The Golden Knights have officially swept the LA Kings in a hard hitting, fast pace game to the cup! Only 4 teams in NHL history have ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the series and believe it or not…the Kings are one them. However, that didn’t matter much to the Golden Knights as they became the first expansion franchise to sweep a team in NHL history! Let’s take a look at how the game went down.
Just 20 seconds after the opening period puck drop, Anze Kopitar gets a great shot on net that’s blocked by Fleury. It’s safe to say the Kings came ready to play. The Golden Knights answered back with 18:45 left in the first when Alex Tuch gets a quick shot on net from a rebound off the pad of Jonathan Quick. That was the only shot the Golden Knights had for over 5 minutes as the Kings were leading with shots on net 7-1. After 7 full minutes of not getting a single shot on net, Erik Haula from behind the goal tries to jam one in but catches the blocker of Jonathan Quick. After some more hard hitting action and just 5:55 left in the first, the Golden Knights get their first one man advantage against the best power play kill team in the NHL. After 2 full minutes I’m sure you can guess what happened…that’s right, Kings kill off the power play. 47 seconds left in the first period, Tyler Toffoli finds himself all alone in front of the net and send a quick shot that went off Fleury before the period came to an end. After 14 beautiful stops for Marc-Andre Fleury the period ends with the score 0-0.
After a scoreless first period the Golden Knights and the Kings hit the ice ready for round two! With 17:50 left, David Perron gets a good chance out front but hits the blocker pad of Jonathan Quick. As the clock runs down to 15:56 Brayden McNabb gets sent a one timer to a wide open goal and sends one to the back of the net giving the Golden Knights the lead! This marks his first ever playoff goal in his career. At 10:29 Ryan Carpenter sends a slap shot toward the net that Cody Eakin tried to redirect but the puck sails wide of the net. Shortly after, James Neal, who leads the league in playoff shots, draws a minor for slashing and puts the Kings on a Power Play. After 2 minutes of play, the Golden Knights kill the power play and we’re back to full strength. With just 2:39 left in the second and the Kings up 19-14 with shots on net, the Kings and the Golden Knights continue to battle until the clock hits zero. This ends the second period and score remains 1-0 in favor of the Golden Knights.
Now it’s crunch time for the Kings! With just 20 minutes left of play, the Kings need to create some magic if they want to stay in the playoff race. At 17:21 the Kings get a shot at Fleury who flashes the leather for a routine glove save. The Golden Knights answer back with back to back opportunities on Jonathan Quick but can’t deliver. At 10:35 Dustin Brown get a shot from the side of the net toward some open space but Fleury, like a flash of lightning, redirects the puck to the glass. With just 10 minutes left and a total of 10 goals on the entire series, James Neal feeds Alex Tuch a one timer that Jonathan Quick smothers by laying directly on top of the puck. Now we have a face-off opportunity in the Golden Knights end. After some quick passes and even quicker skating, Jonathan Marchessault sends a nasty slap shot off Jonathan Quicks mask which pops right off his head. Now we have 7:44 left and there’s a delayed penalty on Riley Smith for tripping. Knowing that when the Golden Knights touch the puck the refs will blow the whistle for a face-off, the Kings pull the goalie for a one man advantage in their own end. The Knights get ahold of the puck and play is blown dead. With only a few minutes left, the Kings play to the buzzer where they get one last shot off which is handled with care by Marc-Andre Fleury. The clock hits zero and the Golden Knight officially sweep the LA Kings and are headed onto the next round!