Golden Knights lose 7-4 in Winnipeg for third straight loss


John Woods / The Canadian Press via AP

Las Vegas Golden Knights head coach Gerard, upper right, Gallant talks to a linesman (73) during first-period NHL hockey game action against the Winnipeg Jets in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.

Published Fri, Dec 1, 2017 (3 p.m.)

Updated Fri, Dec 1, 2017 (7:59 p.m.)

The Winnipeg Jets scored five times in the third period to hand the Golden Knights their third straight loss Friday night in Winnipeg.

It matches the longest losing streak in franchise history for Vegas, which also lost three straight from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2.

The Jets had six different goal scorers on the night, with Kyle Connor being the lone two-goal scorer. Mark Scheifele scored his 13th goal of the season for Winnipeg, and Patrik Laine scored his 12th.

The game was decided by special teams, where the Jets scored three goals on five chances with a man advantage. Winnipeg entered the game converting on 23.5 percent of power plays (top-five in the NHL) and showed why Friday night against the Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights were held scoreless on all five of their power play chances on the night, and have gone 0-for-10 with a man advantage during the current three-game losing streak.

Maxime Lagace struggled throughout the game, but especially in the third period. Lagace saved only 31-of-37 shots, adding to his league-worst .883 save percentage.

The Golden Knights will be glad to return home, where they host the Anaheim Ducks Sunday at T-Mobile Arena.

Golden Knights and Jets tied 2-2 after second period

Midway through the second period, Jets’ veteran winger Matt Hendricks raced off the ice holding his face. As he got to the bench trainers immediately handed him a towel to catch the blood pouring from his chin.

His chin was gashed open when Colin Miller’s skate incidentally made contact with his face, but Hendricks was back on the ice only minutes later.

Upon return, Hendricks beat Golden Knights goalie Maxime Lagace to tie the game 2-2 heading into the third period in Winnipeg.

The Golden Knights nearly extended their lead to two goals earlier in the period when Colin Miller ripped a shot past Connor Connor Hellebuyck on the power play. Jets’ coach Paul Maurice challenged that Vegas was offsides on the play, and after review it was determined Alex Tuch entered the offensive zone just prior to the puck and the call was taken off the board.

Winnipeg has outshot Vegas 29-24 to this point. The Golden Knights are 2-0-0 this season when entering the third period tied.

Golden Knights lead 2-1 after first period

Cody Eakin got the Golden Knights on the board, then William Karlsson scored his 14th goal of the season to give Vegas a 2-1 lead after one period in Winnipeg.

The back-to-back Vegas goals came after the Jets scored the first goal of the game. Tyler Meyers scored the power play goal for Winnipeg. The Jets are top-five in the NHL with a 23.5 percent conversion rate with a man advantage.

Eakin’s goal came on a rebound in front of the net. He batted it past Jets’ goalie Connor Hellebuyck to tie the game 1-1 with 7:09 left in the period.

Less than four minutes later, Karlsson scored when he tipped a shot from Nate Schmidt past Hellebuyck to give the Golden Knights the lead. With the goal, Karlsson now has eight goals in the last eight games and is tied for fourth in the NHL in total goals.

Vegas outshot Winnipeg 17-14 in the first period.

Pre game

The Golden Knights are in Winnipeg tonight, where they will try to avoid matching a season-worst three-game losing streak.

Vegas has struggled offensively for most of the last three games, and it won’t get any easier tonight. The Jets have allowed the sixth-least goals in the NHL, and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck has been great in net.

Hellebuyck is in the top 10 in wins (13), save percentage (.925) and goals against average (3.25).

On the other end, the Golden Knights will start Maxime Lagace in net, who ranks dead last in the NHL with a .870 save percentage.

He will likely face an onslaught of shots from a Jets team that ranks seventh in goals and fourth in power play percentage. Winnipeg’s offense is headed by Mark Scheifele with 12 goals and 17 assists. On his wing is Blake Wheeler, who is fifth in the NHL with 22 assists on the season.

The Jets’ offense goes deeper than the first line, with wingers Patrik Laine and Nikolaj Ehlers on the second line, and Mathieu Perreault swapping between the third and fourth.

As much as the Golden Knights’ offense has struggled as of late, the defense has played well. It didn’t allow 35 shots in a game for the entire month of November, and allowed fewer than 30 in 10 of the last 13 games.

That should take some pressure off Maxime Lagace, who despite a terrible save percentage, has won his last three decisions.

Still, the Jets are a talented team and will be seeking revenge for an embarrassing 5-2 loss on Nov. 10 in Las Vegas.

Prediction : Jets 5, Golden Knights 2

Season record for predictions: 14-8

Puck drops: 5 p.m.

Where: Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg

Radio: Fox Sports 1340 AM and 98.9 FM

TV: AT&T SportsNet (DirecTV 684, Cox 1313, CenturyLink Prism 1760)

Betting line: Golden Knights plus-180, Total 6 minus-110 to the under

Golden Knights (15-8-1) (6-6-1 away)

Coach: Gerard Gallant

Goal leader: William Karlsson (13)

Assist leader: Jonathan Marchessault, David Perron and Reilly Smith (13)

Expected goalie: Maxime Lagace (5-5-1, 3.66 goals against average)

Winnipeg Jets (15-6-4) (8-2-1 home)

Coach: Paul Maurice

Goal leader: Mark Scheifele (12)

Assist leader: Blake Wheeler (22)

Expected goalie: Connor Hellebuyck (13-2-3, 2.35 goals against average)

Golden Knights game day roster

Forwards (12): Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Brendan Leipsic, Oscar Lindberg, Jonathan Marchessault, Stefan Matteau, James Neal, Tomas Nosek, Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch.

Defensemen (6): Deryk Engelland, Brayden McNabb, Colin Miller, Luca Sbisa, Nate Schmidt and Shea Theodore.

Goalies (2): Maxime Lagace and Malcolm Subban

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