Vegas Golden Knights edge Los Angeles Kings in 1-0 victory
April 12, 2018 8:40 AM
by Nick Pellegrino
Well, Southern Nevada. How did you enjoy your first taste of Stanley Cup hockey – and it's only going to get better.
Backed by a goaltender who personally owns three championship rings, it's officially time to end the cutesy "Flower" nickname for Vegas Golden Knights backstop Marc-Andre Fleury. Save it for the regular season.
Let's try something more gritty, more playoff-appropriate. A moniker based from his days in Pittsburgh. Say, The Steel Curtain.
Fleury blanketed all 30 shots for his 63rd NHL playoff win, while defenseman Shea Theodore registered the contest's lone goal to help Vegas edge the Los Angeles Kings, 1-0, in Wednesday's opener of a best-in-7 Pacific Division semifinals series at T-Mobile Arena.
The victory tied Fleury with Curtis Joseph for 12th on the all-time list. It was his 11th postseason shutout, moving him to 10th all-time.
While Fleury already has enough numbers for a Hall of Fame career, Theodore is on the other end of the spectrum with his first-ever Stanley Cup goal, coming just 3:23 into the contest to better Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Vegas became the fourth NHL franchise to post a playoff shutout in its inaugural season, joining the New York Rangers (1927), the St. Louis Blues (1968) and Kings (1968). The Rangers and Blues posted shutouts in their playoff debuts, too.
Quick made 27 saves for the Kings, who have lost the series opener in three of their past five trips to the postseason. L.A. also outhit the Golden Knights, 68-59, as many predicted. But the speedier Vegas skaters were able to get many sticks on pucks to prevent quality shots.
This series should be a series of Unders. It’s possible we could see a betting Total as low as 4.5 by the time the clubs switch to Staples Center in L.A. for Game 3 this weekend.
But first things first, with Game 2 set for Friday at T-Mobile.