Las Vegas Sun

February 19, 2018

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Golden Knights fall to Panthers in overtime

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AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Florida Panthers’ Aleksander Barkov (16) celebrates after scoring against Vegas Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban (30) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in Sunrise, Fla.

Updated Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 | 7:31 p.m.

The Golden Knights’ ineptitude with a man advantage haunted them again Friday night in Florida, as they went 0-for-3 on the power play and fell 4-3 in overtime to the Panthers.

The positive is Vegas gets a point out of the game despite trailing for the majority of it. James Neal tied the game 3-3 with only 2:09 to play after deking through the Panthers’ defense and lasering a wrist shot past goaltender James Reimer’s outstretched blocker glove.

That goal sent the game to overtime, where the Panthers ended it quickly. Aleksander Barkov walked in all alone on Malcolm Subban, but Subban slid across the crease to stop the shot with his pad.

Golden Knights’ defensemen attempted to clear the rebound but put it right on the stick of Aaron Ekblad, who fired it into the wide open net.

Neal's goal was his 20th of the season. He has now reached that mark in 10 consecutive seasons dating back to his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Dallas Stars and Nashville Predators.

Not only were the Golden Knights unable to convert on the power play, but they surrendered a shorthanded goal to Barkov in the first period. Vegas has now scored on only one of its last 29 power play opportunities and has gone scoreless in its last 16.

The loss is Vegas’ third in four games since returning from the bye, with the Golden Knights’ only win coming Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Despite the slump, Vegas has actually increased its lead in the Pacific Division by nabbing a point in each of the overtime losses.

With 64 points the Golden Knights are 10 points clear of the San Jose Sharks, who currently sit in second place.

Golden Knights, Panthers tied 2-2 after two periods

Golden Knights forward William Karlsson scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season Thursday night in Florida to tie the game 2-2 entering the third period.

The goal moves Karlsson into fifth place in the entire NHL in goals, only three behind league-leading Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, but it was a spectacular play by defenseman Shea Theodore that made it possible.

The 22-year-old jumped up into the rush, drove the puck deep into the corner and ripped a cross-seam pass to Karlsson, who tapped it into the wide open net from the doorstep.

It was Theodore’s 11th assist on the season.

Golden Knights’ goaltender Malcolm Subban stopped all eight shots that he faced in the period including a breakaway chance for Panthers’ forward Jared McCann.

Panthers lead Golden Knights 2-1 after one period

The Golden Knights’ struggles on the power play continue to haunt them, as they trail the Panthers 2-1 after one period in Florida.

Vegas has scored only one goal in its last 30 power play attempts since Dec. 19, and allowed a shorthanded goal late in the first period to give the Panthers the lead.

Florida’s Aleksander Barkov scored his league-leading fifth shorthanded goal of the season with 4:05 remaining in the first period to restore the Panthers’ lead.

Jamie McGinn opened the scoring only 3:15 into the game when Vegas goaltender Malcolm Subban poke checked the puck right onto his stick. McGinn slipped the puck under Subban’s pads for his sixth goal of the season.

The Golden Knights tied the game with 5:38 left in the period when David Perron ripped a wrist shot into the top of the Panthers’ net. Erik Haula set the goal up with a long, cross-ice pass to Perron, who shot the puck into the net before Florida goalie James Reimer could get over.

Vegas is 5-4-2 this season when trailing after the first period, but the Panthers are one of the worst teams in the league at holding a lead with a record of 11-6-2 when scoring first.

Pre game

The Golden Knights are in Sunrise, Fla., today for a matchup with the Panthers.

Hanging high over the rink at BB&T Center is a banner that reads: “Most successful all-time first year NHL team.” It commemorates the Florida Panthers’ 1993-94 season in which they won 33 games.

The Golden Knights are in search for win No. 31, with 38 games still remaining in the season. The team has crushed nearly every expansion record in NHL history, and have set their sights higher.

With a win over the Panthers tonight, the Golden Knights would move into first place in the NHL.

Vegas has held steady atop the Western Conference for weeks, but completing a regular season sweep over the Lightning Thursday night in Tampa Bay gives the Golden Knights the opportunity to pass them in the standings tonight.

Already leading the Pacific Division by nine points, a win would also extend the Golden Knights’ lead.

The Golden Knights won the first meeting between the teams 5-2 on Dec. 17. The Panthers raced out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period, but Vegas scored five unanswered goals, including two in the final minutes when Florida pulled its goaltender.

Tonight will also be the first time Gerard Gallant coaches in BB&T Center since the Panthers unceremoniously fired him in November 2016.

Prediction : Golden Knights 3, Panthers 0

Season record for predictions: 25-15

Puck drops: 4:30 p.m.

Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM

TV: AT&T SportsNet (DirecTV 684, Cox 1313, CenturyLink Prism 1760)

Betting line: Golden Knights minus-105, Total 6 minus-115 to the under

Golden Knights (30-11-3) (12-9-1 away)

Coach: Gerard Gallant

Goal leader: William Karlsson (24)

Assist leader: Jonathan Marchessault and David Perron (26)

Expected goalie: Malcolm Subban (11-2-0, 2.38 goals against average)

Florida Panthers (18-19-6) (10-8-6 home)

Coach: Bob Boughner

Goal leader: Vincent Trocheck (17)

Assist leader: Jonathan Huberdeau (28)

Expected goalie: James Reimer (12-12-5, 3.05 goals against average)

Golden Knights game day roster

Forwards (12): Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Ryan Carpenter, William Carrier, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Brendan Leipsic, Jonathan Marchessault, James Neal, David Perron, Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch.

Defensemen (6): Deryk Engelland, Brad Hunt, Brayden McNabb, Colin Miller, Nate Schmidt and Shea Theodore.

Goalies (2): Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban

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