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Golden Knights earn winning streak with defense

Updated December 31, 2018 - 5:58 pm

The Golden Knights’ formula for success during their three-game winning streak has been simple: Don’t give up many goals.

The Knights have allowed just one goal in each of their last three games, one of the best defensive stretches in their history, and that helped them climb into a tie atop the Western Conference and Pacific Division standings entering Monday.

“I think that’s what our team’s done the last three or four games, played real good solid defense and that’s leading to good offense,” coach Gerard Gallant said.

The recent defensive success marks the second time in two seasons the Knights have allowed one or fewer goals in three straight games. The team allowed two over a three-game span from Oct. 13-20.

In this more recent run against the Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes, Knights goaltenders have stopped 90 of 93 shots (save percentage of 96.8). and the penalty kill has allowed two power-play goals in 12 opportunities (83.33 percent success rate).

It’s hard to lose many games when you do that.

“We’re playing well,” Gallant said. “We’re onto the second half of the season, and I like the way we’ve played the last three games.”

Carpenter nets shorty

Forward Ryan Carpenter’s third-period, short-handed goal against Arizona on Sunday was only the second of his career.

His only other short-handed goal came with the Knights on March 2 in a 5-4 loss to the Ottawa Senators.

It was also the team’s sixth short-handed goal, tied for the third-most in the NHL entering Monday, and came during a game in which its penalty kill went 5-for-6.

“Those guys work so hard,” forward Brandon Pirri said. “It was good to see them get a shorty. They deserved it.”

Fleury thanks fans

There were enough visiting Knights fans in the 5-1 road win over the Coyotes that goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury asked a handful of reporters to get a message out.

“Thanks fans for coming to support us in Arizona,” Fleury said. “It was a lot of fun for our team to win this game in front of all you guys.”

Eakin reflects on 2018

As the calendar flipped to 2019 the Knights had time to reflect on their 2018 success, which included 48 regular-season wins and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. Center Cody Eakin had a memorable off-ice highlight too, as he married his wife Hanna.

”It was a good year. Lots of good things, lots of highs,” Eakin said. “Obviously, with last season, getting married this summer and another season back in Vegas, it’s been a pretty awesome year.”

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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