The Vegas Golden Knights have extended their winning streak to four games after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3, finishing off their five-game road trip with a 4-1 record. With this win, the Golden Knights became the first team in the Western Conference to reach 90 points and surpassed the Toronto Maple Leafs for fourth place in the league standings.
The Flyers are currently in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and have lost nine of their last 10 games, including a four game losing streak following this matchup. Unfortunately for the Flyers their schedule will only get tougher from here as they take on the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers over the next week, who are all teams fighting for their positions in the postseason.
From an optimistic standpoint, the Flyers are now tied for the fifth-best odds to win the Connor Bedard sweepstakes when the NHL’s Draft Lottery comes around this summer. As they continue to deal with Travis Konecny’s injury, who is their leading scorer this season, this tough stretch of games could help ‘improve’ their draft position and speed up their rebuild.
On the opposite end of things, the Golden Knights are playing their best hockey since their hot start to the season. They’ve now gone 13-2-2 in the 17 games played since the All-Star Break, and as previously mentioned, are in the midst of a streak of their own, winning four in a row. These wins have been statement games for the Golden Knights, taking down two of the best in the Eastern Conference in the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes in the process.
Quick Makes History
Jonathan Quick improved his record to 4-0 with the Golden Knights after stopping 27 of the 30 shots he faced last night, and looked really solid the whole game. All of the goals he allowed came off of deflections and defenders getting beat, leaving him little chance to come up with a save. When the Flyers began to push back, he was able to hold them off in the final minutes and make some extremely tough saves to secure the win.
Quick is the fourth goaltender for the Golden Knights to start 4-0 with the team (Malcolm Subban, Robin Lehner, Adin Hill), and his .933 save percentage (SV%) is second-best among goaltenders with a minimum of four games played this season. Additionally, this win tied Quick with John Vanbiesbrouck for second on the all-time wins list among American goaltenders in the NHL with 374.
The Golden Knights have had extremely good goaltending throughout the season from Adin Hill, Logan Thompson, Laurent Brossoit, and now Quick. The main narrative for this team leading up to the regular season revolved around the absence of Lehner, and general manager Kelly McCrimmon has managed to bring in effective players who have exceeded expectations, and Quick is someone who can be added to that list.
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Between the four of them, they have a collective .926 SV% and a 2.32 goals-against average (GAA), which is second and seventh best in the NHL in those respective categories. With just 14 games left in the regular season, it’s safe to say the experiment of goaltending by committee, while not ideal, has been an overwhelming success for the Golden Knights.
While there were some messy points throughout this game the Golden Knights were able to put together the exact type of offensive performance a team of their caliber should be having against a lower-end team, especially at this point in the season.
They’ve now managed to build a five point lead on Quick’s former team, the Los Angeles Kings, for top spot in the Pacific Division, and seem to be getting hot at the perfect time. With players slowly returning to the lineup over the next few weeks, this team should be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.
The Golden Knights will get some much-needed rest and travel home after a successful road trip to prepare for the Calgary Flames on Thursday night, followed by a Sunday afternoon game against the Columbus Blue Jackets to close out the week.