A lot of things have attributed to the Vegas Golden Knights’ success this season. From their hardworking style of play, to their aggressive forecheck, to their selfless team-first attitude, to the massive chip on the shoulders of each one of these “misfits,” the reasons go on and on.
However, when you take a closer look at each of their games this season, you’ll notice a trend when the Golden Knights win — they tend to score first.
It’s such a simple statistic, but scoring first has had a massive impact on whether Vegas wins or loses a game this season. In the postseason alone, the Knights are 11-2 when they score the first goal, although one of those two losses came in Game 2 against the Washington Capitals (the other loss was in double overtime against the San Jose Sharks in Game 2 of the second round).
Looking back at the regular season, Vegas was an unbelievable 34-7 when they scored first. Even more impressive, though, is how they went 21-3 at home during the regular season when they scored first.
If you’re wondering who those three losses were to, they came against the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators. Oddly enough, these three losses all came within a three week span, and the losses to the Kings and Senators were in back-to-back home games. Funny how hockey works sometimes.
Perhaps this is just a long-winded way of saying it is paramount the Golden Knight score first in Game 5 — and any potential game after — if they want to prolong this Stanley Cup Final.
If you are looking for optimism heading into Game 5, perhaps there is comfort in the fact that the Golden Knights have never lost four consecutive games in their short 101-game history. On the flip side, while they have never lost four straight, they have won four straight games on multiple occasions, including last round against the Winnipeg Jets. No team has ever came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Stanley Cup Finals, but then again, the Golden Knights have been the first team to do a lot of things this season.