The Vegas Golden Knights’ losing skid continues.
After losing both games of a home-and-home against the Los Angeles Kings, the Golden Knights returned to action Friday night against the lowly Ottawa Senators, only to lose 5-4 in regulation.
Despite the Golden Knights scoring in the game’s opening minute, the Senators outshot Vegas 38-29 and scored three unanswered goals in the second period. Vegas threatened Ottawa with a late surge led by William Karlsson and Ryan Carpenter, but Erik Karlsson’s Senators kept their foot on the gas and walked out of T-Mobile Arena with two points.
Just 58 seconds into the contest, Reilly Smith beat Craig Anderson with a nifty backhand from point-blank range. Jonathan Marchessault did a fantastic job drawing attention away from Smith before setting him up for the tally.
It didn’t take long for Ottawa to respond, though. Just over a minute later, Mark Stone scored his 20th goal of the year off a Vegas giveaway in the defensive zone, which has been a common issue for the Golden Knights as of late.
After failing to register a shot on goal for much of the time remaining in the first period, Colin Miller beat Anderson with a wrister from above the far faceoff circle to give Vegas the 2-1 lead going into the first intermission.
And guess who drew the penalty that made this power play possible? That’s right! Ryan Reaves! Progress!
The second period wouldn’t be nearly as kind to Vegas as the first was, however. Despite firing 18 shots on goal in the middle third, the Golden Knights were outscored 3-0, and it all started with a breakaway goal by Bobby Ryan, set up by a gorgeous stretch pass from Stone.
Just past the game’s midway point, the Senators took the 3-2 lead following a Matt Duchene snipe on the power play. This was Ottawa’s third attempt on the power play through less than 30 minutes of action.
Not long after Duchene’s tally, Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored his ninth goal of the season, giving the Senators a two-goal lead going into the second intermission.
Down two goals, the Golden Knights came out firing on all cylinders to start the third period. Just 3:35 into the final third, Karlsson scored his 35th goal of the season to bring Vegas within one.
Just a few minutes later, Carpenter scored a shorthanded goal (!) to tie the game up at four apiece with 12:05 left to play.
It looked like Vegas was on the cusp of taking this game over, but a lucky bounce gave the Senators the lead when Alex Burrows deflected a Karlsson point shot past Marc-Andre Fleury to give Ottawa the late lead.
The Golden Knights came close to tying the game up again in the dying minutes, but Anderson stopped everything shot in his direction.
With this loss, Vegas has lost three straight games for just the second time all season.
While the Golden Knights did manage to get pucks into the net Friday night (something they were unable to do against Los Angeles), their lack of discipline (five separate minor penalties) and careless turnovers (12 giveaways) ended up costing them yet again.
The Golden Knights now embark on a five-game east coast road trip. They get back to work Monday against the New Jersey Devils and return home March 14 to take on that same Devils team in the T-Mobile Arena.