The Vegas Golden Knights lost a tight game against the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night, with the contest swinging on one critical mistake.
The Golden Knights had seven of the first nine shots on goal, but then Connor McDavid scored on the tenth, and that changed everything.
While the Knights didn’t look particularly sharp, the penalty kill definitely did. The unit killed its 11th straight penalty in the first period and killed another between the first and second period, with their 13th coming in the third.
In the second period, William Karlsson extended his goal streak to four games, deflecting a puck into the net off the skate of Oscar Klefbom. Karlsson called bank shot beforehand, so it counted.
Karlsson was the only member of the Golden Knights to extend their streak. Max Pacioretty’s point streak came to an end in this game, and so did Ryan Reaves’. Marc-Andre Fleury’s win streak came to an end, though that’s more on the defense than it was him.
The first line proved itself again in this game, with Karlsson getting 11 high-danger chances (Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault with 10) and looking impressive throughout the game. Karlsson and Smith were two of the top three in individual high-danger chances at even strength. Karlsson’s goal was the line’s only goal of the contest, but they were able to move the puck well and create opportunities.
In a back and forth game, the Golden Knights were able to generate more high-danger chances than Edmonton (19-11 at even strength), out-chancing the Oilers 8-2 in the second period. Mikko Koskinen proved up to the task, however, making 31 of 32 saves.
The game swung on this goal by Ryan Spooner, his first goal as an Oiler:
GOAL. Cody Eakin turns the puck over behind the Vegas net and Ryan Spooner gives Edmonton the lead. pic.twitter.com/fWX5lOIfLl— Ryan Quigley (@RP_Quigs) December 2, 2018
A combination of a bad own-zone turnover by Cody Eakin and effective forechecking led to the goal, and Vegas just couldn’t recover.