Photo Courtesy of Forbes.com
Vegas draws first blood in the series and win their first ever playoff game as they defeat the Kings 1-0.
By Chris Yackel
The Vegas Golden Knights miraculous inaugural season continued last night as they were able to defeat the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 by a score of 1-0. The atmosphere was electric in Las Vegas as a new rivalry was officially born last night. The pregame festivities were unlike anything ever seen before a playoff game as the Golden Knights fans were loud, proud and ready to see playoff hockey.
The game started perfectly for those fans as just 3:23 into the game Shea Theodore was able to deflect a shot past Jonathan Quick to take a 1-0 lead. The Golden Knights speed was evident throughout this one as they simply won more puck battles along the boards than the Kings and were much quicker getting to pucks as well. The Kings struggled matching that speed and were very defensive most of this game. The Golden Knights played well all three periods, as they played a very complete game.
However, Los Angeles did not play poorly as they had an abundance of opportunities to tie the game. Their best came in the middle of the second period as Dustin Brown was unable to put away a rebound and missed a wide open. After that it just seemed it was going to be one of those kinds of nights for the Kings as they were going to have to really work hard for a goal. Unfortunately for them they were unable to get one through.
This game was very physical as well, as fans should expect it to be even more physical as the series moves along. This series will get ugly as its just the beginning of this L.A. and Vegas rivalry that looks to be promising. Not just for this series and this year, but for years and several playoff series to come.
The good news for L.A. is Jonathan Quick played outstanding. Quick stopped 27 of 28 shots and saved the Kings bacon many times. This game easily could have been three or four nothing.
Unfortunately for the Kings, Marc-Andre Fleury was just as good and stopped all 30 shots he faced from the Kings. Every time the Kings had a quality scoring chance Fleury was able to battle and make the stop. He’s truly been a difference maker for this Golden Knights squad.
Doughty’s Questionable Hit
In the third period of this game Drew Doughty threw a questionable hit on Vegas forward William Carrier. Doughty and Carrier were battling each other all night, but in the third, Doughy caught Carrier with a hit to the head. It looked like Doughty was trying to catch Carrier in the numbers on his shoulder, but Doughty ended up catching most of Carrier’s head instead. Doughty did not receive a penalty on the play. It was announced this morning that Doughty would receive a hearing from the NHL Department of Player Safety. One would assume suspension is likely, but we all know what happens when you assume.
Looking Forward to Game 2, Friday Night
Expect the Kings to bounce back hard in Game 2. This is going to be a long, physical series that has a good chance of going the distance. If the Kings can be quicker and execute on their grade A chances more than last night, then they will be fine. This Kings team is very experienced and still has a lot of guys from previous Stanley Cup winning teams. The Golden Knights will certainly have their hands full on Friday night as they look to take a 2-0 series lead into Los Angeles. If they play a full sixty minutes on Friday like they did last night, then Vegas has a great chance to do just that. The Doughty X-factor is huge too, because if he’s out for Game 2 then Vegas has a good chance to really take advantage in this series. It should be a good one.
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