Knights attempt to avoid 3rd straight loss, host Wings

The Pacific Division-leading Vegas Golden Knights have yet to lose three games in a row this season. They’ll try and keep that streak intact on Thursday night when they host the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s the sixth game of a season-long, seven-game homestand for the Golden Knights, who are just 13-12-0 at T-Mobile Arena and have dropped three of their last four games there. That includes a lackluster 4-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on Monday afternoon, the first time since April 16, 2022, at Edmonton that Vegas was blanked in a game.

The loss to the Stars came on the heels of a 4-3 setback to Edmonton on Saturday night that saw the Golden Knights fall behind 2-0 in the first 1:42. They then found themselves trailing 4-2 midway through the third period before William Karlsson cut it to one with just 42 seconds remaining.

Both losses featured a surprising lack of energy combined with key turnovers in Vegas’ own zone that were converted into goals.

“Nowhere near good enough,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said when asked about his team’s energy, or lack of it, in Monday’s loss. “Not NHL effort tonight. Not from our group.

“No one wins 82 games a year, but we need better here at home. Terrific fans are here supporting us here every night and we have to play better in front of them. We have to put out a better effort. That will be our goal obviously on Thursday to bounce back in that area. Hopefully that’s a start.”

Vegas has had to deal with a rash of injuries again this season.

Captain Mark Stone, who left a 4-2 win over Florida in the first period last Thursday with an upper-body injury, is listed as week-to-week while hard-nosed forward William Carrier left the Edmonton loss with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Alec Martinez, who leads the league in blocked shots, left Monday’s contest with an illness.

“We have to get back to our game and understand that every team goes through a certain level of adversity, adversity being injuries or bad breaks or whatever, and you play your way out of it,” Cassidy said. “And Thursday will be that opportunity.”

Detroit, which is six points out of a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, has lost three games in a row. The Red Wings will be finishing up a three-game Western road trip that began with a 6-3 loss at Colorado on Monday followed by a 4-3 shootout loss at Arizona on Tuesday.

The loss to the Coyotes, who snapped a nine-game losing streak, was particularly painful because the Red Wings built a 3-1 lead on goals by Pius Suter and David Perron just 58 seconds apart early in the third period. But Arizona rallied to tie it on goals by Travis Boyd and Dylan Guenther and then went on to win it on shootout scores by Nick Schmaltz and Nick Bjugstad.

The Red Wings have lost six of their last eight games (2-5-1).

“The frustration is there because the effort is there,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “I think the want and will is there from the group. It’s just managing our game a little bit better.”

A win over the Golden Knights would make it a successful road trip, according to Lalonde.

“Any time you go on the road you want as many points as games and we still have that opportunity,” Lalonde said. “Win in Vegas and we get three points in three games (and) it’s a solid road trip.”

–Field Level Media