Preview: Golden Knights at Kings
The Vegas Golden Knights have enjoyed a great number of positives during their relatively brief existence in the NHL, most notably advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season. The Golden Knights, however, look to prevent a negative on Saturday as they enter their road contest against the Los Angeles Kings with four straight losses (0-3-1) -- one shy of the franchise record.
"It's just frustrating. We've been losing a lot lately, and at home," Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. "We believe in each other and we believe in our team. Between us in the room, we have confidence in our team. We shouldn't be having ups and downs like we have all year." Fleury allowed all five goals in Wednesday's 5-3 setback to Chicago and 15 over his last four games (1-2-1) for the Golden Knights, who are attempting to prevent a repeat of their lone five-game skid in franchise history from March 23-30. Los Angeles, however, has won consecutive contests for the second time this season heading into the finale of its three-game homestand. "I think they're starting to pick things up and apply them," Kings coach Todd McLellan said of his players. "We're cutting down the goals against. Penalty kill is improving. Power play has some work to do."
TV: 4 p.m. ET, AT&T SportsNet-Rocky Mountains (Vegas), Sportsnet 1, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific, FS West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS (9-8-3): Vegas coach Gerard Gallant is trying to ignite a fire under his charges by shuffling the lines, elevating Max Pacioretty to the top unit with William Karlsson and Reilly Smith while Cody Eakin was paired with Jonathan Marchessault and Mark Stone. The 27-year-old Stone scored in Vegas' 5-2 win in Los Angeles on Oct. 13 as part of his 18-point eruption (eight goals, 10 assists) in the first 15 games before being held off the scoresheet in each of the last five. "It's tough. We're losing, so we’re trying to find ways to get out of it," Stone said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We've got to get back to our style of hockey."
ABOUT THE KINGS (7-11-1): Alex Iafallo set up captain Anze Kopitar's goal in the first period to extend his point streak (one goal, three assists) before scoring 23 seconds into overtime in Thursday's 3-2 victory over Detroit. "Everybody was making the right plays," the 25-year-old said of Los Angeles' rally. "Most of the shifts in that third we were buzzing and getting the puck in deep and going to work, so it was good for us and gave us momentum at the end there." Kopitar, who scored three goals and set up five others during his five-game point streak, had an assist on Dustin Brown's third-period goal in the first encounter with the Golden Knights.
1. Los Angeles RW Adrian Kempe has two goals in his last six games after going without one in his first dozen.
2. Golden Knights C Paul Stastny, who has been held off the scoresheet in each of his last six games, collected two power-play goals and two assists in the previous meeting with the Kings.
3. Los Angeles G Jonathan Quick sports a 3-2-0 mark with a 2.80 goals-against average and .911 save percentage at home, as opposed to a 1-6-0 mark with a 4.53 GAA and .849 SP on the road.
PREDICTION: Golden Knights 3, Kings 2