Golden Knights vs Panthers

Golden Knights vs Panthers


After a hard fought 4-2 loss to a exceptional and opportunistic Tampa Bay Lightning team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights (27-21-7) will have to pull themselves back together and bring their best game against yet another top rated team.


The Knights head to Florida Thursday night to play the Panthers (29-17-6); the last of their eight-game road stretch that has seen the team make major changes to their staff and a massive improvement game to game.

Florida was recently ranked to be the #11 team in the power rankings scale, but are third in their division behind Tampa Bay and Boston; two teams who are no doubt top teams in the NHL. The Panthers have taken advantage of their opportunities to secure games with over 29 victories on the season, scoring an average of 3.56 goals per game with a grand total of 188 for the season which is fourth in the NHL.

Florida hasn’t been a defensive force this season, however, relinquishing 171 goals against them thus far. At times, the Panthers can be very lax on the defensive, deciding to instead outscore their opponents, putting the pressure on opposing gameplans to keep up with their offensive onslaught.

Tonight’s game is a good opportunity for the Golden Knights, showing in the last few games how smothering and physical their defense can play. If not for the open net breakaway at the end of the Lightning game, the Golden Knights would have only lost by one goal. In that game, the Knights showed how they can tighten up defensively to keep themselves in games.

With a higher shot outtake, the Knights have outshot every team they have played except the Bruins since coach DeBoer took over the franchise. Vegas has managed to keep their games down to one possession differentials, a feat that was not present one month ago when the Golden Knights were on a four-game losing slide. Now they are going to play a team that has a similar shot outtake averaging 32.4 shots a game, and easily creating scoring opportunities.

This game will come down to who can play the best defensively out on the open ice, and who’s Goalie can protect the net the best. In that regard, the Knights will have an advantage with Goalie Mark-Andre Fluery securing the net, but this game more so than the others will come down to the rest of the team continuing the play they have demonstrated over the last few weeks; intercepting the puck, physically outplaying the opposing team, and assisting the goalie by blocking shots on goal out on the ice before it even gets close to the net.

One other issue Vegas has to attend to is the team’s inability to capitalize on their shots, something that was seen when playing Tampa Bay on Tuesday. the Golden Knights outshot the Lightning with 11 shots on goal than the Lightning, yet Tamp Bay managed to score four goals with only 18 shots.

The Knights can not allow this to happen a second consecutive time if they want to be in the win column when they return to the ‘ Fortress’ in Las Vegas on Feb. 8th to play Carolina. With a win, the Golden Knights have a real chance to insert themselves into the playoff conversation, while simultaneously fighting for a chance to go into the postseason with a division title.


Vegas will be going into he game a favorite to take out the Panthers in their house.  Game time is 4:00 pm PST.

Golden Knights vs Panthers     Golden Knights vs Panthers     Golden Knights vs Panthers     Golden Knights vs Panthers

Vegas! If you want another great place to watch the game, head to Al’s Garage in Summerlin. There are multiple televisions to watch all the games. On the weekends Al’s has “Happy Hour” starting at 9 AM and ending at 9 PM. Al’s Garage is located at 11760 W. Charleston Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada 89135. Tell them, “The Franchise sent you!!”


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