LOS ANGELES (AP) The rest of the hockey world may be waiting for the expansion Golden Knights to come crashing back to reality. Vegas is having way too much fun to be concerned.
The Golden Knights’ remarkable inaugural season kept getting better Thursday night with their sixth consecutive victory, a 3-2 overtime win over the Los Angeles Kings.
David Perron’s goal 3:30 into OT won it for the Knights, who have points in 11 consecutive games (10-0-1), an expansion team record. The victory increased their lead over the second-place Kings in the Pacific Division to three points.
”We just keep playing our game,” Perron said. ”We don’t look at who’s on the other side. For us tonight was one of the bigger games of the year, knowing the standings situation.”
Brendan Leipsic and Jonathan Marchessault also scored for the Knights, who got 26 stops from veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
The Knights continue to play like a team that’s been together for years, not one recently assembled.
”It was something I was worried about coming into camp,” Fleury said. ”But right from the start, we’re all in the same boat. All coming from different teams. We have to make it work. It’s just been fun. We have a great group of guys. It’s fun to come to the rink and play together.”
The Kings scored first off a shot from Derek Forbort that deflected off the stick of Marchessault, and then apparently, off the shoulder of the Kings’ Marian Gaborik.
Gaborik was credited with his sixth goal.
But in the Knights completely dominated the second period, outshooting the Kings 15-3 and tying it on Marchessault’s goal.
”I thought the second period was our best period of the year,” said Knights coach Gerard Gallant.
Leipsic’s first goal of the season midway in the third period gave Vegas a 2-1 lead, but Los Angeles tied it late when Jake Muzzin’s shot deflected off Drew Doughty and past Fleury.
Vegas outshot the Kings 39-28. Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick stopped 36 shots.
The Kings put plenty of pressure on Fleury to start the overtime, but it was Perron who finally found the back of the net to win it.
”We were lucky to get one point,” Doughty said. ”(Quick) obviously had to play well. They outshot us by a pretty big margin. We had a really, really bad second period. In some ways, I don’t even think we deserved a point.
”We are obviously kind of lucky, and happy now that we got it, but that wasn’t a very good performance by us.”
The Knights were playing on consecutive nights, beating the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, while the Kings rested.
”Probably one of the most disappointing games this year,” said Kings coach John Stevens. ”A lot of east-west plays, a lot of frustration at the referees instead of ourselves.
”The intention to play the game the right way wasn’t there, especially in the second period against a team that played last night. We started chasing the game a little big. Disappointing.”
NOTES: The Knights now have 52 points, tops in the Western Conference and second overall only to Tampa Bay’s 56. . The Kings activated Kyle Clifford from the injured reserve prior to Thursday’s start. . Leipsic’s goal was not only his first of the season, but the second of his career. Gallant on his teammates’ reaction: ”They were just so excited for him. They were jumping all around. It was a big moment for him.” . The Kings held a pregame ceremony honoring Dustin Brown for playing in 1,000 career games, all with Los Angeles.
Golden Knights: Return home Sunday to play Toronto.
Kings: Begin a three-game road trip Saturday in Vancouver.
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