Double-overtime is prime time for Golden Knights over Kings

Double-overtime is prime time for Golden Knights over Kings

April 14, 2018 7:57 AM
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It's a near repeat about Wednesday's game story, but there's one different, important caveat. Well, Southern Nevada. How did you enjoy your first taste of Stanley Cup overtime hockey!

In a second-overtime period completely dominated by the Vegas Golden Knights, Erik Haula scored at 15:23 to finally outlast the Los Angeles Kings, 2-1, before a record crowd of 18,583 at T-Mobile Arena on Friday.

The Knights lead the best-of-7 Pacific Division semifinals series, 2-0, with games 3 and 4 set for L.A. on Sunday and Tuesday.

For bettors: historically, clubs which sweep the first two contests at home capture the series some 89 percent of the time.

On Vegas' 56th shot of the contest, Haula's shot barely filtered under the leg of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who would've been the game’s first star if L.A. had won.

L.A. were already short-handed on defense,  utilizing  three defensemen with little to no Stanley Cup Playoff experience in Game 1: Christian Folin (two games), Oscar Fantenberg (none) and Paul LaDue (none). Now they might use another: Kevin Gravel (none).

Throw in the 1-game suspension of Drew Doughty – arguably, the best defenseman in the NHL – due to an illegal check in Game 1, became too much for Quick to bail out. Oscar Fantenberg, a teammate with Vegas' William Karlsson on the Sweden National Team, logged more than 40 minutes in place of Doughty. Meanwhile, Quick registered 54 saves on 56 shots – both are L.A. club records.

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 29 saves for his 64th career postseason triumph. Haula, a native of Finland, connected for his 7th postseason goal. The first half-dozen came with the Minnesota Wild, including three as a rookie in 2013-14.

Vegas' Alex Tuch opened the scoring on the power play in the first period for the team's first power play against the Kings all season (0-for-13 in regular season). L.A. answered with a second-period power play goal by Paul LaDue, deflecting the original drive by Dion Phaneuf at 15:55.

Faceoff on Sunday is at 7:30 p.m. PT.