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Year 2 Game 34: Golden Knights blow 3-goal lead, lose to Devils 5-4 in OT

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Yeah, that just happened.

Vegas Golden Knights v New Jersey Devils
Marcus Johansson #90 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates a goal by Travis Zajac #19
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Vegas Golden Knights lost to the New Jersey Devils in overtime after scoring three goals in the first ten minutes against Cory Schneider, who then got pulled in favor of Keith Kinkaid. Kinkaid made 13 of 14 stops as the Devils rallied in front of him, winning 5-4.

In the second period, Vegas got caved in and allowed a 14-4 shot differential and 40-21 Corsi differential at even strength. That period of work was collectively not their best, and the Golden Knights got outscored 2-1 during that second frame (their only goal coming from William Karlsson on the power play).

That started what became the second of two low-shooting nights for the Golden Knights, who collected less than 20 even-strength shots for the second-straight game.

The Golden Knights had nine even-strength shots in the first (when they scored three goals) then five, and then four. That coincided with Vegas giving up more and more of the game. The whole “volume shooting doesn’t matter” thing might be a problem.

Past the first period, the Golden Knights allowed 24 shots at even strength and 30 altogether, letting in five goals. The Golden Knights took four penalties after the first 20 minutes, allowing a rare power-play goal against. That was the start of the Devils’ turnaround, after which the Golden Knights just lost all momentum.

Much of this has to do with the defense, who was just not good enough throughout the game. The big loser on the blue line was Deryk Engelland, who allowed two even-strength goals. His bad game was just a part of the problem, though. This just general badness was between both defensemen and forwards, and this goal illustrates what went wrong in this game:

The defensemen and forwards collide in front of the net, and instead of clearing the crease, it becomes overcrowded. In all the confusion, Nick Holden puts the puck into his own net. That brings up the play earlier in the game that the Devils made that stopped the game from being 4-0:

That’s the play Holden was trying to make, but this game was definitely not going Vegas’ way once Kinkaid entered the game.

Eyes were on a returning Golden Knight entering the night — Paul Stastny, who came back after getting injured in Vegas’ fourth game of the season. Stastny took a hearty defensive workload in this game (eight defensive-zone draws and just two offensive-zone faceoffs), and was the only Golden Knight with a 50 percent or better even-strength Corsi.

Eyes were eventually diverted to Karlsson, who scored his seventh and eighth goals in the last ten games, but couldn’t complete the hat trick. Jonathan Marchessault collected his 100th point in a Golden Knights jersey, joining Karlsson as the only two Knights to have accomplished the feat.

Vegas continues the road trip against the New York Rangers on Sunday and will look for an effort more similar to the game against the New York Islanders than in this one. Maybe they’ll have better luck in Madison Square Garden.