The Vegas Golden Knights suffered a brutal 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night. The Flyers ended a four-game losing streak with explosive offense and tight passing. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, self-sabotaged with unnecessary penalties, lackluster goaltending, and some strange line changes.
With Malcolm Subban still recovering from a lower body injury and Marc-Andre Fleury coming off an impressive shutout against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas put Oscar Dansk in the net. It was his first NHL game in almost two years, and... boy, did it show. He allowed four goals in the second period alone.
Even before the second period, Dansk was challenged. While he was stopping the puck, he was moving slowly. The goaltender’s teammates did him no favors, though.
Jake Bischoff was noted for having a mistake-less NHL debut against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, but he was penalized early in the first period for cross-checking. This penalty gave the Flyers the momentum to score their first goal from the faceoff circle to Dansk’s left, courtesy of Travis Konecny.
Unfortunately, sloppy penalties were a larger issue for the Golden Knights. Ryan Reaves, Brayden McNabb, and Jonathan Marchessault all received penalties after getting unnecessarily physical with Philadelphia’s players. Before this game, Vegas had the second-highest amount of minor penalty minutes in the NHL (the Calgary Flames were the only team ahead). They also had a near-perfect penalty kill, too. That seemed to fall apart tonight.
Despite Vegas’ best efforts, Philadelphia had two huge spurts of energy in the second period, earning four goals total. In the first spurt, center Kevin Hayes scored on an excellent wraparound goal. No doubt his height (which supposedly is 6’5”) contributed to this goal, allowing him to stretch around and beat Dansk to the opening on his right.
Philadelphia’s Michael Raffl also shined in this game with two goals and one assist. This included his truly awesome-looking breakaway goal in the third period to make the game 6-2. His first goal occurred just 44 seconds after Hayes’.
Michael Raffl just took a lovely little stroll down the Silk Road. pic.twitter.com/iBMSrPJCbR— Jordie (@BarstoolJordie) October 22, 2019
The Golden Knights allowed two of the Flyers’ six goals on the power play, but even strength was also rough. Philadelphia created a high amount of high-danger scoring chances throughout the game. While Vegas’ first line created some excellent scoring chances of their own, they were not as close to the net, nor were they as successful.
Do you want to hear something heartbreaking? I know your heart is broken already, but I’ll say it anyway. Mark Stone’s Corsi for percentage at 5-on-5 was 0.00. Zero. From Mark Stone. Mark Stone had ZERO shots on goal at even strength.
It was an uncharacteristic game for the VGK superstar, but our friends at SinBin made a good point: head coach Gerard Gallant changed up the lines right at the beginning of the second period. Mark Stone ended up skating with Brandon Pirri and Cody Eakin on the third line for a decent chunk of the game. Worth noting, Pirri’s Corsi for at even strength was 13.33%, while Eakin’s was 12.50%. There’s a pattern there. The pattern is that the third line is not generating good scoring chances.
That’s to be addressed in the next game, though. The Golden Knights head to Chicago next to take on the Blackhawks, where it is almost certain Oscar Dansk will not be in the net. Here’s to hoping that game goes a liiiitle better.