overall save percentage for the season sits at .913 which is tied for 19th best in the league.

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