Golden Knights glad to be home against Islanders
The Vegas Golden Knights are 9-12-1 on the road and 19-15-2 overall. They are in fourth place in the Pacific Division with 40 points. They will play just their 15th home game on Thursday against the New York Islanders (17-12-4).
Vegas, which is 10-3-1 at T-Mobile Arena, is starting a four-game homestand with the game against the Islanders, who have won three consecutive games after losing to the Golden Knights last week at home.
“I think going into this year you look at the schedule and we were on the road a lot,” Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Definitely, it’s added up, and it’s been duly noted around the room how much we’ve been on the road. It’s going to be good to finish this trip here and be at home for the majority of the next half.”
Colorado and Vancouver are the only other teams that have played at least 20 games on the road.
Vegas will play 11 of its next 16 games at home before the All-Star break at the end of January.
“That makes you miss home, it’s as simple as that,” center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare said. “You can’t really look too far ahead, otherwise you kind of get tired of it. And you can’t look too much behind, otherwise, you be like, ‘OK, let’s end it.’ This one was, you’re in New York a few weeks before Christmas, so it wasn’t the worst road trip ever.”
Vegas coach Gerard Gallant has limited his team’s practice schedule because of the amount of travel. The Golden Knights did not have a morning skate regimen before the last two games.
“I think our coaching staff has been really good with us,” Bellemare said. “At times, maybe a little too nice to give us those days off.”
The Islanders improved their road record to 9-7-1 with their 3-1 win at Arizona on Tuesday night.
Josh Ho-Sang, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier scored for the Islanders, who overcame an early 1-0 deficit for their first win at Arizona since 2014. Robin Lehner made 36 saves to achieve his first win since Oct. 30.
The win was also the Islanders’ second in as many nights, after beating Colorado 4-1 on Monday. They are 2-0 on their current Western Conference road trip.
“Real gutsy back-to-back,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. “Guys were blocking shots when they needed to and doing what they needed to do to make sure the puck didn’t get into the danger areas. … Two goals against in the last two games, we’ll have a chance to win every night.”