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March 24, 2019

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Blog: Golden Knights fall in shootout to Bruins

0220_AP_VGKBruins01

John Locher/AP

Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with teammates Zdenoa Chara, back left, and Patrice Bergeron after scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, in Las Vegas. The Bruins beat the Golden Knights in a shootout.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 | 10:23 p.m.

Overtime couldn't decide a winner, and it took a shootout for the Golden Knights to fall 3-2 to the Boston Bruins at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday.

Vegas dropped to 2-2 in shootouts this season.

For the Golden Knights, William Karlsson scored, and Brandon Pirri, Alex Tuch, Jonathan Marchessault, Shea Theodore and Oscar Lindberg were stuffed.

Jake DeBrusk and David Backes scored for the Bruins, and Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Danton Heinen and Torey Krug were stopped.

The Golden Knights held the final shots on goal total, 33-27.

Regulation not enough

Things started off quickly to start the third, with each team scoring and sending the Golden Knights and Boston Bruins to overtime in a 2-2 tie.

First Brad Marchand rocketed a one-timed slapper past Marc-Andre Fleury at 1:09 of the period. He was all alone in the slot at the top of the circles and did what he needed to with the Danton Heinen feed.

Nate Schmidt didn't let the Bruins celebrate too long. Just 27 seconds later, Schmidt deked around defenseman Charlie McAvoy then lifted the puck over Jaroslav Halak's shoulder to tie the game at 1:36.

That was it for scoring in the period, but the action didn't stop. The sides played a 10-minute stretch with one icing for a whistle, and William Karlsson and Marchand hits posts within second of each other.

Still ties after two

The second period came and went without a goal, and the Golden Knights and Boston Bruins remained tied after the second period, 1-1.

William Karlsson had a terrific chance five minutes into the period, when Nate Schmidt sprung him loose for a breakaway. Karlsson went fore-hand, back-hand and the fore-handed shot was stuffed by Jaroslav Halak.

The Golden Knights had a few more odd-man rushes in the frame, including two during the Bruins' third power play of the night. Had it not been for a Halak diving glove save, Cody Eakin would have scored.

Boston, which came into the game with the league's second-best power play at 26.9 percent, was scoreless in three attempts.

Vegas held Boston to eight shots in the second period and held the Bruins without a shot for 12:05 without one. The Golden Knights had 12, bringing the game total to 22-14 in favor of Vegas.

Each side scores in first

The Golden Knights allowed the first goal, but made sure to even the game before the period expired, and the first intermission came with a 1-1 tie with the Boston Bruins.

Cody Eakin's point shot made it through the defense, and Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak kicked it away and right to the stick of Reilly Smith. It was a wide open net, and Smith did not miss for his 10th of the season at 18:24.

Boston's Jake DeBrusk had a strong start for the Bruins, and it took him just 11:17 to capitalize on a highlight-reel goal. DeBrusk collected a pass from Karson Kuhlman, spun around Shea Theodore and beat Marc-Andre Fleury up high to put the Bruins ahead early.

Each side had a power play in the first period, though neither converted. The Golden Knights led in shots on goal, 10-6.

Pre-game

The Golden Knights have had an up-and-down week.

First they got beat up by Toronto last week, extending their home losing streak to five games. They snapped it against the Predators with a statement win, then got shut out on the road against Colorado.

The Golden Knights won't have any time to rest, hosting the white-hot Boston Bruins at a 7 p.m. on national TV at T-Mobile Arena.

"We just need to get back to playing the way we did the middle part there of the year," forward Paul Stastny said, referencing December and January's seven-game winning streak. "I don't know if it's just we're tired or if it's just mental lapses on us, but we've been inconsistent, go we got to get back to playing our game and not worry about who we're playing against."

Players have admitted their confidence has been a little shaky. Forward Alex Tuch also called the feeling in the room inconsistent" and forward Oscar Lindberg said the confidence has "been better for sure."

"I think every team goes through these kind of stretches too, so we need to make sure we're focused for (tonight)," Lindberg said.

The positive is that reinforcements are coming. Forward Ryan Carpenter skated in a non-contact jersey for the first time since being injured Feb. 5, and defenseman Nick Holden was a full participant in practice and is a game-time decision for tonight.

The negative is the opponent. The Bruins are winners of six in a row, including a comeback thriller against the San Jose Sharks on Monday They swept the California swing with at least three goals in every game, and look just as dangerous without injured leading goal-scorer David Pastrnak as they did with him.

"I don't think they do anything special, I just think they play the game the right way for a long time," coach Gerard Gallant said. "We'll have to be at our best again."

Emerson's Prediction: Bruins 4, Golden Knights 2

Season record for predictions: Keefer 5-5, Emerson 14-8

TV: NBC Sports Network (DirecTV 220, Cox 38, CenturyLink 640)

Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM

Betting line: Golden Knights minus-135, Predators plus-115; over/under: 5.5 (minus-115, minus-105)

Golden Knights (32-25-4) (17-9-3 home), third place, Pacific Division

Coach: Gerard Gallant (second season)

Points leader: Alex Tuch (42)

Goals leader: Jonathan Marchessault (19)

Assists leader: Alex Tuch (26)

Expected goalie: Marc-Andre Fleury (2.61 gaa, .908 save percentage)

Bruins (35-17-8) (14-10-5 road), second place, Atlantic Division

Coach: Bruce Cassidy (third season)

Points leader: Brad Marchand (70)

Goals leaders: David Pastrnak (31)

Assists leader: Brad Marchand (47)

Expected goalie: Jaroslav Halak (2.35 gaa, .923 save percentage)

Golden Knights expected lineup

Forwards

Jonathan Marchessault, William Karlsson, Reilly Smith, Brandon Pirri, Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch, Oscar Lindberg, Cody Eakin, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Nosek, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Ryan Reaves

Defensemen

Brayden McNabb, Nate Schmidt, Shea Theodore, Deryk Engelland, Jon Merrill, Nick Holden

Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban

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