Golden Knights point streak ends with third period collapse against Coyotes

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY
The Golden Knights suffered an unthinkable collapse on Friday, giving up six goals in the third period in a 7-4 loss to the Coyotes at Mullett Arena.

TEMPE, Ariz. — In the Golden Knights’ seven-year history, the controversial five-minute major and subsequent collapse against the Sharks that caused their elimination in the 2019 playoffs is widely considered the most brutal ending in the history of the franchise.

After what happened against the Coyotes in Arizona on Friday night, that unthinkable collapse now has company. It might even have a new superior.

After entering the third period with a 4-1 lead, the Knights inconceivably managed to give up six goals in the final frame. The loss was a shocking end to seven game point streak that saw the team go from fighting for their playoff lives in the wild card race to being back in the running for the third automatic playoff berth from the Pacific Division.

“Going through the goals, I know a couple we mismanaged pucks going over the blue line, and they came back. There was some counter-attacks that way. (We) lost a battle on another one with a bad line change, so I’d say that was certainly some of it, us not taking care of the puck, taking care of some of the details,” said Bruce Cassidy. “We got caught in the middle of (that) line change and then, I mean, let’s face it, there was a stretch there where every shot went in.” 

After Alexander Kerfoot opened the scoring on behalf of the Coyotes just over six minutes into the second period, Jack Eichel and William Karlsson each tallied their 27th goals of the season in the second period to help the Knights build their early advantage. Anthony Mantha and Chandler Stephenson also added goals for the Knights in their early crusade, and it looked like they were leaving the Party Barn in Tempe having collected a point or more in eight straight.

How quickly things change.

Josh Doan, Nick Bjugstad, Michael Carcone (2), Josh Brown, and Logan Cooley did the damage for the Coyotes in the third period. The young group scored on six of their seven shots as a team in the remarkable third period showing, albeit with a fair share of help from the Knights early exit from the arena.

“They were opportunistic, and we paid the price,” Cassidy continued. “I will say, going outside the third period, you can’t expect to play 30 minutes in this league and expect to beat anybody. We did, and that’s what happened.”

The Knights will look to bounce back on Monday against the Canucks in Vancouver. The game is a rematch of Tuesday’s game that saw VGK dominate for a 6-3 victory. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.