The Vegas Golden Knights knew their first-round National Hockey League playoff series game against the Los Angeles Kings was going to be tough, and that's exactly what it has been. Playing their first two NHL postseason games ever, the Golden Knights have a 2-0 lead over the Kings in the best-of-seven series now after two victories at T-Mobile Arena.
After winning 1-0 on Wednesday and 2-1 on Friday in double overtime, Vegas sees the series shifts for two games at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, where the Kings hope to turn the tide of the series. If Los Angeles wins Game 3 or Game 4 on its home ice, then there will be a Game 5 back at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday, April 19. Tickets can be purchased here, as tickets may become available throughout the playoff period after NHL and visiting team holds are released.
The Golden Knights emerged victorious in the first two games primarily due to those time-tested factors of playoff hockey success: great goaltending and timely scoring. In Game 1, Vegas defenseman Shea Theodore scored just 3:23 into the first period on a hard wrist shot from out near the blue line, and then goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves to record his 11th career postseason shutout.
Game 2 was a little different, but the same characteristics defined the victory for the Golden Knights: Fleury made 29 saves, and left wing Erik Haula netted the game-winning goal in the second overtime period with less than five minutes remaining. Haula skated in deep on L.A. goalie Jonathan Quick and slipped the puck through the five-hole for an amazing completion to an exciting game.
History is on the side of most NHL teams that go up 2-0 in a series as the all-time reality here is that hockey teams going up 2-0 at home in the first round end up winning the overall matchup 86.7 percent of the time (72-11).
However, the old playoff adage still rings true: The series really does not start until the home team loses a game. This L.A. roster knows that truth intimately, after coming back from a 0-3 deficit in the 2014 NHL playoffs against the San Jose Sharks on their way to a second Stanley Cup title that year. The Kings won't blink any time soon.
Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 7:30 pm PT in Los Angeles and the Golden Knights can expect the Kings to have jumped from the first drop of the puck. This series is far from over.
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