Jason Franson / The Canadian Press via AP
Published Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 | 3 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 | 7:46 p.m.
The Golden Knights struggles on the road continued Tuesday night as they were bludgeoned 8-2 by the Oilers in Edmonton.
It was ugly from the beginning, as the Oilers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period. Edmonton opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal by Oscar Klefbom.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored his seventh goal of the season on a power play, and Patrick Maroon scored at even strength to cap off a dominant opening period for the Oilers.
The Golden Knights finally got on the board when Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored his third goal of the season to cut the deficit to 4-1 in the second period.
Defending Hart Memorial Trophy-winner Connor McDavid took over in the third period, scoring his eighth and ninth goals of the season to end any chances at a comeback for the Golden Knights.
James Neal picked up his tenth goal of the season, and is now tied for eighth in the NHL in goals.
Down five goals in the third period the Golden Knights pulled Maxime Lagace in favor of 19-year-old Dylan Ferguson, who saw his first NHL action. Ferguson made one save and surrendered a power play goal.
The loss drops Vegas’ road record to 3-5-1 and the Golden Knights have won only one of their last seven games away from T-Mobile Arena.
Next up is a trip to Vancouver, where the Golden Knights face the Canucks on Thursday.
Oilers lead 4-1 after second period
After a disaster of a first period, the Golden Knights settled down in the second period in Edmonton, but still trail the Oilers 4-1.
Edmonton extended its lead to 4-0 with 9:41 when Matt Benning tipped a shot under Maxime Lagace’s legs.
The Golden Knights got on the board when Pierre-Edouard Bellemare lifted the puck over Cam Talbot’s shoulder to make it 4-1.
The Oilers have outshot Vegas 24-12 after two periods.
Oilers lead 3-0 after first period
The Oilers scored with a man advantage and down a man in the first period. After a dominant 20 minutes Edmonton takes a 3-0 lead over the Golden Knights into the first intermission at Rogers Place.
Vegas got the first opportunity of the night with a power play early in the period, but Edmonton scored when Jujhar Khaira passed it to Oscar Klefbom on a 2-on-1 break to give the Oilers the lead.
Minutes later, Edmonton got a power play of its own and cashed in when Patrick Maroon made a great pass from behind the Golden Knights net to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who shot a one-timer past Maxime Lagace to make it 2-0.
The Oilers pressured the Golden Knights throughout the first period, and capped off the first period with a goal from Maroon, who beat Lagace on his blocker side with a slap shot from in front of the goal.
Edmonton outshot Vegas 13-5 in the first period and out-hit the Golden Knights 11-9.
The Golden Knights have faced some of the best players in the NHL through their first 16 games, but none as good as Oilers’ phenom Connor McDavid.
Vegas has held Jamie Benn, Jack Eichel, Vladimir Tarasenko, Jonathan Toews and Auston Matthews all scoreless, and it was largely due to the play of Luca Sbisa. The 27-year-old Swiss defenseman has been on the ice for the majority of every opposing star players’ ice time during each one of those games, and he has limited their production.
Now the Golden Knights face their biggest test yet in McDavid, and they do it without Sbisa, who didn’t make the trip to Edmonton. Coach Gerard Gallant said Monday that Sbisa was “day-to-day with soreness” but wouldn’t elaborate.
Jon Merrill replaces Sbisa in the lineup. The 25-year-old has played in only three games this season and hasn’t recorded a point, but he has a plus-minus of plus-2. Vegas will likely have to take a committee approach to containing McDavid, as well as dangerous forwards Leon Draisaitl and Milan Lucic.
“You just have to be aware when their studs are out there,” Miller said. “They’re obviously a very offensive team, so you have to have good gaps and not give them too much space. If you give them their space, then that’s when they can build up their speed and work by you.”
The Golden Knights may not have heavy-hitting enforcers to slow down the Oilers, but they’ve got fast-skating defenseman who can keep up.
“I don’t think we are going to be a big, bruising team,” Miller said. “We are built on speed, so we will try to skate with them.”
The last road trip wasn’t good to the Golden Knights, as they won just one of six games, but Miller said that trip will help them on this one.
“I think it makes us more aware that it’s not so easy to win on the road,” Miller said. “We have to improve on our starts on the road. I think our second halves of the game were pretty good; it was just our starts that killed us.”
Prediction : Oilers 4, Golden Knights 2
Season record for predictions: 8-7
Puck drops: 6 p.m.
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton
Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM
TV: AT&T SportsNet (DirecTV 684, Cox 1313, CenturyLink Prism 1760, Dish Network 5414)
Betting line: Golden Knights plus-170, Total 6 minus-120 to the under
Golden Knights (10-5-1) (3-4-1 away)
Coach: Gerard Gallant
Goal leader: James Neal (9)
Assist leader: David Perron (9)
Expected goalie: Maxime Lagace (2-4-1, 3.58 goals against average)
Edmonton Oilers (6-9-2) (3-6-0 away)
Coach: Todd McLellan
Goal leader: Connor McDavid (7)
Assist leader: Connor McDavid (12)
Expected goalie: Cam Talbot (6-8-1, 2.90 goals against average)
Golden Knights game day roster
Forwards (12): Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Oscar Lindberg, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, Tomas Nosek, David Perron, Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch.
Defensemen (6): Deryk Engelland, Brad Hunt, Brayden McNabb, Jon Merrill, Colin Miller and Nate Schmidt.
Goalies (2): Maxime Lagace and Dylan Ferguson