The Vegas Golden Knights returned to T-Mobile Arena following a brief two game road trip to face the Edmonton Oilers, losing 3-2.
Vegas came off of their quick road trip 1-1, losing to the St. Louis Blues 5-2, then defeating the Nashville Predators with an inverse of the previous game’s score.
Edmonton entered Saturday’s contest 1-1 on a road trip of their own, and looked to close their road trip out with a win.
The Golden Knights came out in the first frame swinging, however Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen continually denied the VGK’s scoring chances.
Koskinen faced a Golden Knights powerplay midway through the period due to William Lagesson going away for delay of game.
Vegas peppered Koskinen on their powerplay, with Max Pacioretty getting four dangerous shots off in succession and being stuffed on all four.
All but two seconds of the Golden Knights powerplay was played in the Edmonton zone, until Colton Sceviour broke the puck out and got a shot on Robin Lehner in the other end.
The Golden Knights’ next big scoring chance came off of a rebound from a Nic Roy one-timer where Jonathan Marchessault was robbed by Koskinen’s glove.
Marchessault went to the box shortly thereafter for slashing, giving Edmonton their first powerplay opportunity of the game.
Vegas would kill the penalty, however a turnover at the blue line by Pacioretty led to a 2-on-1 rush for the Oilers, where Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put one behind Lehner to give Edmonton the lead.
Edmonton found the back of the net once again with 16 seconds left in the first period, as Mark Stone turned the puck over Zach Kassian, who sprung Zach Hyman on a break. Hyman fended off the back-checking Stone, and lifted a backhand over Lehner’s blocker to bring the Oiler lead to 2-0.
The Oilers continued to pour on the offense, with Jesse Puljujarvi potting a goal of his own on a breakaway, giving Edmonton a 3-0 lead.
Vegas finally found the back of the net midway through the second period, with Chandler Stephenson scoring off of a Mark Stone feed.
To open the final period, Vegas got on the board once more.
A mess of players in front of Koskinen left a puck sitting in front of Marchessault, who swung his stick at it to filter it on goal. Reilly Smith got a piece of the puck to deflect it home and brought the Golden Knights within one.
The Golden Knights had a handful of scoring chances in the waning minutes of the game, but found no success.
Vegas dropped to 0-2 against Edmonton this season, and an overall record of 12-9-0.
“I think there were some good things we did tonight,” head coach Pete DeBoer said post-game. “There was 10 minutes of really poor hockey that bit us.”
Turnovers and odd-man rushes allowed Edmonton to jump out to their lead and put the Golden Knights into their hole.
“They’re an opportunistic team,” Vegas forward Chandler Stephenson said. “[They] are a team you cant give many chances to. We shot ourselves in the foot.”
Vegas, despite the loss, held star players Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl off of the scoresheet Saturday night, which is a difficult task for any team.
McDavid entered the game with 14 goals for 36 points in 19 games, and Draisaitl being the league’s leading scorer with 20 goals for 40 points in 19 games.
“Not a lot of teams can keep [McDavid and Draisaitl] off the scoresheet.” Smith said. “There’s other guys on that team. The breakaways is what costed us.”
The VGK hit the road again for a brief two game trip, facing the Anaheim Ducks Dec. 1 and the Arizona Coyotes Dec. 3, before returning home Dec. 5 against Calgary.
Vegas’ game against Anaheim starts at 7 p.m. and can be found on AT&T Sportsnet, and the game against the Coyotes can be found on ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m.