The early window on the west coast for a hockey game may be tough to get up for, along with having no fans in the stands. The Los Angeles Kings and the Las Vegas Golden Knights, matched each other's energy as the Knights completed a two game sweep of the Kings, winning 4-3.
An ambush of a first period from both offenses, a total of five goals scored inside the first twenty minutes of play and it started off the stick of Kings captain Anze Kopitar. Only thirty-six seconds into the game, Kopitar found the back of the net for his second goal of the early season. Minutes later Reilly Smith took Kings goaltender Calvin Petersen high on the glove side to tie it up. Smith’s third goal would only keep the game tied shortly. The lead would then shift once more, as Adrian Kempe tucked in his fourth marker of the season in a small window on Robin Lenher’s glove side. In high flying action though, of course this lead would only last around thirty seconds as Zach Whitecloud scored his first career goal, off of a beautiful pass from Cody Glass. The tying tally generated from the Knights youth, would then be followed by a goal from Chandler Stephenson. Stephenson’s second goal of the year came off of assists from Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty. The red hot first line of the Knights, would help carry the 3-2 lead into the break.
It was a different pace of play in the second period, as the Knights entered the second frame up by one, they returned to the locker room tied. Los Angeles came out looking to fire pucks to the net more consistently. It took some time but eight minutes and fifty-three seconds into the second period, Jaret Anderson-Dolan was able to net one pass Lehner. Through the first forty minutes, Lehner had allowed three goals. Although without any fans in attendance, you could feel the groans that would have come as the Kings found ways to stick around, in a game that the Knights easily could have been up by multiple goals in.
Only one minute and thirty-eight seconds into the third frame, Chandler Stephenson took Peterson five hole, for his second goal of the game, which would be also tallied as the game winner. Los Angeles would later find themselves on two crucial power-plays. The ladder came with four minutes and twenty-six seconds left to play. Yet the Kings would have nothing to show for it, as Las Vegas killed it off making the Knights four for four on penalty kills in this contest. Los Angeles would pull Peterson for the extra attacker, the best chance came off of a drive from Kempe, looking for a tip in front. Only to be deflected behind the net and later cleared by the Knights to cap off the victory.
The Golden Knights moved to 7-1-1 on the year, sweeping the Kings in their first series of the season dropping Los Angeles to 3-6-2. Las Vegas sits in third of the highly competitive Honda West division, with the Anaheim Ducks (5-5-3) right behind them in the fourth spot that has been rotating often between a few teams, all who the Golden Knights will meet plenty of more times. Starting with Anaheim at home on Tuesday night.