Golden Knights’ penalty kill approaches franchise record

Updated December 7, 2018 - 4:40 pm

The Golden Knights’ penalty kill is approaching a franchise record.

After Thursday’s 4-for-4 effort against Chicago, the Knights have killed 21 straight power plays. The team record is 25 in a row set from Dec. 19 to Jan. 18.

”I think we’re rolling right now,” defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “We’re making it hard on other teams to make the plays they want to make. You’re going to give up shots, it’s just the nature of the penalty kill. You just want to give up the least dangerous shot, and we’ve been doing that for the most part.”

The Knights haven’t allowed a power-play goal since Nov. 21 at Arizona and killed off four straight in Tuesday’s victory over Washington, including a five-minute major to Ryan Reaves.

The Capitals had two shots on the power play resulting from Reaves’ penalty and three shots overall in 10:38 of man advantage time.

Entering Friday’s games, the Knights rank No. 2 in the league in penalty-killing percentage at 85.5. They have the top-ranked penalty kill at home at 92.7 percent (38-for-41) and have killed 24 in a row at T-Mobile Arena.

The Knights have not allowed a power-play goal in 21 of 30 games.

“When you’re successful on the penalty kill, you start to play with a little bit more swagger, a little bit more pace in your game and you’re not as hesitant to go after 50-50 pucks or pucks you think you can steal,” right wing Reilly Smith said. “We’re playing that style right now. Obviously (Marc-Andre Fleury is) making some really big saves, but I think we’re doing a really good job forcing teams to make tougher plays getting into the zone.”

Pounding pavement

If it seems like the Knights have been on the road a lot early in the season, they have.

The Knights play five of their next six on the road, starting with Saturday’s game at Los Angeles. After that stretch, they will have played 22 road games compared with 14 at home.

“It feels like we’ve been away the whole season, to be honest with you,” coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ve got nine games till Christmas, and that’s sort of the goal. ‘Let’s play well these next nine and put ourselves in good position and keep going hard.’ ”

Celebrity corner

Right wing Alex Tuch spent a few minutes after Thursday’s game with local baseball stars Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper.

Tuch, who signed a seven-year, $33.25 million contract extension in October, was asked if he offered Harper any advice as he enters free agency.

“It’s a little different ballpark of money and sport and everything like that,” Tuch said with a laugh. “If he reads this, good luck, but that’s what we have agents for.

“I bet Bryce is going to be making my numbers look really, really small.”

Stastny not cleared

Injured center Paul Stastny (lower body) wore a baby blue noncontact jersey during practice Friday at City National Arena.

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

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.

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