Three takeaways from the Golden Knights’ 7-4 loss at Winnipeg on Friday:
1. On or off?
The Knights withstood an early barrage from Winnipeg in the first period and appeared to be in control midway through the second when the game took a turn.
Defenseman Colin Miller temporarily gave the Knights a 3-1 lead with a drive from the right faceoff circle on a power play.
But Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice challenged the play, contending that Knights forward Alex Tuch was offside entering the zone 25 seconds earlier. The NHL video replay officials agreed with Maurice.
“After reviewing all available replays and consulting with the Linesman, NHL Hockey Operations staff determined that Vegas’ Alex Tuch was off-side prior to the goal,” the NHL said in a statement.
The Jets responded with four straight goals after the ruling, including three in the opening 6:16 of the third, to go up 5-2.
Afterward, Tuch gave an honest assessment of the play.
“You can blame the refs all you want, you can blame the call, but, I mean, it’s offsides,” Tuch said. “I asked the video coach, and he said, ‘Yeah, it was offsides.’ It was a pretty close call, so it could have gone either way. I was hoping it was going to go our way, but it didn’t.”
2. Struggles in second.
There was a time not long ago that the Knights were the best second-period team in the NHL.
But they were outscored by Winnipeg 1-0 in the middle stanza, the third straight game the Knights have lost the second period.
The Knights have a minus-6 goal differential in the second period in the past nine games.
“I think we need to just be better in different areas of the game,” Knights forward James Neal said. “We played well the second half of the first period, parts of the second, and the third we were pressing, but a little bit too late. We were chasing the game.”
3. Engelland out.
Defenseman Deryk Engelland was scratched against Winnipeg on Friday and is listed as day to day, according to coach Gerard Gallant.
Engelland was hit in the hand with a shot during the third period of Thursday’s loss at Minnesota. Jon Merrill took Engelland’s spot in the lineup Friday.
Merrill picked up his first point in five appearances with an assist on Miller’s goal late in the third period.