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The Knightly Recap: Week 5

The Knightly Recap

Last week on the Knightly Recap, the Vegas Golden Knights only played one game against the Los Angeles Kings after the team had positive cases of COVID-19 the week before. Because of that, four Golden Knights games have been rescheduled with two of them being played this week.

This week on the Knightly Recap, the Golden Knights are going to be facing all three California teams with the next three games at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. They’ll face the Kings for the second time this season. The Anaheim Ducks will then come into town for a two game homestand. And, they’ll finish off this week by going on the road to face their most heated rival for the first time this season: the San Jose Sharks.

With all that said, welcome to week 5 of the Knightly Recap.

Feb. 7 vs. Los Angeles Kings

Entertaining First Period

For the fourth time this season, the Golden Knights have allowed their opponent to score the first goal of the game. Kings captain Anze Kopitar scored 36 seconds into the first period. The next two goals were a back-and-forth between both teams. Golden Knights forward Reilly Smith scored 5:57 into the period while Kings forward Adrian Kempe scored 1:09 after Smith’s goal.

However, it would be the Golden Knights who would take the lead after the first period. Golden Knights players Zach Whitecloud and Chandler Stephenson scored 4:05 apart from one another with Whitecloud’s goal coming 26 seconds after Kempe’s goal.

Defense Wasn’t Just a Super Bowl Thing

During the second and third periods, both teams played a defensive sound game. Both goaltenders only allowed one goal in both the second and third periods. But it wasn’t just the goaltenders that put on a show on this Super Bowl Sunday. Both teams had momentum swings during the second period with Kings forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan scoring the only goal.

However, it would be the Golden Knights’ penalty kill that would be a key factor in winning this game. Even without one of their top defenseman, Alex Pietrangelo, their penalty kill unit was able to fend off the Kings’ four power plays. Under Vegas assistant coach, Steve Spott, the Golden Knights are currently eighth in the league in penalty kill percentage at 83.9%.

With Defense Comes Offense

While both teams had more of a defensive mindset this game than their last, offense was something the Kansas City Chiefs didn’t have during the Super Bowl. The Golden Knights barely outshot the Kings this game 33-32 shots on goal. Also, both teams had the same amount of shots on goal in two of the three periods with Vegas outshooting Los Angeles 13-12 in the first.

For the Golden Knights this season, this was probably their most highly contested game this season offensively. Vegas has always seemed to be the more dominant team even with their two losses so far this season. Especially in the third period where they always find ways to generate scoring opportunities.

This game proved that even when the Golden Knights are in a highly contested match, they can still find ways to give themselves scoring chances to pressurize the other team’s defense.

The Power on the Power Play is Still On and Only Getting Better

The Golden Knights score on yet another power play. They extend their streak to three games with at least one power play goal. It’s been nine games into the Golden Knights season and this team’s power play has gotten better each game. Vegas has converted on 15.6% of their power plays so far this season. Although that’s not a very high percentage, the Golden Knights’ power play has been on an upward trajectory these past few games.

The Panda Still Has Time to Figure Out His Game

Vegas goaltenders Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury have been rotating the starting goalie’s position so far. Fleury has shown to be the better of two averaging a 1.25 GAA and a .944 save percentage. On the other hand, Lehner has a 2.96 GAA and a .890 save percentage. Lehner’s numbers aren’t the best and it shows that the five-year extension he signed this past season isn’t a good look for the team right now. However, it’s still early in the season and Lehner still has time to improve on his game.

Continue On to Part Two of the Knightly Recap

A lot has happened this week as expected with the conditions this season brings. For the first time in this Knightly Recap column series, the series will be cut into multiple parts. More parts equals more analysis and news content. Click here to continue reading on to part two of this week’s Knightly Recap.

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1 comment

The Game Haus | The Knightly Recap: Week 6 Part 1 | NHL February 22, 2021 at 8:22 am

[…] down into three parts. Click on any of the links to read last week’s Knightly Recap trilogy: Part 1. Part 2. Part […]

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