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How the Golden Knights’ penalty kill has been so good

The Golden Knights lead the league in PK% to this point in the season.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Chicago Blackhawks at Vegas Golden Knights Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights penalty kill units have been outstanding to this point in the season. They are leading the league in PK% and it is the latest they have led that category in the franchise’s history.

The outstanding stature of the unit has been an integral part of the Golden Knights success this season. They have only allowed 17 goals while being shorthanded, the best mark in the league.

One of the reasons that the Knights have been so successful this season is not overworking the penalty kill. They have been shorthanded 122 times this season, the second-fewest this season only trailing the New York Islanders.

The Golden Knights are giving Alec Martinez the most ice-time while being shorthanded this season and he has excelled. Martinez has played 110:31, blocked 34 shots, and has been on the ice for two of the three shorthanded goals for Vegas this season.

Another reason the Golden Knights are so deadly on the PK is their speed and one of their fastest players, Chandler Stephenson, has been right in the mix. Stephenson has had a career season and defensively he has been stellar, but his offense while shorthanded has stood out more.

While shorthanded, Stephenson has been the most offensively active Vegas player, and one of the best in the league. He is tied for sixth in the league for individual high danger chances for with five. He has also been one of the best Golden Knights in the faceoff dot in all scenarios, just behind William Karlsson.

Karlsson has been another excellent player while shorthanded for the Knights, but we have seen that over a few years. Karlsson has always seen extensive time on the PK during his tenure with the Vegas and for good reason. He has taken away the puck 34 times while shorthanded in his four years as a Golden Knight, and 5 times this season. He always seems to be breaking out into the offensive zone and the takeaways are a major reason why.

The Golden Knights have excelled at limiting shots while shorthanded, leading the league in shots against while shorthanded and ranking eighth in SA/60 while shorthanded. Vegas’ success in these categories have made the job much easier on goaltenders Robin Lehner and Marc-Andre Fleury.

At times, the goalies have been the best penalty killers for the Knights. They have come up big multiple times during the season when called upon. Lehner has been stellar while the Knights have been down a man, he has the second-best SV% of goalies that have over 50 minutes of shorthanded TOI with 0.925.

The Golden Knights penalty kill has been one of, if not the best in the entire league this season and it has been critical for their success as a team. At this point Vegas has the most points in the league and has already clinched a playoff spot.