Ryan Dadoun

Hockey Daily Dose

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Knights Top Kings in 2OT

Saturday, April 14, 2018


The Vegas Golden Knights’ story hasn’t ended with an amazing regular season.  The expansion team was made to face the veteran Los Angeles Kings in the first round and so far they’ve maintained a slim, but meaningful edge in the series.

 

Vegas took the first game 1-0 and edged out the Kings in double overtime Friday night.  It was Erik Haula who managed to score the overtime winner.  He’s one of the many players that’s found another level since joining Vegas as he went from scoring 15 goals and 26 points in 72 games in his final season with Minnesota to 29 goals and 55 points in 76 contests in 2017-18.

 

Of course, the Kings were in a tough spot last night.  Jake Muzzin is still out with an upper-body injury and Drew Doughty was serving his one-game suspension.  Being without two of their top defensemen put a strain on Los Angeles’ blueline, especially in a marathon game.  It resulted in Alec Martinez logging 44:51 minutes of ice time while rookie Oscar Fantenberg, who had 27 games worth of regular season experience under his belt coming into this series, was on the ice for 41:03 minutes.  Muzzin’s status for Game 3 remains questionable, but at least Los Angeles will get Doughty back.

 

The other silver lining for the Kings is that both of the defeats were in Vegas.  Los Angeles still needs to find a way to beat the Golden Knights in Vegas at some point if they are to win this series, but in the short-term they can attempt to swing the momentum back at home.

 

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PHILADELPHIA 5 PITTSBURGH 1 (Series tied at 1-1)

 

Early in the contest it looked like the Penguins might run away with it again, but the Flyers survived Pittsburgh’s early onslaught until they got an opportunity on the power play.  Shayne Gostisbehere scored the Flyers’ first goal of the series at 19:23 of the first period.

 

Sean Couturier scored the game-winning goal and registered two assists.  He’s coming off a breakout season where he scored 31 goals and 76 points in 82 games.

 

Patric Hornqvist netted the Penguins’ lone goal.  He’s on a nine-game point streak that dates back to the regular season.

 

After being yanked during Game 1, Brian Elliott was given a chance to bounce back and he rewarded Flyers coach Dave Hakstol for his trust.  Elliott stopped 34 of 35 Penguins shots to maintain the Flyers’ edge even as Pittsburgh outshot them in every period.

 

Meanwhile, Matt Murray had a night he’d likely want to forget.  He turned aside just 15 of 19 shots.  That ended his run of three consecutive playoff shutouts, including the final two games of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

 

The series will now head to Philadelphia with the next game scheduled for 3:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

 

WINNIPEG 4 MINNESOTA 1 (Jets lead series 2-0)

 

Devan Dubnyk was kept busy in this one, ultimately stopping 40 of 44 shots.  Winnipeg had a 27-14 edge in shots through 40 minutes, but Dubnyk still kept it to just 1-0 Jets going into the third frame.  However, the Jets dominated the third with a 17-3 shot differential and finally opened the floodgates in the process.

 

Patrik Laine scored a goal and registered an assist for the Jets.  He’s up to three points in his first two career playoff games.

 

Tyler Myers also chipped in a goal and an assist.  He has four markers and 10 points in 19 career postseason contests.

 

Zach Parise accounted for the lone Wild goal.  It was scored at 19:15 of the third period to deny Connor Hellebuyck the shutout.

 

Hellebuyck instead turned aside 16 of 17 shots in Game 2.  He’s won 11 consecutive games dating back to the regular season.

 

Minnesota will head back home now with the pressure on.  Game 3 will be played on Sunday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

 

VEGAS 2 LOS ANGELES 1 (2OT) (Golden Knights lead series 2-0)

 

This was the longest game in Golden Knights history.  I know, shocking right?  Seriously though, this was also the longest game in the Los Angeles Kings’ franchise history.

 

Erik Haula was the hero with the game-winning goal at 15:22 of the second overtime period.  It was his second career playoff game-winning goal and his first postseason overtime marker.

 

Jonathan Quick was the losing goaltender, but he deserves a lot of credit for the work he put in Friday night.  He turned aside 54 of 56 shots over 95:16 minutes of ice time.

 

At the other end of the ice, Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 29 of 30 Kings shots.  That’s the only goal he’s surrendered in the first two games of this series.

 

Paul LaDue was the one that managed to beat Fleury.  The 25-year-old defenseman had three goals and four points in 12 regular season games.

 

Alex Tuch found the back of the net for Vegas.  It was the 21-year-old’s first career playoff goal.

 

These two teams will get to rest on Saturday before the series resumes in Los Angeles Sunday night.



Ryan Dadoun is an Associate Editor for Hockey on Rotoworld. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.
Email :Ryan Dadoun



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