The Vegas Golden Knights were shut out for the fifth time this season as they watched their two-game winning streak come to an end in a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild Monday night at Xcel Energy Center.
It was the Golden Knights’ first action following the trade deadline, though drama surrounding Vegas’ potential trade of Evgenii Dadonov to Anaheim continued to unravel throughout the course of the game.
The issue reportedly stems from Dadonov’s 10-team no-trade list that includes Anaheim; the NHL and NHLPA are now involved as the matter is further investigated.
Vegas released a statement during the game.
We have become aware of an issue with respect to the trade. We have been consulting with the league office. We will provide further information once it becomes available. #VegasBorn— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) March 22, 2022
But the Golden Knights had a task at hand tonight, and the team failed to take care of business.
After impressive wins against Florida and Los Angeles, Vegas came up short against Cam Talbot and the Wild, who notably landed Marc-Andre Fleury in a deal earlier in the day.
Minnesota’s game-winning goal was scored by newly-acquired Nicolas Deslauriers, and Tyson Jost — also a new addition to the club — recorded the secondary assist.
It was a goal Logan Thompson might like to get back, though Deslauriers was left alone in the slot for the one-timer off a behind-the-net feed from Brandon Duhaime. Deslauriers’ shot beat Thompson five-hole to give the Wild a 1-0 lead.
NEW THREADS, NEW GOALS #mnwild pic.twitter.com/qw4AOgF9UN— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 22, 2022
The Wild outshot Vegas 15-6 in the opening frame, but Thompson held Minnesota to just one goal through 20 minutes.
Neither team scored in the second period, but Matt Dumba netted the insurance marker almost exactly 40 minutes after Deslauriers opened the scoring.
Minnesota’s first goal came 5:43 into the first period; the second came 5:46 into the third.
Dumba scored on a deep screened shot after a few unlucky bounces off Vegas sticks left the puck on his blade. He had been shut down by Thompson on another strong scoring chance in the second period, but this time he got his way.
DUMBA HITS THE JACKPOT #mnwild pic.twitter.com/LbcmM1LHTn— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) March 22, 2022
The Knights had a particularly excellent scoring chance of their own at the tail end of the game when William Karlsson had a point-blank shot from the slot, but it was turned away by Talbot, who finished the game with 28 saves.
Ryan Hartman scored an empty-net goal to seal the 3-0 win, handing the Golden Knights their sixth consecutive loss on the road.
Zack Hayes made his Golden Knights debut after being one of several players recalled from the Henderson Silver Knights prior to the game.
The defenseman finished the night with one shot, six hits and a minus-one rating in 9:22 of ice time.
Aside from Thompson, Jack Eichel was Vegas’ best player all night. He created chances out of thin air every time he was on the ice, but the second he got to the bench, the Golden Knights’ performance fell flat.
The loss further complicates Vegas’ standing in the Pacific Division and Western Conference wildcard race, especially since Edmonton and Nashville also are in action tonight. But the controversy surrounding the Dadonov trade has taken center stage.
The Golden Knights will have to fight through the distraction when they finish up the back-to-back tomorrow night in Winnipeg; considering how tight the standings are, Vegas can’t afford to lose another one.