The Vegas Golden Knights found themselves on the losing end of the scoreboard for the third time in as many games as they lost 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday, Jan. 19 at T-Mobile Arena.
This is the first time all season that the Golden Knights have lost three straight games.
“I wouldn’t put it on one thing,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Our effort needs to be better in certain areas of the ice. Eventually we got to it tonight. I think we’ve had passengers lately. Guys that we rely on need to be better. Timely save tonight could’ve made the difference. I wouldn’t put it on one element.”
Vegas is now 13-13 inside T-Mobile Arena this season while being 15-3-2 on the road.
The loss sent Vegas to 28-16-2 on the year with this being the fourth loss in five games for the Golden Knights. Vegas remains at 58 points in the Pacific Division. By beating New Jersey, the Seattle Kraken have now taken over the top spot in the Pacific Division by virtue of tiebreaker.
The Los Angeles Kings sit behind Vegas with 56 points followed by the Edmonton Oilers who have 55 points. Seven different teams in the NHL have more points in the standings than Vegas does.
These teams finished the season series split at one apiece as this was the final meeting between Vegas and Detroit for the remainder of the regular season.
The Golden Knights will wrap up their season-long seven-game homestand on Saturday, Jan. 21 as they welcome in another Eastern Conference foe in the Washington Capitals. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.
This will be the final of two meetings between the teams this season. Vegas took the opening matchup on Nov. 1 in the nation’s capital by a final score of 3-2 in overtime.
For the fifth straight game, Vegas allowed the first goal in the game. This game, it was left-wing Lucas Raymond scoring first from Detroit on a feed from center Dylan Larkin. The goal came just 2:45 into the game.
“We execute a nice breakout but get tracked down from behind and all the sudden we get beat back to the net,” Cassidy said. “That goes to effort. Be ready to play, have some awareness and [make a] second effort to keep the puck out of the net if you do make a mistake.”
Cassidy spent a bit of time continuing to address what could be causing the slower starts for his team.
“I’ve said before that it’s my job to prepare the team,” Cassidy said. “That’s the team part of the game. At some point, it’s on the individuals to get their asses ready to play, especially at home, enough is enough.”
The last time Vegas has striked first in a game was Jan. 5 vs Pittsburgh in what was a 5-2 win for the Knights.
Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo used a slap shot from the left circle to tie the game at one going into the second period. Pietrangelo’s goal came with just 36 seconds left to play in the opening period.
“We’re working hard, we just got to work the right way,” Pietrangelo said. “Sometimes you can work and you’re getting ahead of the puck. Sometimes you just need to work the right way and the smart way to be that extra layer of support or be that extra guy on the break or whatever it may be. I’m not worried about the work. Guys are going to work, it’s just working the right way.”
The second period struggles found their way back to Vegas as they were outscored 2-0 in the second period and trailed 3-1 heading into the final period of play.
After trailing by two goals much of the third period, center William Karlsson was able to deflect a pass in the net with 42 seconds left in the game to cut the deficit down to 3-2. The goal was Karlsson’s tenth of the season and third in the last four games.
“It’s three straight now?” Karlsson asked. “We can’t lose the belief. We know that we can do it. We just can’t talk, we need to do it. More action, less talk.”
Goaltender Adin Hill was pulled to the bench for the empty net with just over two minutes to go in the game. At this time, Vegas still trailed 3-1. To put this in perspective, Cassidy elected to pull fellow goalie Logan Thompson to the bench with over five minutes to go while down three to Dallas on Monday.
“It’s natural that it looks that way with the other team having a two-goal lead,” Karlsson said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t score more than one but at least we tried all the way until the end. Overall, it’s got to be better.”