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VGK vs Stars WCF
Photo Credit: Dallas Morning News

Preview: Golden Knights vs Stars – 3rd Round – Game 2

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The Vegas Golden Knights look to even up the series with the Dallas Stars tonight.  Dallas only needed one goal for Sunday’s victory as the offensive struggles continue for VGK.

 

Vegas ran into a hot goalie for the last three games of the Vancouver series. That is old news. Anton Khudobin looked decent in Sunday’s shutout. He certainly was not tested to the extend of Thatcher Demko, but Khudobin did enough to keep the puck out of the net. Remember, this is the same team that just gave up twenty-nine goals in seven games to the Colorado Avalanche.

 

VGK vs Canucks
Photo Credit: Knights Source

The last VGK forward to score on an opposing goalie was William Karlsson with just over eleven minutes remaining in game four of the previous series. That means it has been over two hundred fifty minutes of game time since a VGK forward has scored on an opposing goalie. During that same stretch, only one VGK player (Shea Theodore) has beaten an opposing goalie, and he only did so twice.

This is the area where VGK needs a leader to emerge, someone who will put the team on their back for a bit. Jonathan Marchessault, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Riley Smith, and Alex Tuch can all be that player. One of these guys needs to step it up and find a way to get the team going.

 

Ryan Reaves was in the stands taking notes during Sunday’s game as VGK lost the physical battle.

 

It is a lot easier for players to make hits when they do not have to look over their shoulder for a player like Reaves. Nick Cousins tried to be that player, but no one in the league can do what Reaves does. We heard a lot about the “meatgrinder” line of Reaves, Cousins, and William Carrier during training camp 2.0, but the three of them have barely been on a line together since entering the bubble. This is a prime spot for Coach DeBoer to channel his inner Reggie Dunlop and tell the meatgrinders to “show me what you got.”

Maybe an old-fashioned line brawl is just the motivation that VGK needs? I don’t think we need to go as far as putting on the foil, but a few quality chirps mixed with a couple of fisticuffs can get the job done. Dallas needs to be held accountable for the liberties they took with Reilly Smith, Zach Whitecloud, and Mark Stone. Reaves will make his presence known early in this one.

 

VGK vs Canucks recap
Photo Credit: Bleacher Reports

David Perron was very impressive to watch in his season with VGK. His puck possession at times was impressive. He had a way of shielding the puck and was able to make great plays on both ends of the ice.  Nicolas Roy seems to have a similar style of play. He has been able to create scoring chances with little space with the puck. Roy is on the verge of breaking out with a multiple-point game.

I feel like Sunday’s game was close to peak performance for the Stars, and VGK was at about sixty percent.  Not taking anything away from Dallas, they got the job done in game one. Mr. DeBoer will adjust and find a way to get a better performance out of his players.

 

The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders kicked off the Eastern Conference Final last night.

 

Tampa got on the board just over a minute into the game and coasted to an 8-2 victory. There was no rust out of the Lightning as they had a week between games. The Islanders had just one day to rest and did not put up much of a fight. Fatigue has set in for the Islanders, and Barry Trotz will have to find a way to solve the Lightning with his tired troops.

 

Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars TV and Series schedule:

 

Game 1 – Dallas 1, VGK 0

Game 2 – Tonight – 5 p.m.  (NBCSN)

Game 3 – Thursday – 5 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 4 – Saturday – 5 p.m.  (NBC)

*Game 5 – Sept. 14 – 5 p.m.  (NBCSN)

*Game 6 – Sept. 16 – 5 p.m.  (NBCSN)

*Game 7 – Sept. 18 – 6 p.m.  (NBCSN)

*If necessary

 

The Golden Knights magic number to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup is still at 8!

 

GO KNIGHTS, GO!

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-Chris Gawlik – Franchise Sports Media

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