Golden Knights blank Oilers 4-0, secure third straight victory

Laurent Brossoit recorded his first shutout as a member of the Golden Knights.

The Vegas Golden Knights were victorious for the third game in a row as they shut out the Edmonton Oilers in a 4-0 decision Tuesday night at Rogers Place.

The Misfit Line had a particularly strong game, with each member finding the scoresheet at least once. The trio accounted for three of Vegas’ four goals, including two at even strength and one while shorthanded.

Laurent Brossoit made his third start of 2022, manning the crease against his former team in the first half of the back-to-back. He recorded his first shutout of the year and first as a member of the Golden Knights, stopping all 28 Edmonton shots.

It was Vegas’ second team shutout of the season.

Though the Knights lit the lamp four times, Brossoit played a critical role in keeping Edmonton off the board, especially in the first period.

It was the Knights’ first win against Edmonton this season after dropping the previous two meetings.

First period

Brett Howden’s career-best hot streak continued, as he scored for the fourth straight game to lift Vegas to a 1-0 lead midway through the opening frame.

Shea Theodore made the stretch pass to set up the goal, and Howden took care of the rest, recording a point for the fifth consecutive game.

Though Brayden McNabb had been effective in slowing down Connor McDavid, McDavid later forced Theodore to take an interference penalty, setting up an Edmonton power play.

The Knights were not phased, however.

In fact, it marked the return of the power kill, as the Knights scored their league-leading eighth shorthanded goal with just over three minutes remaining in the period.

Reilly Smith blocked a Tyson Barrie shot at the blue line, chased down the puck along the boards and sent a centering feed to the breaking William Karlsson.

Brossoit had a solid effort in the first period, cleaning up what was a very sloppy frame for Vegas. The Oilers held an 11-1 edge in high-danger chances in the first; Brossoit took care of all of them.

He stopped all 12 of the Oilers’ shots and made a particularly clutch save on a point-blank opportunity by Zack Kassian. He got a little help from the cross bar at the end of the period but helped the Knights carry a 2-0 lead into the locker room.

Second period

It didn’t take long for Vegas to pad that lead.

Just 14 seconds after a failed Vegas power play, the Knights struck once again.

A missed opportunity at one end of the ice led to a prime scoring chance for the Knights at the other, and Alex Pietrangelo made no mistake.

Jonathan Marchessault bought enough time for Pietrangelo to join the rush, skating backwards into the zone to protect the puck before setting up Pietrangelo in the slot. The All-Star defenseman beat Mike Smith far-side for the 500th point of his career.

It was the Knights’ third goal on their first nine shots of the game and gave them a commanding 3-0 lead just 3:05 into the middle frame.

The penalty kill took care of both of Edmonton’s second-period power plays in an improved overall effort by the Knights.

Despite being shorthanded, Vegas still outshot the Oilers 11-9 (6-3 at 5-on-5) and took over the possession battle at 5-on-5 (70 percent Corsi in the second compared to 33.3 in the first).

Third period

Once again, the Knights needed just 14 seconds to score. This time, however, it was just 14 seconds into the third.

Reilly Smith beat Mike Smith short-side on the opening play, cashing in on a Karlsson rebound to give Vegas a 4-0 lead.

The two finished the game with a goal and an assist, teaming up on two of Vegas’ four goals.

The Knights held McDavid without a shot on goal until the 5:05 mark of the third. He and Leon Draisaitl finished the night with minus-two ratings; Evander Kane recorded five shots and five hits in his fourth game with the Oilers.

Brossoit stopped seven of seven shots in the third to close out the win, finishing one of his best efforts with a 28-save shutout.

It was a dominant performance by the entire Misfit Line, which chipped in five points in the win.

Smith had an especially noticeable performance; his name has been included in recent trade rumors with Jack Eichel’s return in sight, but he was a force to be reckoned with.

The line had an expected goal percentage of 77.54 and held a 6-2 edge in scoring chances. Marchessault came very close to scoring a goal of his own but was unable to get to a loose puck in front of a wide-open net.

Despite keeping Edmonton off the board, tonight was more of a “results” game than a “process” game, as the Knights did have stretches of sloppy play. That being said, the team improved as the game progressed, and Vegas held two of the leading scorers in the NHL without a single point.

After giving up 11 high-danger chances in the first, Vegas maintained an 8-4 edge at 5-on-5 for the rest of the game.

That doesn’t mean Edmonton wasn’t pushing, but the Golden Knights got timely goals and timely saves; they also blocked 26 shots, which was another factor in this one.

The Knights will finish up the back-to-back tomorrow night in Calgary. Vegas now leads Calgary by seven points in the standings, though the Flames have five games in hand.