After getting shut out in a game for the first time since last February, the Vegas Golden Knights continue their five-game road trip Thursday night against the Montreal Canadiens.
The Golden Knights opened the trip with a 3-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday as Charlie Lindgren notched his first shutout since 2018 by making 35 saves.
It marked the first time since Feb. 27 at Colorado when Alexandar Georgiev turned aside 31 shots that the defending Stanley Cup champions were blanked in a game.
Goals were not a problem for the Golden Knights during a 11-0-1 start when they scored at least three times in each contest, highlighted by a 7-0 blanking of the Avalanche on Nov. 4. Since then, though, the Golden Knights are just 1-3-0 with three combined goals in the defeats.
Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t seem too concerned after his team’s latest loss.
“Oh, we won’t dwell on it,” Cassidy said. “I don’t think we’re that type of group. We’ll try to build on things. … If it’s snowballs, that’s a problem. When we’ve lost, it’s usually because we haven’t scored enough so that’s something that we’ll look at.”
The Golden Knights did give credit to Lindgren, who stopped four breakaways and several other point-blank shots en route to his third-career shutout.
“We had some great chances,” Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “Their goalie played good, so good for him.
“We did a lot of good things. Sometimes that’s the way it is. That’s hockey. We’ve played some games this year where we probably shouldn’t have won. We understand that. That said, we want wins. We’ll go back and have a good day (Wednesday) and get ready for Montreal.”
Said captain Mark Stone: “We’re playing well. We played a good hockey game tonight. Just didn’t get the result.”
Montreal, which enters off a 2-1 home loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, also finds itself in an offensive funk.
Forward Josh Anderson, who had 21 goals in 69 games last season, still hasn’t scored a goal and has two assists in 16 games this season. Standout winger Cole Caufield has one goal in his past nine games while veteran forward Tanner Pearson is in the midst of an 11-game goal drought.
“It’s just not going in right now,” said Anderson, whose potential game-tying shot in front of the net with 1:11 to go was gloved by Calgary goalie Jacob Markstrom. “Definitely getting the looks. Certainly have to change something. Maybe a new stick? We’ll see. … Got to keep my head down and keep pushing forward.”
Asked about Markstrom’s game-saving save, Anderson replied: “I still can’t believe it. Still in disbelief.”
Montreal head coach Martin St. Louis, who scored 391 goals during his Hall of Fame career, said he knows the feeling some of his struggling players are going through.
“I’ve lived it,” St. Louis said. “I’ve been in those times where it’s just not going in. So, it’s just have conversations, stay light, lighten up the conversation, and try and pick them up. That’s about it because the effort is there, the chances are there. Sometimes the game is just hard.”
This is the second meeting between Vegas and Montreal. The Golden Knights won the first one 3-2 in a shootout in Las Vegas on Oct. 30 behind 37 saves by Adin Hill and a fourth-round shootout winner by Shea Theodore.
–Field Level Media
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