Golden Knights 3, Oilers 0: Vegas shuts out Edmonton for seventh straight win
Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves for his fifth shutout of the season.
The Vegas Golden Knights’ winning streak is still alive and well after the Knights picked up their seventh straight win with a 3-0 blanking of the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The win, the Knights’ sixth straight on home ice, gives Vegas a four-point lead in the Pacific Division.
It was a brutal start to the game for Vegas, as it was all Edmonton early on.
If not for the stellar play of Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas could have been trailing by at least a few goals.
But just two days after the Knights made a splash by acquiring Robin Lehner at the trade deadline, Fleury had a statement performance and kept his team in the game with a clutch 12-save period.
Thanks to Fleury, a period that saw the Oilers maintain a Corsi For percentage of 64 and a 3-0 edge in High-Danger Corsi remained scoreless until Max Pacioretty found twine at 16:04.
What. A. Shot.— Knights On Ice (@knightsonice) February 27, 2020
30-goal Max is back. Assist to Karlsson.#VegasBorn pic.twitter.com/8jfVzAdbaX
The Oilers may have been the much better team in the opening frame, but it was the Knights that came away with a 1-0 lead as Pacioretty hit the 30-goal mark for the sixth time in his career.
The middle frame was a different story, however, as it was one of the most dominant periods of hockey the Knights have played all season.
They won the Corsi battle handily (27-8) and held a significant edge in shots (15-5), scoring chances (14-3) and high-danger Corsi (7-0).
Despite Vegas’ best efforts, though, it was Oilers netminder Mikko Koskinen’s turn to shine, and he had himself a period to remember with 16 saves.
He was unable to hold off Vegas in the third, though.
As has been the trend all year for Vegas, the new guy scored a goal.
Nick Cousins arrived in Vegas just this morning but became the sixth player this season to score in his Vegas debut.
Cousins beat Koskinen on a backhand as he capitalized on a rebound in front of the net, converting on the power play for his 10th of the season.
First as a GOALden Knight!!!! pic.twitter.com/rEbjpQbJBK— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) February 27, 2020
His versatility was on full display as he played center and wing and spent time on both the third and fourth lines in an effective performance.
Shea Theodore also scored for the Knights with his 10th of the year later in the third.
Fleury had to be sharp in the second half of the frame as the Oilers made a push, but he finished the night with 29 saves for his fifth shutout of the season and the 61st of his career.
Alec Martinez, who is now skating with Theodore on the second pair, had another strong game with two assists, giving him six points in four games as a Knight. He also made several strong defensive plays, including this one on Connor McDavid.
That hustle to cut off McDavid's angle was absolutely worth two second-round picks. pic.twitter.com/RrHRZQ0Knq— Danny Webster (@DannyWebster21) February 27, 2020
One key to tonight’s game was special teams play, as the Oilers boast the best power play and the second-best penalty kill in the league. Plus, players like McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are difficult enough to contain at even strength, let alone when they’re given more time and space.
Significantly, however, the Knights won both battles, going 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and converting on one of three opportunities on the man advantage.
Despite the tough start, the Knights rebounded with another strong performance. Confidence seems to be at an all-time high, and it’s certainly a good time for that to be the case.
The Knights have gone 9-2-1 so far this month and sit four points ahead of Vancouver and Edmonton atop the Pacific Division standings. Vegas has nine remaining games against division opponents, including two more against the Oilers in March.
The Knights are one game shy of a franchise-high eight straight wins. They’ll have a chance to tie that record on Friday when they close out the month with a home matchup against Buffalo.