LAS VEGAS — After Wednesday night’s disaster in Anaheim, the Knights had less than 24 hours to right the ship with the NHL’s best road team coming into town on Thursday. The Knights entered the second game of their post-Christmas back-to-back on a four game losing streak, with a goalie unit plagued with injuries. And yet, it was perhaps the quick turnaround that worked in the Knights favor on Thursday as they were able to flush last night’s effort with a strong first period effort that was parlayed into a necessary win.
How it happened
After giving up 4 goals to the lowly Ducks in the first period on Wednesday, the Knights were able to recover nicely during Thursday’s opening stanza. Jack Eichel tallied his 16th goal of the season 7:38 into the festivities, thanks to a primary assist from Ivan Barbashev and a secondary from Mark Stone. Logan Thompson stopped all seven shots he faced in the period, which was obviously a markedly better result than the start of his last outing.
The second period brought more fireworks for the 18,595 fans in attendance at T-Mobile Arena. 2:27 into the period, Michael Amadio buried an impressive finish off a perfectly-delivered flip pass courtesy of Pavel Dorofeyev.
The Kings managed to answer at the 13:07 mark in the period, when Anze Kopitar cleaned up an Adrian Kempe shot that ricocheted off Logan Thompson, earning Kopitar the primary assist on the goal.
Just over 1:30 after the Kings showed proof of life, William Karlsson took it right back as he buried the one-timer off a clean feed from Paul Cotter. It was Karlsson’s 15th goal of the season, placing him second on the team behind Jack Eichel.
The Knights held firm defensively in the third period, save for a short-range snipe from LA’s Trevor Moore that went top shelf to bring the Kings within a goal with two minutes remaining. The Kings fired an onslaught of shots at Logan Thompson in the games final minute, but the Knights were able to buckle down defensively to prevent a late game disaster.
The Knights will travel to Seattle on Saturday ahead of Monday’s Winter Classic game against the Kraken at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. It will be the second outdoor game for the Golden Knights in their brief seven season history, with the other being the Lake Tahoe affair in 2021.