Vegas Golden Knights @ Los Angeles Kings Game 5 Recap: Work in Progress Continues
Los Angeles came out swinging early, but Vegas took over the game going 3 for 3 on the power play
Giving up three power play goals in a game is one tall task to overcome for any team. Vegas showed to be a dangerous team on the power play with their quick puck movement and shot-happy approach. The Vegas Golden Knights peppered Jonathan Quick with 23 shots in the second period. The game wasn’t really much in doubt for them from that point on. Although the Kings top line showed great puck movement early in the third period to score the team’s second goal, Vegas scored on their next shift, and snuffed out any hope of a comeback.
The way to take in this season of Kings hockey is to see how they continue to work towards contention. Considering it playing with house money if they do make the playoffs this season. The systems that the Todd McLellan has implemented would be catching on sooner rather than later. It’s over the course of multiple seasons to where the team should really be evaluated.
Los Angeles started off well in the first period, ultimately outshooting Vegas 16 to 7, and forcing goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (playing his second game in as many nights) to make some very tough saves. Despite the Kings play in the first frame, they quickly found themselves down 0-2. Austin Wagner eventually broke through at 7:49 into the first period to get the Kings on board.
Vegas really took control of the game in the second period. Overall, they outshot the Kings in that period 23 to 8. This led to the Kings taking two penalties, and giving up two power play goals. Suffice to say, Vegas dominated possession for the period.
With Vegas scoring their fifth goal immediately after the Kings scored their second in the third period, the Golden Knights seemed content to run the clock down until the final buzzer. From that point, it was just the matter of running the systems for the Kings. Some experts have picked the Vegas Golden Knights to come out of the Western Conference. Any loss is a tough loss, but let’s hope these serve as learning experiences, and ultimately, improvement down line.
Golden Knights 1. Kings 0.
On a strong forecheck by Vegas, they won a puck battle along the boards. Reilly Smith snaps a wrist shot from the left side:
Golden Knights 2. Kings 0.
With the first of their power play goals, Max Pacioretty sees an opening on the right side and fires a shot glove side:
Golden Knights 2. Kings 1.
After gaining control of the puck in the neutral zone, Austin Wagner shows off the speed he has been known for, then unleashes a shot far post past Marc-Andre Fleury’s shoulder:
Golden Knights 3. Kings 1.
The Kings stayed hemmed in their defensive zone on their first penalty kill of the period. Their puck movement opened the opportunity for the Golden Knights’ Paul Stastny to redirect a Max Pacioretty shotpass in the slot:
Golden Knights 4. Kings 1.
The puck movement continues for Vegas. The Kings had difficulty clearing the zone, and Vegas goes tic-tac-toe:
Golden Knights 4. Kings 2.
Early in the 3rd Period, Vegas was icing the puck without much duress. The top line off the ensuing faceoff worked the nice puck movement in tight quarters leading to Dustin Brown’s third goal of the season:
Golden Knights 5. Kings 2.
It only took 17 seconds after the Kings goal, Vegas enters the Kings’ zone off a series of chips and scores:
Stick with the Plan
Practice until next Tuesday’s game. Coach’s assessment:
Up Next: Carolina Hurricanes visit Staples Center on Tuesday. They are, yet, another possible Stanley Cup contender, who are 5-1 so far. Sadly, Mr. Game 7, and ex-Kings hero Justin Williams is not currently on their team.