For the first four months of the season, the Golden Knights largely avoided giving up back-breaking goals in the final two minutes of a period.
But Sunday’s setback at Calgary continued a disturbing trend since the All-Star break after the Knights allowed late goals in the first and second periods of their 6-3 loss.
Matthew Tkachuk converted a 2-on-1 with 1:02 left in the first period to put the Flames up 3-1, and Mikael Backlund’s disputed power-play goal with 21.8 seconds remaining in the second period proved to be the game-winner.
“It was a big goal, obviously, late in the period like that,” coach Gerard Gallant said of Backlund’s tally. “The (penalty kill) was almost done, so it was definitely a big goal for them, for sure. But we weren’t quitting then. It was one goal coming back.”
Through January, the Knights allowed 15 goals in the final two minutes of a period, including five empty-net tallies.
But in February alone, the Knights were hit for 11 goals in the final two minutes of a period. Of those goals, six came in the final minute of a period, including four empty-netters.
Winnipeg notched three goals in the final two minutes of a period during its 6-3 victory on Feb. 22, including two goals in the final 31 seconds of the second period.
Florida also tallied three times late in a period on Feb. 28, with two of those goals coming in the final 1:29 of the first. The Knights eventually recovered for a 6-5 shootout win.
According to numbers provided by the NHL stats and information department, the Knights’ 28 goals allowed in the final two minutes of a period ranks tied for 15th fewest overall with Colorado.
Anaheim and Chicago have allowed the most goals in the final two minutes of a period (41), while Arizona has given up a league-low 16.
“Obviously you never want to let in a goal at any time, but I think late in a period, it gets your mind thinking when you come into the room,” left wing Max Pacioretty said. “(Calgary) made a great play on that power play, and we still had opportunities to tie the game. We just weren’t able to.”
Caballeros de oro
The Knights announced the creation of two Spanish social media accounts on Instagram (@LosGoldenKnights) and Twitter (@LosVGK) that will serve as the official home for photos, videos and stories for Spanish-speaking fans.
The team currently broadcasts all of its home games on ESPN Deportes (1460 AM), and play-by-play announcer Jesus Lopez and color commentator Herbert Castro will be regularly featured on the accounts.
“One of the aspects of our fan base that we are most proud of is its diversity,” chief marketing officer Brian Killingsworth said in a statement. “Our Spanish-language Instagram and Twitter accounts will provide followers with unique content they cannot find anywhere else, serving and engaging current fans while attracting new ones.”
Most goals allowed in the final two minutes of a period.
*Chicago Blackhawks 41
*Anaheim Ducks 41
*Columbus Blue Jackets 36
*Detroit Red Wings 35
*New Jersey Devils 34
*New York Rangers 34
*Toronto Maple Leafs 34
*Buffalo Sabres 33
*Calgary Flames 33
*Edmonton Oilers 33
*Florida Panthers 32
*Washington Capitals 31
*Los Angeles Kings 30
*Pittsburgh Penguins 30
*Ottawa Senators 29
*Colorado Avalanche 28
*Golden Knights 28
*Carolina Hurricanes 27
*Minnesota Wild 27
*Montreal Canadiens 27
*Nashville Predators 27
*San Jose Sharks 27
*Winnipeg Jets 27
*Dallas Stars 26
*New York Islanders 25
*Boston Bruins 24
*St. Louis Blues 23
*Philadelphia Flyers 22
*Tampa Bay Lightning 21
*Vancouver Canucks 21
*Arizona Coyotes 16
Source: NHL stats and information department