Golden Knights face quick turnaround against Stars
The Vegas Golden Knights won seven of their previous eight games heading into the Saturday afternoon game at the Los Angeles Kings, who are in last place in the Pacific Division.
Vegas (16-14-1) even got off to an early 1-0 lead over the Kings, making it seem the quick return trip home would not be difficult to prepare for a game Sunday night against the Dallas Stars (16-10-3).
The Kings ruined those plans, scoring five consecutive goals to beat the Golden Knights 5-1.
During that stretch, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and the Golden Knights allowed their first power-play goal to an opponent since Nov. 21.
“I think we got away from our game a little bit,” Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt said. “We’re just trying to make too many things happen. … We know (the Kings) well. You can’t turn pucks over to them.
“You can’t get into that style game, because that’s what they want. They want you to turn a few pucks over coming into the zone and counter. And I thought we fed their attack.”
Oscar Lindberg put the Knights ahead early with his first goal of the season 4:23 into the game, but Nikita Scherbak answered for the Kings less than four minutes later.
“I thought we came out pretty good the first period, but after that I felt like we kind of faded off,” Lindberg said. “I don’t know why. It just happened.”
Now the Golden Knights must immediately turn their focus toward a Stars team that has won four straight games and was 2-1 against Vegas in the Golden Knights’ dream season last year.
“We’ll know tomorrow, but I hope so,” coach Gerard Gallant said when asked if his team could rebound in a 24-hour span after traveling back to Las Vegas. “I really hope so, because it’s going to be a tough game back home against Dallas, and we’ve got to get ready, get some rest tonight and get ready tomorrow.”
Heiskanen gave the Stars a 2-1 lead at 4:38, taking a pass from Tyler Pitlick and beating Sharks goalie Martin Jones to the short wide with a wrist shot from the right circle. Ritchie extended the lead to 3-1 on a two-on-one at 6:26.
“Pitlick dropped it to me,” Heiskanen said. “I yelled there, I just threw it at the net, and that’s it.
“The last period was good for us, and it was a fun way to win this game.”