The Vegas Golden Knights traveled to Los Angeles for their first road game of the season but came up short in a very unimpressive 6-2 loss to the Kings.
The true loss, however, was that Mark Stone left the game with an injury in the second period.
He suffered the non-contact injury after taking an innocent-looking shot. He had to be helped to the locker room and appeared unable to put much pressure on his legs. He did not return to the game.
Mark Stone forces the turnover, fires off a shot and is then helped to the locker room. Not good. pic.twitter.com/480kc18WtJ— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) October 15, 2021
Head coach Pete DeBoer did not have an update on Stone’s status after the game but did say that Stone had been dealing with a minor injury that wasn’t serious enough to keep him out of the lineup.
The Knights don’t play again until next Wednesday, which will give Stone time to rest in the event that this is a short-term issue.
The whole night was a rough one for Vegas, however.
The first line was completely out of sync prior to Stone’s departure, as they only garnered a 20 percent Corsi share in nearly nine minutes of 5-on-5 together.
The Golden Knights had two rookies made their NHL debuts in the game, both draft picks from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Second-round pick Jake Leschyshyn and 2017 third-round pick Jonas Rondbjerg skated on the fourth line with fellow rookie Peyton Krebs.
Leschyshyn played 11:52 and managed one shot, three hits and a block, while Rondbjerg played 10:30. The all-rookie line had a rough night in limited action and got out-chanced 9-3 in 4:31 at 5-on-5.
The first period got out to a slow start, and both goaltenders were in control of the chances that were generated.
The Kings began to gain momentum, but Robin Lehner kept them off the board.
The Golden Knights struck first as a Shea Theodore shot from the point snuck through Calvin Petersen. Keegan Kolesar won a forechecking battle down low to set up the play. Brayden McNabb picked up the secondary assist against his former team.
Kolesar later got into the Knights’ first fight of the season with Brenden Lemieux, but Lemieux came out on top.
The Kings tied the game just over four minutes after Theodore’s goal when Dustin Brown buried his own rebound over Lehner’s shoulder.
The Kings got their first power-play opportunity of the game very late in the period and capitalized.
Anze Kopitar fired a shot from the point through traffic and got it by Lehner on the blocker side. Drew Doughty was credited with his second assist of the game on the goal. He finished the game with four points.
Los Angeles had an excellent period, and the Knights were thankful to hear the horn. The Kings tallied 18 shots on goal and held a 64.58 percent Corsi share (31-17) at 5-on-5 before heading to the locker room leading by a goal.
The Kings picked up where they left off in a brutal second period for the Knights.
Offseason-acquisition Phillip Danault scored just 3:05 into the frame in his Kings debut. Doughty tallied his third assist of the game on the goal.
Just under eight minutes into the period, Stone intercepted a pass, took a shot and somehow got hurt. He needed help to get to the bench and looked very shaky on his way down the tunnel.
The game continued to go downhill.
The Kings forced a turnover from Jonathan Marchessault in the Vegas offensive zone and were able to add to their lead, as Kopitar tallied his second goal of the game. Adrian Kempe picked up the loose puck and sent a saucer feed over to Kopitar on a 2-on-1 to make it 4-1.
This whole sequence is a giant yikes. pic.twitter.com/hLcHZ4eJsS— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) October 15, 2021
Late in the period, Evgenii Dadonov rang the far post. It was a strong night for Dadonov, and he and Nolan Patrick were the only Vegas forwards who finished with Corsi shares above 50 percent on the night.
The Golden Knights made a change in net at the beginning of the third period, as Laurent Brossoit made his Vegas debut. Lehner’s night ended with four goals allowed on 31 shots.
The Kings went to the power play just 1:22 into the period after Alec Martinez was whistled for a high stick. Doughty tallied his fourth point of the night with his first goal of the season. as he beat Brossoit glove-side on a shot from the point. It was the Kings’ second power-play goal of the game.
The Golden Knights got their first power play of the game less than two minutes later, but the man advantage expired without much to show for it. Vegas is 0-for-4 on the power play so far this season.
The Kings got on the board once again, and it was Kopitar for the third time in the game as he netted his fifth career hat trick. He finished the game with five points.
The Golden Knights cut the lead to 6-2 with Chandler Stephenson’s second goal of the season. Dadonov threw the puck at the net, and it deflected off Stephenson’s skate and past Petersen. It was the second straight game where Stephenson scored without taking a shot.
But it was far too little too late, as the Knights were outplayed in every facet of the game.
It was a brutal showing by Vegas. The Knights will have a long flight home after this outing, but the real concern is the health of the captain.
The Golden Knights don’t play again until next Wednesday when they host the St. Louis Blues at T-Mobile Arena.