The Vegas Golden Knights clearly did something right during their holiday break as they steamrolled the Los Angeles Kings 6-3 in their return. The goals came early and often for the Golden Knights who held a 3-1 lead after the first twenty minutes of action.
The Golden Knights managed to chase Kings starter Jonathan Quick from his net where he was replaced by Garret Sparks. Quick has one of the best career resumes in the league and has been enjoying a nice season but the Golden Knights made him look average at best.
Laurent Brossoit got the start for the Golden Knights and performed well, though he wasn’t tested a ton. The Golden Knights did such a good job at controlling play and dominating the scoring opportunities that their goaltending wasn’t that important to the final result.
The Kings were wearing their silver chrome helmets, similar to the Golden Knights gold helmets that they wear occasionally. The chrome definitely stands out on the ice though whether it’s in a good or bad way depends on the eye of the beholder.
Jonathan Marchessault continues career year
Jonathan Marchessault had another multi-goal effort tonight as he continues to fill up the score sheet. Marchessault has been with the Golden Knights since the very beginning and perhaps encapsulates the soul of the team better than any other player.
While he’s always been a great forechecker and a crucial part of the “Misfit Line” alongside William Karlsson and Reilly Smith, this season he’s stepped his goal-scoring efforts up. While he has scored 30 goals in the past with the Florida Panthers, his goal numbers have been in decline for the four seasons since then.
This year, Marchessault already has 16 goals and is on pace to blow through his career-best of thirty if he can stay healthy and if the Golden Knights can fit all their games in. He’s looking very dangerous offensively and is a crucial piece for the success of this Golden Knights team.
Vegas Golden Knights offense explodes for six goals
The Golden Knights had one of their best nights in terms of goals scored this season, finishing the game with a grand total of 6. This was all against a Kings team that entered tonight’s game allowing an average of just 2.6 goals per game, a number good enough for 7th in the NHL.
While the Golden Knights offensive explosion was definitely helped by some shaky goaltending from the Kings, they also did a great job of getting the puck deep and controlling play, especially in the first two periods. In the first twenty minutes, the Golden Knights had 62.31% of the expected goals at 5-on-5.
They got goals from up and down the lineup which will be crucial moving forward if they want to make noise during the playoffs. Everyone knows that the Golden Knights have the elite talent needed, but can the depth players step up when other teams neutralize players like Stone (who wasn’t playing tonight) and Pacioretty?
Penalty kill shines in high-scoring affair
This game featured plenty of goals as the Kings scored their fair share as well. Offense was definitely the theme of the night but the Golden Knights penalty kill also managed to shine bright and was one of the bigger reasons that they were able to secure the victory.
The Golden Knights killed off all four Kings power plays. This difference in special teams success, considering the Golden Knights struck twice with the man advantage, was crucial as it would have been a very different game without it.
The Kings did score once shorthanded when Trevor Moore capitalized on a turnover and beat Brossoit. While the Golden Knights penalty kill unit wasn’t as dangerous, they did their job perfectly and deserve praise for their role in tonight’s win.
The Golden Knights play their next game on Friday against the Anaheim Ducks. The puck drops for that game at 12 PM Pacific Time as the Golden Knights head back home to T-Mobile Arena.