Year 2, Game 31: Golden Knights fall flat in L.A., lose 5-1 to Kings

Not a good day for Vegas.

So much for that hot streak the Vegas Golden Knights were on.

Vegas allowed five unanswered goals against the worst team in the league. They lost 5-1 to the Los Angeles Kings. This was a thing that happened.

Oscar Lindberg scored the lone goal for the Golden Knights. Marc-Andre Fleury made 20 saves in his ninth straight start. Those in the peanut gallery clamoring for Malcolm Subban had a field day today.

The following Kings scored a goal: Nikita Scherbak (what?), Matt Luff (on an assist from Brendan Leipsic!), Jeff Carter (thanks to Nate Schmidt’s skate), Derek Forbort and Nate Thompson (lord have mercy). Jonathan Quick made 29 saves for the victory.

The first few minutes started great. The lower bowl of the Staples Center was empty. Lindberg buried his first goal of the season less than five minutes into the game. Scherbak scored less than four minutes later (albeit with an assist thanks to a defection off a referee’s body) in his first game with the Kings after being claimed off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens last week.

For the rest of the period, the Golden Knights were struggling to connect on breakout plays, passes weren’t being made and chances weren’t coming to fruition. Jonathan Marchessault had a few quality chances but didn’t take the shot. He’s been struggling to find the back of the net lately, with just one goal in his last nine games.

The Golden Knights killed 21 straight penalties coming into this game. That streak ended on Luff’s goal, thanks to the great passing by Adrian Kempe and Leipsic.

With three minutes left in the second, Carter scored an odd goal. He tried to center the puck from behind the net, but it kicks off Schmidt’s skate and past Fleury. This was the kind of game for the Golden Knights, trailing 3-1 in the second period.

Speaking of Schmidt, this was not his best game, per evidence of Forbort’s goal to make it 4-1.

This game, overall, was one to forget for the Knights. Facing the league’s worst team, they weren’t able to get much going offensively and had a few lapses on the defensive end that proved to be costly. They did have some grade-A chances that Quick simply shut down. If you pair this with the poor showing against the Chicago Blackhawks the other day (despite the win in that game) the boys clearly need to regroup and get back on track.

The Golden Knights have a quick turnaround as they’re back at it again tomorrow at home against the Dallas Stars, and I’d be willing to bet that we’ll see Malcolm Subban for the first time in a while in that game. Vegas will play Los Angeles three more times before we celebrate 2019, in which they will play again on New Year’s.

Silver lining, somewhere it is.