After the Golden Knights snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Tuesday night, Vegas center Chandler Stephenson believes it’s time for the team to start a winning streak.
“Tonight’s kind of a big steppingstone and something to build off of,” said Stephenson, who had a goal and an assist. “I think the guys feel good about the performance. You never want to be on a losing streak, but when you beat a team like Colorado, everything is kind of out the window. You just kind of move on from there. I think we’re going to go for a winning streak now.”
Vegas will try to make it two wins in less than 24 hours when the visit the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
It will be the first meeting between the teams since Sept. 14, 2020, in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup semifinals at the Edmonton bubble. Dallas rallied from a 2-0 third-period deficit to defeat the Golden Knights 3-2 on Denis Gurianov’s power-play one-timer at 3:36 into overtime.
That result clinched the series for Dallas, which held Vegas to just eight goals over five games.
With captain Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, both members of the Golden Knights’ top line, sidelined due to injuries, goals and wins have been tough to come by this season for Vegas. The Golden Knights have scored just 13 times in six games and are the only team in the NHL without a power-play goal.
Still, the victory over the Avalanche relieved a little pressure for Vegas, which is in seventh place in the Pacific Division and possesses a minus-7 goal differential.
“We needed a win,” Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. “We’ve been putting in some pretty good work. We had an opportunity to win a couple of the last games in the third period and didn’t do it. We needed one. Really short bench in the third and a lot of tired guys, but guys dug deep and really proud of the effort.”
“I think we just played really good defensively,” Stephenson said when asked what the difference was for the Golden Knights in the victory. “That’s kind of Vegas hockey how we played tonight. Taking our time and space away and making smart, good plays. … Hopefully keep building from here on out.”
The Golden Knights will be facing a rested and angry Dallas squad that comes in off a 4-1 loss at Columbus on Monday night. Stars coach Rick Bowness called a timeout during the second period after his team fell behind 2-0 and used a few choice words to try and fire his squad up.
“They just simply worked harder than us. That’s pretty much it,” Dallas captain Jamie Benn said.
Bowness said of the decision to call the early timeout, “I could tell the passion and the competitiveness just wasn’t there. We haven’t had a game yet where we said everyone was going. We have 10 guys going and 10 guys not going, or we have 12 guys going and six guys not going. It’s not 18 skaters on the same page yet.”
Bowness said he hopes that changes starting Wednesday night against the Golden Knights.
“I know it’s early, but until we decide to put our best game forward, which means preparation and playing with some passion and competitiveness, then this is what it’s going to look like — inconsistent hockey,” Bowness said.
–Field Level Media