The Golden Knights aim to record their second three-game winning streak of the young season and hand the Anaheim Ducks their seventh straight setback on Friday when the Pacific Division rivals meet in Las Vegas.
The Golden Knights posted a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday before Phil Kessel enjoyed a milestone night in a 4-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
Kessel scored his 400th goal of his career on Tuesday while playing in his NHL-record 990th consecutive game. That type of performance caught the eye of baseball’s ironman Cal Ripken Jr., who congratulated Kessel over social media.
“I think he’s excited by the streak. There’s a little more notoriety around him, and I think Phil’s always had that,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said. “… He said it himself he felt like that maybe he’s got more to give than people realize, so I think some of that came out and he matched sort of the talk around him and he backed it up, right? And I think Phil can still do some of that. What is he 35 now? So he’s not a 22-year-old kid anymore, but he’s still a guy that can impact the game.”
Kessel isn’t alone in making an impact for the Golden Knights. Jonathan Marchessault has a team-best five goals and shares the club lead in points (seven) with Jack Eichel and Chandler Stephenson.
Vegas has been downright stingy at the other end of the ice behind the goaltending tandem of Adin Hill (.935 save percentage) and Logan Thompson (.931).
“The guys are doing a great job in front of us,” Hill said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We’re keeping chances to a minimum.”
That doesn’t sound like music to the ears of the Ducks, who answered a 5-4 overtime win over the Seattle Kraken in the season opener with an 0-5-1 record. Also, they have mustered just six goals overall during their last four games and zero on 19 power-play opportunities since the season opener.
Despite his team’s struggles in the standings, Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins saw positives in Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I thought we stayed resilient through the game,” he said. “When we got down, I didn’t see a whole lot of heads dragging on the bench waiting for the next one to come. Guys were up on the bench. They stuck together through it. I thought we were fairly good in our own zone again. I still think we can play just a much more efficient game with the puck. We still tend to complicate things through the neutral zone.”
Troy Terry collected a goal and an assist on Wednesday and Trevor Zegras also tallied. Terry has club-best totals in assists (five) and points (nine), while the two share the team lead in goals (four).
“It’s more frustrating now than the last couple (losses) because I think (Wednesday’s) game could have gone either way,” Terry said.
Terry scored three goals in four games last season versus Vegas. The Golden Knights won three of the four meetings, however.
–Field Level Media