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Knights on Ice — Minnesota Inches Past Vegas
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Dateline: Las Vegas, NV
Sunday, April 4, 2021

 

Minnesota didn’t need a lot of goals or much ice to beat the VGK last night by a score of 2-1 for the 2nd straight game. But all of a sudden, Vegas is in the midst of a 3-game losing streak, all at T-Mobile. Prior to these last 2 games and the 2nd game of the L.A. Kings’ 2-game set, the confines of T-Mobile had been good to the VGK, who had a home record of 14-2-1. It’s now 14-4-2. But when you score only 3 goals in the last 2 games and 5 goals in the last 3, you should consider yourself lucky to even get 1 point out of a possible 6. And with all the games in the division, these 3 games were actually worth 12 points.

Both Minnesota goals were scored within inches of the goal line at the feet of Marc-Andre Fleury. Minnesota players have not been shy about going to the front of the net, causing havoc in front of the Flower, in these last 2 games.

The VGK, on the other hand, seem to believe they can beat goaltenders from the perimeter. Minnesota kept Vegas to the outside away from the crease/blue paint area.

Cam Talbot is a good goaltender. He’s had 2 excellent games recently against Vegas. You won’t get the biscuit by him without being willing to go to the dirty area in front of the net.

The VGK are not only in the midst of a 3-game losing streak, but they’re struggling to put 18 bodies on the ice. With Stephenson still serving his 3-game suspension, he won’t be eligible to play until Wednesday in St. Louis. Ryan Reaves has now missed his 3rd game with a lower-body injury and Zach Whitecloud was also not available. Cody Glass returned from the Henderson Silver Knights and Patrick Brown was inserted into the lineup and played between William Carrier and Keegan Kolesar on the 4th line. Then Patrick Brown was injured during the game and didn’t play after the 2nd period.

Cody Glass now has had 2 different chances to make his case for staying with the club. Playing between Stone and Pacioretty while Stephenson was out with an injury or on his current suspension, Cody hasn’t stepped up. Playing between these 2 snipers is a rookie’s dream come true, but it’s been a nightmare for Glass so far. Last night, he had 15:10 of ice time, including 1:54 of power play time. He recorded zero shots on goal and took a penalty that led to a Minnesota power-play goal 6 minutes into the 3rd period that tied the game at 1-1.

Tomas Nosek had the lone VGK goal when he scored in the first period for the 1-0 lead that Vegas took into the 3rd period. Vegas was 15-0-0 when leading entering the 3rd period this season. Nosek’s goal seemed like a surprise to everyone except Nosek. The play appeared to possibly be offside and some Minnesota players eased up on pursuing the puck. Nic Roy casually kicked the puck, thinking that once he touched it the play would be blown dead. But it wasn’t. Nosek picked up the kick pass from his feet and sent the puck past Talbot from his backhand.

Last night’s win by Minnesota was the 4th straight against Vegas. Minnesota was beaten in their first 2 meeting vs. Vegas at T-Mobile on March 1 March 3. These 2 teams will play two more times in May to complete their 8 games.

Minnesota scored their two 3rd period goals just 55 seconds apart. The first was a PPG from Kirill Kaprizov while Cody Glass sat in the penalty box. The 2nd was scored by Joel Eriksson Ek, which turned out to be the game-winner.
Vegas did put 11 shots on Talbot in the 3rd period, but to no avail, even with Fleury pulled for the extra skater with 1:59 left in the game.

The opposing goaltenders over the last 3 games have been the better goaltenders and that will not happen often when you have both Fleury and Lehner as your net. Fleury didn’t help his cause last night as he was giving up rebounds galore.

The Vegas power outage continues with the lack of goal scoring and their dismal power play which went 0-3 last night. The power play for Minnesota went 1 for 3 and even though they only registered 3 shots on goal, they got one behind Fleury. Vegas only generated 4 shots on Talbot during their power play opportunities

Vegas played 17 games in March and the schedule doesn’t get any better; they have 17 games scheduled in the 30 days of April when they play every other day, except for 3 back-to-back games April 11-12, April 18-19, and April 23-24. With their limited roster of 23 players instead of the allowed 25 and no practice time, there is little time to rest and recuperate and zero time to work on improving the power play. Currently, there is no light at the end of this dark tunnel.

My 3 Stars Of The Game

  1. Joel Eriksson EK ( Who had the winning goal in the 3rd period just 55 seconds after Kaprizov’s goal)
  2. K. Kaprizov (PPG which tied the game in the 3rd period)
  3. Tomas Nosek ( 1G and has been the best VGK over this 3 game losing streak)

Next game is Monday April 5 on the road vs. St Louis Blues at 5 p.m. Pacific Time.

If you want to hear and see more VGK content please check out the podcast I do with Eddie Rivkin on YouTube it’s called Hockey Nights in Vegas
Here is a link to our previous podcast.

Your comments and opinions are welcome here at Las Vegas Advisor or you may contact me directly at [email protected] or on my Facebook page or the Facebook page of Vegas Hockey Guy or on Twitter @TheRealJoePane.

One other note: If you’re reading this blog from Facebook or Twitter and would like to access it earlier in the morning before I share it on social media, it’s usually published by 8 a.m. the morning after a game on LasVegasAdvisor.com. What better way is there to enjoy your morning coffee than reading my take on last night’s VGK game.

Minnesota PPG that tied the game at 1-1

The only VGK goal by Tomas Nosek

Eriksson Ek winning goal

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