The Vegas Golden Knights were shut out for the second night in a row when they fell 4-0 to the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday at Canada Life Centre.
It was the second time this season that the Knights were held off the scoresheet in consecutive games.
The Golden Knights were outscored by a combined 7-0 margin in the back-to-back against Minnesota and Winnipeg; the Golden Knights have lost seven straight on the road after going 0-5-0 on their previous road trip.
Vegas played a much better game in Winnipeg but suffered the same fate; the Golden Knights have gone 2-7-0 in their last nine games.
Controversy surrounding the Evgenii Dadonov trade continues to loom over the club, but this was not the time to leave critical points on the table. The Golden Knights, who failed to take advantage of another four-point game, have not scored a goal since the trade, which is still under review.
The Knights had an excellent first period, except where it mattered most: the scoreboard.
Vegas outshot Winnipeg 17-4 in the opening frame and held the Jets without a shot on goal through the first 15 minutes of the game.
Even so, Connor Hellebuyck kept things scoreless through the first 20 minutes until his team broke through on the power play 6:16 into the second period.
Pierre-Luc DuBois netted his 25th of the season for what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
☹ Pierre-Luc Dubois scores a power-play goal against the Vegas Golden Knights to make it 1-0. #VegasBorn #GoJetsGo pic.twitter.com/bZit3t1T24— Did VGK Score?! (@DidVGKScore) March 23, 2022
The Jets made it 2-0, but the goal was overturned after a successful offside challenge by Pete DeBoer.
However, the momentum didn’t swing in Vegas’ favor.
Mark Scheifele put the Jets up by two once again, scoring on a deflection at 15:14 of the middle frame.
☹ Mark Scheifele scores against the Vegas Golden Knights to make it 2-0. #VegasBorn #GoJetsGo pic.twitter.com/ysSFcyurNo— Did VGK Score?! (@DidVGKScore) March 23, 2022
Chandler Stephenson later hit the cross bar as the Golden Knights tried to pull within one, but it was not their night.
The Jets added another two goals in the third period; Neal Pionk scored on a one-timer to make it 3-0, and Nikolaj Ehlers gave Winnipeg the 4-0 lead at 13:51. Winnipeg ran out the rest of the clock for the shutout victory.
The Jets scored four goals on 26 shots; the Golden Knights scored zero on 42.
Vegas went 0-for-3 on the power play in another demoralizing defeat.
Though the Golden Knights still occupied the second wildcard seed at the end of the game, they would be out of a playoff slot before the night was done thanks to Dallas’ 5-3 win over Edmonton, which allowed the Stars to leapfrog the Golden Knights in the standings.
The Golden Knights’ string of losses continues to leave a larger gap between the two Pacific Division teams ahead of them (Los Angeles, Edmonton) and has allowed almost every team beneath them in the standings to make up ground.
With 16 games remaining in the 2021-22 campaign, the Golden Knights’ season is hanging by a thread.
Thursday night’s game against Nashville is an absolute must-win game; pretty soon, continuing to lose all of these “must-win” games is going to finally catch up to Vegas.