The Vegas Golden Knights won their fifth-straight game on Friday. Vegas beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-0 at the Honda Center, their fifth win in six games against the Ducks this season. The Golden Knights moved within two points of the Colorado Avalanche for the division lead with the victory.
With Tomas Nosek ruled out before the game, the Golden Knights went to an 11-7 setup as Dylan Coghlan re-entered the lineup and Mattias Janmark, in just his second game with Vegas, moved to third-line center. Janmark hadn’t played any center this season in Chicago and took just 16 faceoffs before this game. He had a 50 faceoff percentage with six wins on Friday.
The Golden Knights took 15 shots in the first period, the most in a road opening frame this season. While Vegas was unable to score on any of those 15 shots (including 1.57 expected goals), they didn’t have a problem scoring for the rest of the game.
William Karlsson scored just nine seconds into the second period to start the scoring:
Really good sequence by Smith off the draw.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/PkMexw4Jpz— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) April 17, 2021
It’s Karlsson’s fourth goal of the season against the Ducks, which leads the Golden Knights. The play was made by Reilly Smith, who helped win the faceoff and skated the puck to the crease as Karlsson scored on his rebound.
Chandler Stephenson scored a little over four minutes after Karlsson’s goal to make the score 2-0:
Three goals in five games for Stephenson after that 13-game drought. Stone and Pacioretty with the assists.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/XDNHRXcmYD— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) April 17, 2021
Nicolas Roy stole the puck late in the second period and scored on Gibson to give Vegas a three-goal lead before the third period:
Emphatic way to close the second. Third goal in six games for Roy. Golden Knights lead 3-0 after two.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/BplgBZvFCf— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) April 17, 2021
Brayden McNabb, after taking a team-high four shots in the first period, started the scoring in the third as the puck took a bounce off of Alexander Volkov’s stick:
McNabb tied his season-high in shots with five. He had just 23 and one goal coming into the game.
Stephenson earned a penalty shot in the third period after John Gibson threw his stick at Vegas’ center. But Stephenson was unable to score on the penalty shot — not too tragic considering the score.
The Golden Knights were dominant throughout this game. After the 15 shots in the first period, the Golden Knights did even better in the second period with 23 shots before adding 13 in the third period. Of those 51 shots, 38 came at 5-on-5.
The Ducks produced just 16 shots throughout the game, 13 of them at 5-on-5. Anaheim’s 1.46 expected goals were beaten by Vegas in two of the three periods.
Robin Lehner saved all 16 of the shots and 1.45 expected goals he faced. He saw five high-danger shots and stopped them all. Vegas allowed just seven high-danger chances in 60 minutes. The Golden Knights generated 19.
Vegas’ power play was the worst part of the game for the team. The Golden Knights came in as the only team in the West Division that had not scored on Anaheim’s penalty kill, and they exited the game with that still being the case. Vegas’ power play produced 12 shots and 1.25 expected goals in eight minutes, but Gibson was able to stop everything the Golden Knights’ power play sent his way.
The penalty kill allowed just one shot and 0.06 expected goals against in four minutes. The power play allowed more shots and expected goals (two, 0.12).
Vegas, using seven defensemen, played Coghlan just 8:40, the lowest time on the team. He had one shot and took at least one shift as a fourth-line forward. Nicolas Hague and Zach Whitecloud played just 15:01 and 15:03 respectively as well.
All four lines controlled quantity against the Ducks, but the fourth line of Tomas Jurco, Roy and William Carrier — which played just 3:39 — generated just 0.14 expected goals and allowed 0.34. They went without a high-danger chance and allowed two.
The Golden Knights face the Ducks again on Sunday at 1 p.m.