The Vegas Golden Knights are one of the NHL’s top teams but for whatever reason they are also one of the league’s more mediocre squads in games played on home ice. With a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the New York Islanders on Saturday evening, Vegas is now 8-8-0 in games played at T-Mobile Arena, and 1-5-0 over the last 6 played on home ice.
Anders Lee opened the scoring with just 1:02 of the period on a shot the outside of the circle on the edge of the slot to give New York a 1-0 lead. The lead would be short-lived as Reilly Smith found the back of the net 1:11 into the 2nd on the power play. Just over 3 minutes later the Islanders scored again, this time Hudson Fasching, to take a 2-1 lead, and Simon Holmstrom picked up his first NHL goal at 17:36 to give the Islanders some insurance.
All night long the Golden Knights failed to take advantage of an Islanders squad that was playing the 2nd game of a back-to-back, and they were lucky to head into the 3rd period only down a pair of goals. The Islanders nearly took a 4-1 lead into the final 20 minutes, but time expired prior to Casey Czikas’ shot entering the net.
Just like he did in the 2nd period, Smith scored early into the 3rd period to help bring Vegas within a goal of tying, but ultimately that was Vegas’ final goal of the game. Brock Nelson and Zach Parise added a pair of empty netters, and that was enough for the Isles to hold on for a 5-2 victory.
There was a scary moment in the 3rd when Mark Stone had to leave the ice after seemingly suffering a non-contact injury.
Mark Stone left ice without putting any weight on leg after this. pic.twitter.com/V9OFo9rPfD— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) December 18, 2022
Fortunately it appeared to be nothing all too serious as he returned to game action minutes after leaving the ice.
In total, the Golden Knights out shot New York 38 to 26, including a margin of 29 to 17 over the final 40 minutes of play. Vegas went 2 for 3 on the power play, 2 for 2 on the penalty kill, but were unable to get the job done against a tired Isles team that lost a tough game to Arizona the night before.
Logan Thompson stopped 21 of 24 in the loss, and Smith picked up goals 15 and 16 on the season. Alex Pietrangelo picked up an assist in his return to play, and Chandler Stephenson was the only other Golden Knight to pickup a point. Vegas is off on Sunday, and they return to action Monday evening against the Buffalo Sabres.