The cry coming from NHL is ‘Break up the Golden Knights’
October 10, 2017 3:01 AM
by Bob Harvey
The hue and cry coming from the NHL is “Break up the Golden Knights.”
Vegas is off to a 2-0 start in its first season thanks to a pair of narrow road victories. Now the Golden Knights raise the curtain on their home season as they host the Arizona Coyotes. The puck drops at 7 p.m. PT at T-Mobile Arena. Vegas is the third NHL expansion team to start 2-0-0, joining the 1967-68 Oakland Seals and Los Angeles Kings.
The Golden Knights (2-0-0) made former Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury the first pick in the expansion draft and his play through the opening two games has justified that selection. One night after stopping 45 shots in a 2-1 win in Dallas, Fleury kicked aside 27 attempts in Arizona paving the way for another 2-1 victory.
With Fleury pulled for an extra attacker, defenseman Nate Schmidt scored on the rebound of a James Neal shot to tie the game 1-1 with 1:12 left in regulation. Neal, who had both goals in the opening triumph at Dallas, put the biscuit in the basket at the 3:45 mark of OT for the game winner.
The Coyotes (0-1-1) got a stellar performance from their goaltender on Saturday as Antti Raanta made 42 saves in his Arizona debut.
The Golden Knights have cashed twice as substantial ‘dogs with closing numbers of +180 and +143 against Dallas and Arizona respectively. Both games have stayed under the 5.5 threshold.
Vegas has been near perfect in face-offs, winning 18 of 21 in the circle (85.7 percent) in the first period. However they continue to struggle in the power play department. They’re 0 for 11 through two games.