Published Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 | 6:45 p.m.
Updated Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 | 9:36 p.m.
The Golden Knights have outshot Los Angeles 30-20 through two periods, but trail 3-1.
Vegas controlled play for most of the first 40 minutes, but the Kings have taken advantage of limited opportunities and scored three straight goals including a late second period-goal by Anze Kopitar.
Kopitar went around the defense, and Golden Knights’ goalie Maxime Lagace missed badly on an attempted poke check, leaving the net wide open. Kopitar wristed the puck into the twine to make it 3-1.
Tyler Toffoli gave the Kings a 2-1 lead earlier in the second period when he beat Lagace following a turnover by the Golden Knights’ in their own zone.
Golden Knights, Kings tied 1-1 after one period
If the Golden Knights and Kings weren’t considered rivals before Tuesday night, they will be after.
Vegas and Los Angeles are tied 1-1 after a hard-hitting first period with plenty of action after the whistle.
William Karlsson got the Golden Knights on the board with his 34th goal of the season 5:27 into the game. The goal came just seconds after a Vegas power play ended before Kings’ center Drew Doughty could get back into the play.
The Kings would tie the game following an inexcusable turnover by Ryan Carpenter.
Carpenter passed the puck back into his defensive zone and it was intercepted by Kyle Clifford, who beat Maxime Lagace with a top corner shot to his glove side.
There were multiple shoving matches in the first period but no fights. Newly acquired Golden Knight Ryan Reaves has been involved in most of them, as has defenseman Colin Miller.
The team that can keep its emotions in check and focus on hockey will likely leave T-Mobile Arena with a win tonight.
A day after getting dealt from Detroit to Vegas, forward Tomas Tatar will make his Golden Knights debut against the Los Angeles Kings at T-Mobile Arena.
Tatar will play on the Golden Knights’ third line alongside Cody Eakin and Tomas Hyka.
“He’s a 20-goal scorer every year for Detroit,” Gallant said. “He’s a guy who can shoot the puck. He’s going to help the power play. We will ask him to be a 200-foot player.”
Tatar was tied for second on the Red Wings with 16 goals through 62 games in Detroit. The 27-year-old’s 110 goals over the last five years are the most of any Red Wing during that span.
“He’s a great hockey player and a great addition to our group,” Gallant said. “He adds more offense to our lineup and he’s going to help that group for sure.”
He flew to Las Vegas last night and will be inserted right into the lineup with injuries to James Neal and Oscar Lindberg Monday night in Los Angeles. Gallant said he doesn’t expect Neal to be out for long but he will miss tonight’s rematch.
“I’ve been fortunate to be traded to a team like this where guys are doing really well,” Tatar said. “I just want to chip in as much as I can.”
The Golden Knights are less than 24 hours removed from surrendering a 2-0 lead in the third period to the Kings. Los Angeles rallied to win 3-2 in overtime last night.
“I thought it was a great game and I’m looking forward to tonight’s game being very similar,” Gallant said.
Maxime Lagace will start tonight for Vegas, snapping 11 straight games with Marc-Andre Fleury in net. It will be Lagace’s first NHL ice time since Dec. 9.
Prediction: Golden Knights 5, Kings 4
Season record for predictions: 32-21
Puck drops: 7:30 p.m.
Where: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM
TV: AT&T SportsNet (DirecTV 684, Cox 313, CenturyLink Prism 1760)
Betting line: Golden Knights minus-165, Total 6 minus-125 to the under
Golden Knights (41-16-5) (24-5-2 home)
Coach: Gerard Gallant
Goal leader: William Karlsson (331)
Assist leader: David Perron (42)
Expected goalie: Maxime Lagace (6-6-1, 3.79 goals against average)
Los Angeles Kings (34-24-5) (19-13-2 away)
Coach: John Stevens
Goal leader: Anze Kopitar (26)
Assist leader: Anze Kopitar (42)
Expected goalie: Jack Campbell (0-1-0, 6.00 goals against average)
Golden Knights game-day roster
Forwards (12): Ryan Carpenter, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Oscar Lindberg, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, Tomas Nosek, David Perron, Ryan Reaves, Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch.
Defensemen (6): Deryk Engelland, Brad Hunt, Brayden McNabb, Jon Merrill, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt.
Goalies (2): Marc-Andre Fleury and Maxime Lagace