Knights looks to remain on roll vs. Predators (Jan 02, 2018)
LAS VEGAS -- Coach Gerard Gallant had plenty of reason to celebrate his first New Year's Eve in Sin City.
His Vegas Golden Knights (26-9-2) increased their Pacific Division lead to three points earlier in the day at T-Mobile Arena with a 6-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, extending their win streak to seven games, an NHL record for a team in its inaugural season. And center William Karlsson capped the victory with the first hat trick in franchise history as Vegas improved to 11-0-1 in its last 12 games.
But Gallant wasn't among the more than 300,000 or so revelers who packed The Strip and watched an eight-minute firework show off the rooftops of seven major casinos.
"Real quiet," Gallant said. "I came home from the game, went to Burger King for a little snack, went home and sat on the couch and watched a little hockey, and then watched a movie. It was a good day."
Happy New Year!
There figures to be a whole lot more noise and excitement on Tuesday night when the Golden Knights host the Nashville Predators (23-10-5).
It's the second of three regular-season meetings between the two teams. Vegas, behind the goaltending of Malcolm Subban, won the first one in Nashville on Dec. 8, 4-3, as the younger brother of Predators' star defenseman P.K. Subban had a career-high 41 saves and then denied all six shootout attempts. Reilly Smith won the game for Vegas with his shootout goal.
Starting goalie Marc-Andre Fleury did not suit up for that contest while recovering from a concussion but is expected to start Tuesday night's contest. The teams will meet one more time on Jan. 16 in Nashville.
Vegas is 16-2-1 at T-Mobile Arena, losing only to Detroit, 6-3, on Oct. 13 in a game that Fleury suffered his concussion, and to Dallas, 3-0, on Nov. 28 when Ben Bishop stopped 34 shots. Only Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Division leading Washington have won as many home games as the Golden Knights.
Vegas has not lost a game in regulation since falling at Winnipeg, 7-4, on Dec. 1.
"Obviously, this streak is unbelievable," Gallant said. "The guys are playing well, they're playing great hockey every night, and they're competing. We've got points in 12 straight games. You just keep working hard and battling hard, we're getting some puck luck and we're playing good hockey."
Nashville, which is 11-6-3 on the road this season, comes in off a 3-0 win over Minnesota on Saturday as Juuse Saros stepped in for Pekka Rinne in net and stopped 29 shots for his second shutout of the season. P.K. Subban, Scott Hartnell and Viktor Arvidsson scored goals for the Predators, who won for just the second time in six games.
Nashville is starting a three-game west coast swing that also includes stops at Arizona on Thursday and Los Angeles on Saturday. The Predators will play at least two of those games without forward and leading scorer Filip Forsberg (15 goals, 34 points), who was placed on injured reserve on Saturday with an upper-body injury. No timetable was given for Forsberg's return.