Golden Knights aim to show resiliency vs. Habs
The Vegas Golden Knights showed resiliency scoring four consecutive goals after falling behind 2-0 in the first period against the New York Islanders on Thursday night in Las Vegas.
Resiliency was the word of the night with the Golden Knights (20-15-2) preparing for another game at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday afternoon against the Montreal Canadiens (18-13-5).
Vegas defenseman Colin Miller — resilient in the fact that he was one of two Golden Knights to play in every regular-season game in their two-year franchise history — was absent in the game against the Islanders because an undisclosed injury he suffered in Monday’s game at Columbus.
Center William Karlsson now stands alone as the Vegas iron man playing in every regular season game dating to last year’s inaugural season.
“When you play a full 82-game schedule the way the NHL is today (with) big, strong guys, it’s a lot of luck and it’s a lot of making sure you’re in good shape and good condition. I think Colin does that,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant said. “He works out hard and a lot of it has to do with luck, too, because when you play in the NHL an 82-game schedule, a lot of the travel like we had, if you can play all 82 games that says something about you.”
Miller, who is listed as day-to-day with his injury, played in 119 consecutive games from April 8, 2017, to Dec. 17 and all but one came with the Knights. He also played in all 20 postseason games during the Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 36 games, Miller has two goals and 15 assists. He finished with 10 goals and 31 assists in 82 games in his first season with the Knights.
“There’s a lot of things that can go wrong. You could get hit, or you can get hit by a puck or whatever. Or you could get sick,” Karlsson said. “And you’ve got to play good, too, right? If you don’t play good, someone else is going to take your spot. That plays in, too.
“There’s a lot of things that could make you stay out. Me, I’ve been fortunate enough since I got here to be in the lineup.”
Karlsson scored his team-high 14th goal at 6:22 of the third period against the Islanders to tie the game 2-2, and Paul Stastny scored 1:03 later to help the Knights earn their sixth straight win and ninth in the past 10 games at T-Mobile Arena.
“We showed a lot of character (coming back from the 2-0 deficit),” goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said. “I don’t think I saw many pucks in that second (period) and we dominated, got a big goal and kept coming at them.”
Montreal is coming off a gutsy win of its own, a 2-1 victory at Arizona on Thursday night, as goaltender Carey Price earned his 300th career win by turning away 36 shots on goal.
He became just the second goaltender in franchise history to reach the milestone, joining Hall-of-Famer Jacques Plante, who had 314 career wins.
“I’m very proud. It’s been a long road to this point,” said Price, after improving his record to 10-1-0 in 11 career outings against Arizona. “And, it’s not over yet. You know what I mean?”
Arizona tested Price with 14 shots in the first period, 15 in the second and eight more in the third. Only Oliver Ekman-Larsson managed to solve him with a power play goal.
“I thought he stood on his head,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said of Price. “Some of those saves he made were vintage Carey Price that everybody got used to. It’s nice to see those kinds of games.”
The Canadiens’ goals against the Coyotes were by captain Shea Weber and Paul Byron, who scored what proved to be the game-winner just 1:16 into the third period.
Weber’s goal came on a power play, as the Canadiens’ man advantage was opportunistic for the second consecutive game. Jeff Petry collected the assist on Weber’s goal. Petry has reached the 20-assist plateau for a third consecutive season and the fourth time in his career.