Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2019

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Dansk shines in Golden Knights’ comeback win over L.A.


Mark J. Terrill / AP

Golden Knights goaltender Oscar Dansk deflects a shot as Kings left wing Alex Iafallo reaches for the puck during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Los Angeles.

You wouldn’t be blamed if you tuned out after the Kings led 2-0 late in the third period. But you would have missed quite a comeback.

Trailing by two with six minutes left, the Golden Knights rattled off three unanswered goals, including a Jonathan Marchessault winner in overtime, to claim a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.

Curtis McKenzie got Vegas on the board at the 14:06 mark of the third after he was credited with a Los Angeles own goal, then Mark Stone tied it up 54 seconds later on a breakaway. Goalie Oscar Dansk made 36 saves in his preseason debut.

Here are three takeaways from the win.

No such thing as a bad loss

The Golden Knights improved to 3-0 in the preseason, but it wasn’t pretty. It was an uncharacteristic game for the Golden Knights — they were outplayed for almost the entirety of the contest.

The Golden Knights went into the third period trailing 26-19 in shots on goal and 40-30 in 5-on-5 shot attempts. Then it got worse. The Kings had the first nine shots on goal of the third and 17 of the first 20 shot attempts.

Overall, the Kings led 38-26 in shots on goal and 57-40 in 5-on-5 shot attempts. It’s a game the Golden Knights are pleased to see happen before the regular season begins, even if they would have gotten two points out of it. 

Goalie depth in the minors

Vegas netminders have combined to allow two goals on 62 shots the last two games, and neither goalie figures to crack the big club. Garret Sparks pitched a shutout in Colorado on Tuesday, and Dansk followed that with 36 saves on 38 shots Thursday.

Dansk was the bright spot of a Vegas backend that couldn’t keep the puck off Los Angeles sticks. He allowed the first goal on the power play rebound attempt, then a second when he lost his stick and a shot snuck underneath his blocker, but he was terrific for most of the game.

With Marc-Andre Fleury and Malcolm Subban virtual locks to be the goalies on opening night, Sparks and Dansk will battle for ice time at AHL Chicago. And if their early preseason returns are any indication, Vegas is in good shape if and when a replacement is needed.

Glass as a winger

Whenever Cody Glass makes the NHL, it will most likely be as a center. General manager Kelly McCrimmon said as much when training camp opened, and coach Gerard Gallant echoed that Thursday at practice. But Gallant also said the team wanted to see what Glass looked like on the wing, and lined him up on the right side Thursday. It lasted two periods before Glass lined up at center.

Glass started with Cody Eakin and Alex Tuch, producing a 6-8 disadvantage in Corsi as well as coming in under the break-even point for expected goals and scoring chances. Glass did look good on the power play, including a gorgeous no-look feed to Jimmy Schuldt, who rang it off the post.

Glass opened the third between Jonathan Marchessault and Mark Stone when William Karlsson did not come out to the ice. No matter the circumstances, it worked, as the new line was on the plus side of the possession metrics.

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